My dad was born in Germany and so we have a lot of Christmas traditions that they brought over. One of those traditions is my Omi hides these fun chocolate ornaments over the tree and my sister & I would try to find them all over the tree and eat them all morning!
Another tradition that I love are these cookies (Pronounced: Lay-B-Kuh-Ken), they taste like Christmas in your mouth!! I always grew up eating the ones my mom or Omi made and my favorites were the ones that had the chocolate on top! Below is my family’s recipe for our Lebkuchen.
9-10 Cups Finely Ground Pecans
1 2/3 Cups Sugar
1 ½ tsp. Lemon Juice
8 oz. Candied Citron (or any other candied fruit) – Chopped
¼ tsp. Cardamom (or All-Spice)
½ tsp. Nutmeg
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
About 50 80 or 90mm Back-Oblaten (Here’s a place to get them: http://www.bavariasausage.com/proddetail.asp?prod=Kuchle-Back-Oblaten)
1-2 bags of chocolate chips
2 Tbsps. cream
2 Tbsps. butter, melted
2-3 C Powdered Sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 325°. In a mixer beat the eggs. Add sugar slowly until the mixture turns lemony yellow. Add in lemon juice. Add spices & chopped candied citron. Add in chopped pecans by the spoonful until the batter becomes slightly stiff. Add in baking powder & mix. Take an Oblaten & spoon some of the dough onto it. Take a wet knife or your fingers & smooth into a round-mounded cookie. Bake on a cookie sheet for 22-26 minutes; cookies are done when they are slightly browned.
For chocolate glaze melt a bag of chocolate chips and cream in the microwave for 1 minute & stir to combine. If need be microwave for another 15-30 seconds. Spoon onto cookie and spread evenly.
For glaze mix melted butter with 2 cups sifted powdered sugar. If mixture is too stiff add in warm/hot water a Tablespoon at a time until it becomes thin enough to spread on the cookies. If desired you can put a whole pecan or sprinkles for decoration.