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Christmas German Heartshaped Cookie Recipe

A Recipe for German Lebkuchen Hearts

Delicious Christmas Treats from Germany

Lebkuchen is a delicious and traditional German gingerbread spice cookie.  Lebkuchen hearts is something you will always see at any German Christmas market or Weihnachtsmarkt.  (Also known as Christkindlesmarkt, Christkindchesmarkt and Christkindlmarkt.)

This traditional German gingerbread cookie or cake has a rich history dating back several centuries.  Lebkuchen hearts, often inscribed with romantic messages, are popular gifts at festivals. You can also use them to decorate Christmas trees.

Oh I love Christmas...

Types of Lebkuchen: Besides the traditional round cookies, Lebkuchen is used to create various other treats, including Lebkuchen bars, Lebkuchen houses (similar to gingerbread houses), and Lebkuchen hearts.

Apart from looking fabulous on the Christmas Market stalls as decorations (to sell), it has become synonym with Christmas time.  However they are also popular during Oktoberfest.

Lebkuchen is a delightful treat with a rich history and a taste that captures the warmth and coziness of the holiday season, making it a cherished part of German culinary traditions.

Lebkuchen Recipe Foolproof easy to make

The recipe for Lebkuchen hearts sold at Christmas markets in Germany is similar to traditional Lebkuchen, but it may have some variations to suit the specific shape and size of the hearts and to accommodate the decorative icing and messages typically found on them.  Here is a recipe we love…

Ingredients for Lebkuchen

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup honey
1 large egg
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup finely chopped candied citron or orange peel (optional)
1/4 cup finely chopped almonds (optional)

For the Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
Food coloring (for tinting the glaze)
Writing icing or edible markers for decorating with messages and designs

Lebkuchen Recipe

How to make Lebkuchen

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it.

  • Prepare the Dough: Follow the same steps as in the traditional Lebkuchen recipe to prepare the dough. This includes mixing the dry ingredients, creaming the butter and sugars, adding the wet ingredients, and combining the wet and dry mixtures.

  • Shape the Hearts: Roll out the Lebkuchen dough to a thickness of about 1/4 inch (0.6 cm). Use heart-shaped cookie cutters to cut out heart shapes from the dough. If you don’t have heart-shaped cutters, you can use a knife to cut heart shapes freehand.

  • Bake: Place the heart-shaped Lebkuchen on a lined or greased baking sheet and bake them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 12-15 minutes, or until they are just firm to the touch and lightly browned. As with traditional Lebkuchen, be careful not to overbake.

German Christmas Cookie Recipe
Lebkuchen cookies for markets decorations German Cookies

Glazing and Decorating

  • Make the Glaze: Prepare a glaze by mixing powdered sugar and milk until you achieve a thick but pourable consistency. You can also tint the glaze with food coloring if desired.

  • Decorate the Hearts: Once the hearts have cooled, drizzle the glaze over them to create a smooth, shiny surface. Allow the glaze to set for a few minutes.

  • Add Messages and Designs: Use writing icing or edible markers to decorate the Lebkuchen hearts with messages, designs, and colorful accents. This is where you can get creative and personalize the hearts.