Sandy Lee fell in love with lebkuchen, the traditional German Christmas cookie, while living in Berlin. “It was like nothing I’d ever tasted,” she recalls. “I couldn’t get all those complex flavors out of my head.” She became obsessed, learning all she could about them before returning to the states and starting her own lebkuchen bakery.
The recipe dates back to Medieval times and has many steps. The dough is made from almond and hazelnut flours, whole almonds, egg whites, honey, marzipan and a bevy of spices. The dense dough rests for nearly a day before heading to the oven. The finished cookies are hand glazed and studded with almonds (classic variety) or cloaked in dark chocolate.
You will find three classic and two chocolate cookies in this fire engine red tin. Each is about four inches across and an inch tall. They’re thick, moist, slightly spicy, sweet and very nutty. The consistency is a cross between cake and marzipan, making them the perfect after dinner treat with coffee or tea. Although traditionally intended to keep for months, I think these sweet, spicy, nutty treats will only last a few days (or hours!) at your house. A cookie with history, a pefect gift for anyone on your list.
“Even German expats find these gingerbread cookies (lebkuchen) baked on the Lower East Side by a lebkuchen obsessive named Sandy Lee bafflingly authentic — and delicious.”
New York Magazine