Lebkuchen (German Christmas Honey Cookies)

"This recipe is from an OLD betty crocker cookbook and is my absolute favorite Christmas cookie. My MIL sends a batch every year and is one of my favorite things of the season. DO NOT overbake these or they will become so hard that you might need to have dental work done (lol) If the cookies are too hard she suggests placing them in an airtight container with an apple slice. I did not include chilling time in the recipe."
photo by a food.com user photo by a food.com user
Ready In:
1hr 10mins
72 cookies




  • Mix honey and molasses and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cool completely.
  • Stir in brown sugar, egg, lemon juice and lemon rind.
  • Sift together flour, baking soda and spices, then stir into the honey-molasses mix.
  • Mix in the citron and chopped nuts, place the dough in the refrigerator and chill overnight.
  • Roll out a small amount of dough at a time to 1/4 inch thick, keeping the rest in the fridge. You can either cut out oblong shapes about 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" or just cut out circle shapes about 2" in diameter.
  • Place on a GREASED baking sheet about 1" apart.
  • Place 3 almonds on top of each cookie in a flower shape, and place in a 400 deg oven for 10-12 min or until no imprint remains when touched lightly.
  • While cookies bake, make glaze by boiling the water and sugar to 230 degrees - until it just barely begins to thread.
  • Remove from heat and stir in confectioners sugar.
  • Brush the hot glaze lightly over the cookies (if it gets grainy reheat slightly with a little water to thin again).

Questions & Replies

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  1. I started making this recipe 60 years ago and it is one of my most favorite cookies to eat. Couldn’t find my old Betty Crocker cookbook and was thrilled to find this copy. We decorated with nuts (walnuts from our trees) or candied cherries and/or candied citron. Some years I skip the glaze, or the toppings and just enjoy the cookies. Always store with a slice or two of apple or orange to keep the cookies soft!
  2. Thank you so much for posting! I inherited a very similar recipe from my late MIL, and I've been trying to figure it out with the vague instructions. Here are some things I've discovered. I used the cookie scoop (75% full) then lightly pounded each dollop with a sugared glass. No rolling necessary! Bake at 400F for 6 min. (Even larger cookies needed only 6 min.) Each cookie needs about 3/4t icing. I use a one teaspoon measuring spoon to put it on. But I love the idea of a brush! For me, the icing is so fussy that next year I'll plan to ice the cookies the day after I bake them so I don't get sick of the kitchen. These cookies are highly time-consuming and fussy, and if my husband didn't love them, they'd be off my list. (I think the flavor is ok but not stunning.) Hopefully these tricks will help things go more smoothly next year.
  3. This is an excellent recipe. These may be made a month in advance and stored in an air tight container, and they will improve as they age. My family has been making this recipe for decades and it is the one Christmas cookie we MUST have, even if we make many or no other Christmas cookies.
  4. I've been making this recipe for years, but had lost the cookbook. I'm very happy to find it here. My parents and siblings expect these at Christmas and even the nieces and nephews like them


<p>I live in a suburb of Des Moines with my wonderful husband, two children, a Boxer and a neurotic Golden Retriever. Every day I am reminded of how blessed I am when I have one of the five of them gazing at me longingly wanting something I have just cooked! <br />It was my DH that taught me how to cook when we first got married (I think he was tired of my mantra If it can't be cooked in a toaster <br />or a microwave in 60 seconds or less - I'm not making it!) <br />I turned out to be an eager student and he was a VERY patient teacher. Little did he know that for the next 13 years he was going to have to put up with endless nights of Food Network, cookbooks spilling out of every bookcase, and me chasing him through the house trying to stick a fork or spoon in his mouth saying Here - try this!. <br /><img src=http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b399/susied214/permanent%20collection/adoptedspring08.jpg border=0 alt=Photobucket /> <br /><img src=http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b399/susied214/permanent%20collection/IWasAdoptedfall08.jpg border=0 alt=Photobucket /></p>
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