This recipe is almost identical to the one we have been making for 30 years in our half-German family. It was from a magazine cookie contest (the only difference is that we use a lemon glaze made from confectioner's sugar which we spoon over cooled lebkuchen).
Reviewer complaints about the cookies being way too hard are true ONLY IF YOU DO NOT LET THEM AGE. The cookies soften to a beautiful cake-like consistency after three weeks sealed in a tin, and the spices flavours bloom during that time as well. These last for over 2 months at room temperature, making them excellent for storing and shipping.
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This recipe is almost identical to the one we have been making for 30 years in our half-German...