Although Christmas 2016 is officially over and only few hours separate us from New Years Eve, you might still be looking for a treat for this evening’s coffee table. Or not (this is most likely the case). At any rate, Elisenlebkuchen are a rich tasting German holiday season treat which I think you can eat from November to February, or actually, if I am honest, I myself could enjoy them all year round.
German-style gingerbread cookies or Lebkuchen are hard to find over here in Belgium – this year a local Loving Hut restaurant carried some, however, which was a nice surprise -, but luckily the German border is not thát far off, and in the past I have managed to find some over there in time for the holidays. This year the same thing happened during a one-day visit to Aachen. I found Lebkuchenherzen from Alnatura at Edeka and Lebkuchen from Veganz at dm, but no Elisenlebkuchen, the type which contains plenty of nuts and marzipan (an important distinction). The best purchase this time, therefore, was a couple of boxes of Backoblaten – baking wafers -, another food item which Belgian supermarkets do not sell, and which is, albeit not crucial, pretty convenient when you want to bake Elisenlebkuchen yourself. So the day after our trip I immediately started baking, using the recipe below.
The result was amazing and the recipe absolutely a keeper. The Elisenlebkuchen taste as they are supposed to taste, and more than equivalent of the ones you find in stores. The yield of two batches – about 40 pieces – already being completely gone, I’ll pretty soon have to bake some more. They are easy to make, but be prepared to invest some time in shaping and decorating them.
This being said, enjoy your New Years Eve, and set aside some time in 2017 for baking these beauties.
- 150 g flour (I used spelt flour)
- 200 g ground almonds
- 200 g ground hazelnuts
- 130 g cane sugar
- zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
- 5 TB jam (preferably from berries)
- pinch of salt
- 4 tsp gingerbread spices
- 200 g marzipan
- 1 dl water
- 2-3 tsp baking powder
- baking wafers (I used 20 – 22 round ones, 7 cm in diameter). You can also bake Elisenlebkuchen without them, but then make sure fully coat them in chocolate or sugar after baking.
- chocolate and/or powdered sugar for decorating. Grated coconut or almond slivers are nice for decoration as well.
- Mix the flour, sugar, ground nuts, spices, salt, baking powder, zest, salt in a bowl.
- Add the marzipan, jam and water to a food processor and mix. Add to the bowl and mix all ingredients until a sticky dough forms.
- Take about 1 TB dough and shape it to fit the baking wafers. I used a small saucer lined with plastic film to this purpose, but online shops also sell “Lebkuchenglocken” in different sizes which simplify the molding process.
- Bake for 20-25 min. in a preheated oven on 150 degrees Celsius.
- Once removed from the oven, you can immediately brush them with a powdered sugar/water mixture or with melted chocolate.