Catholic Recipe: Christmas Baking: Lebkuchen IV
Also Called: Lebzelten; Life Cake; Lebkucken; Life Cookies
Lebkuchen is the name of a cookie that is particularly appropriate to serve during the Advent season because its name, translated, is "life cake." Thus these cookies symbolize the new life that is ours at Christmas, when we are reborn in Christ. This is a traditional spicy cookie loaded with candied fruit.
December 21 is the traditional date for the feast of St. Thomas the Apostle, and the day usually marking the final push for Christmas baking and cleaning.
Heat honey to boiling in small saucepan; pour into large bowl; cool completely. Stir in brown sugar, egg, lemon peel, and 1 Tablespoon lemon juice. Sift dry ingredients into medium-sized bowl; stir in raisins and walnuts. Gradually stir into honey mixture, blending well. Chill overnight to blend flavors. Spread dough in greased jelly roll pan. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until firm. While cookies bake, stir remaining 2 Tablespoons lemon juice into confectioners' sugar until smooth. Set pan of hot cookies on wire rack; press 48 cherry halves, cut side down, in 6 even rows down and 8 rows across; drizzle frosting over. Cool cookies completely in pan; cut into 48 hearts or squares.Recipe Source: Cook's Blessings, The by Demetria Taylor, Random House, New York, 1965