Mom is German and in Germany, or Deutschland, gingerbread is called Lebkuchen. I found a recipe for Lebkuchen in a cook book called, “My Favorite Cookies from the old Country.” They called for allowing the dough to sit in a covered bowl for 10 days before using it. That’s more time than I’m willing to wait for cookies, I’d just head right back to the store and get the refrigerated kind. Well, I really wanted to know an easy recipe for gingerbread, so I called Mom. As always, she came through with flying colors. I believe I will make some homemade gingerbread cookies this week. Let me know how yours turn out, ok? (P.S. The picture is not one of Mom’s gingerbread houses, it’s one we did with the baby a couple of years ago.)
A little note on the cookbook I was reading, they did suggest to leave the cookies out over night to harden and then bake them. Of course, cover them up first. I’m not sure why, but it was an interesting step to take. Well, if you’ve waited 10 days to make cookies, what’s one more night? Ahhh, but there’s nothing better than a house filled with the warm scents of freshly made, freshly baked and decorated, Lebkuchen cookies.
½ cup unsalted butter
½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup dark corn syrup
2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cloves
2 tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. salt
Combine butter and brown sugar in a large bowl; beat until well blended. Add corn syrup and egg; beat until smooth. Combine remaining ingredients in another bowl; stir to mix well then add to butter mixture, a third at a time, mixing after each addition until smooth. Divide dough into thirds; wrap each third in foil and chill at least one hour to make rolling easier. On a well-floured surface roll out one-third of the dough to 1/8-inch thickness, cut out cookie shapes, placing them on ungreased baking sheets, 1 inch apart. Bake at 400 deg. F, for 8 minutes or until lightly browned; remove from baking sheet at once onto a cooling rack. While still warm brush with LEMON GLAZE.
LEMON GLAZE: In a small bowl 2 cups confectionery sugar add 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, stirring with a fork to combine. If too thick add a little at a time more lemon juice until glaze is of spreading consistency. Immediately decorate with sprinkles etc. (I use this same dough and glaze to make gingerbread houses)