German Christmas is made up of spices, nuts, butter and all things good. The spices were expensive in the Middle Ages, so it was a show of wealth to use many of them in their baking. This often expresses itself as Lebkuchen in many forms. Lebkuchen recipes vary by region, and there are many to choose from. Browse through these Lebkuchen recipes for just the right one!
Lebkuchenherzen or Gingerbread Hearts are very popular in open air markets such as Christmas Markets, Oktoberfeste, Kirmes or Schützenfeste. They usually hang from ribbons and carry cute sayings in the center. You give them to friends or lovers or your family to express your feelings.
When you bake them at home and decorate them, you can say exactly what you like.
Nürnberger Lebkuchen or gingerbread has been around since the 14th century, when Nürnberg was a rich city with good trade associations. Now you can make Nürnberger Lebkuchen in your home without any special German ingredients. These soft, spicy cookies keep for several weeks.
The recipe for Nuernberger Lebkuchen includes instructions for making your own spice mixture. You can read more about the spices and see exactly how these cookies are made at home with this step by step.
Spekulatius cookies are traditional Christmas spice cookies in Germany, although in the Netherlands and the US they are available all year long as "Dutch Windmill Cookies". Spekulatius is related to the Latin word "speculum", meaning mirror. Since the cookies are formed in a bas relief carved wooden mold, a mirror image of the mold becomes the cookie. recipe here
Honey, almonds and spices mark this Christmas season favorite. Home-baked cookies are still the best and can be kept at room temperature for several weeks in a closed cookie jar. In fact, they taste better than fresh. recipe here
Linzer Cookies are sandwich cookies with little cutouts on the top layer, allowing the jewel-like jam to shine through. You can use special Linzer cookie cutters or make your own with a biscuit cutter and a sharp knife or thimble. These cookies have no eggs, but lots of spice and nuts for a satisfying mouth-feel and lovely, Christmas taste. recipe here
This gingerbread dough is pressed into a pan and baked. The walls and roof are cut out while the cookie is still warm using a template that you make. The cookie then dries into a very hard tile, suitable for gingerbread house construction. recipe here
Check out this gingerbread house step by step to see how I made this house.