Elisenlebkuchen – Elise Gingerbread

 ginger bread cookies Elisenlebkuchen are traditional German Christmas cookies so you could say I am a dollar short and a day late with posting this recipe, but who is to say you can eat certain cookies only at certain times?

Astrid and I baked these cookies a couple of weeks ago and they were so delicious and flavorful that I ate them all by myself within 24 hours and so there were none left to give for gift giving and I decided to bake some more so that eventually some of my friends could also taste them. I also wanted to use up Astrid’s own homemade candied Lemon and Orange peel she had left behind, that stuff is way to precious not to use up. There are quite a few German cakes, breads and cookies using candied orange and lemon peel but I have to confess I never liked those baked goods with the candied store-bought artificial stuff and tasted like rubber tires flavored with lemon toilet spray. BUT Astrid’s homemade candied peel is sooo good I ate it like candy. I highly recommend you go through the additional work to make your own candied fruit peel, you can eat it “pure” as is, use it in your Christmas baking or sprinkle it on or into home made ice cream.

How to make your own candied orange and lemon peel:

  1. Peel the rind of an 2 oranges and 2 lemons.as thick as possible (Including the white skin). Cut the peel into thin strips (not too thin). Only use ORGANIC fruits, you don’t want to poison yourself with pesticides that have made it into the skin of the fruit.
  2. Boil the peels 30 minutes in a lot of water (fill up the pot with water) and add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart of water. After 30 minutes cooking time drain the water.
  3. Toss the peel with 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar and bring to a boil. Cook until water/sugar syrup is almost gone, stirring once in a while to avoid that the fruit gets stuck on the bottom of the pot.
  4. Drain and set the peel on a cookie sheet and toss with sugar. Let it sit and dry overnight and then shake off excess sugar. Cut into small pieces and store in an airtight container.

gingerbread cookie Ingredients for 15 Elisenlebkuchen:

  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 packet of Vanilla sugar (2 tabelespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 125gr sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 85 gr ground almonds
  • 85 gr ground hazelnuts
  • 25 gram candied orange peel
  • 25 gram candied lemon peel
  • 15 round baking papers – 70mm  (you can order those at Amazon, they are called “Oblaten”)
  • 1 bar of good dark chocolate
  • 25 gram butter

Directions:

  1. Beat the eggs with the sugar, vanilla sugar and salt until you  get a lightly yellow creamy batter.
  2. Mix the almond and hazelnut flour with the cocoa, spices, chopped candied fruit peel and gently fold into the egg mixture, cover and let the mixture sit in the fridge overnight.
  3. The next day place 1 tablespoon of the gingerbread mixture on the baking papers.
  4. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and let the gingerbread cookies dry for 30 minutes in the oven
  5. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler and glaze the cookies once cooled out.
  6. The cookies will develop a more intense flavor over the next couple days, so its best if you can let the cookies rest for a couple of days in an airtight container prior to eating them.

Guten Appetit! gingerbeadcookies

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