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Sunday, December 20, 2009

German Christmas Traditions: Lebkuchen and Haselnuss cookies

This isn't exactly a German tradition, but for my mom and I, it's definitely a Christmas tradition.

Mom has made them every year for Christmas for all of time.
At least my time.

Lebkuchen (Lai-b-coo-ken, but say it with an accent........nice work) is to the Germans as Gingerbread is to Americans. It's not exactly the same, but close enough.

Haselnuss cookies are simply Hazelnut cookies.
Yes, I could have just said that, but we're being authentic here.
Well, sorta.

The key for Lebkuchen is the honey. At the time of it's origin that was the only sweetener available. Believe me, it makes a world of difference.

This is my niece, Sammy. She the Top Chef around here. She's gonna show us how it's done.

Nana Ursula or Ushi will also be of assistance.

I won't go step by step and tell you all the details.
But I will say the first part involves hot honey and making it foamy.
This ensures that everything is right in the world.

Then you throw in some spices and stuff.
Blend it all together.

When you're done it will look something like this.
Take the mixture and place it in a greased and flour (preferably) 9x15 pan or 9x13.
Also, I find it easier to do this next to a fresh batch of rolls. For when you get hungwry.
This is the part where I show off my Mommy. Isn't she pretty?
Seriously, with genes like this, how can a girl go wrong?
Sammy will now demonstrate the taste testing portion. Done with class....and determination.
I needed proof that I was contributing so I had the only person available at the time take a picture. My three-year-old niece. Girl's got skills. No wonder considering her mother is an amazing photographer.
We'll just skip the mixing of the Hazelnut cookies and assume all went well.

Once the dough is made, you have to crank it through this contraption and make pretty shapes. Not an easy task, let me just tell you!
Once it's all done, you through it in the oven for baby and me!


Sorry, I get carried away.

And no, I'm not pregnant. : )

The end result is truly bliss.

By the way, each of these delectable treats include chocolate, at least for us.
The Lebkuchen has it smeared on top right after coming out of the oven and the Hazelnut cookies get dipped on the ends.

Mmmmmm, I think I need some right now.

Excuse me while I go gain 10 pounds.

What yummy treats do you make/look forward to for the Holidays?

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