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December 14, 2012 12:05:09 AM
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Lebkuchen--traditional German molasses-spice Christmas cookies with a sweet and tangy lemon icing. Using medium size cookies cutters, this will make approximately 12 dozen. They keep well and make a nice gift (no nuts or dried fruit).

1 cup shortening
1 quart molasses
6 tsp. anise extract

Melt shortening, let cool, add molasses & anise extract; mix well

2 cups flour
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tsps. baking soda

Combine flour, baking soda, salt & spices. Sift into molasses mixture and mix well (a mixer with a dough hook works well for this). Continue adding flour to the mixture (up to 9 cups total) until a stiff dough forms. Refrigerate the dough until cold & stiff.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough 1/8 to 1/4 inch thin on floured pastry cloth & cut with cookie cutters. Bake on greased cookie sheets for 10 minutes. Cool and frost with icing and decorate with colored sugar.

Icing
2 egg whites
12 oz. confectioners sugar
lemon juice

Beat egg whites until foamy, mix in half the sugar and thin with the lemon juice until it runs off a knife, thin but not watery. Add more sugar & thin with the lemon juice as needed.

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