German Lebkuchen, Buttery Christmas Cookies & Cinnamon Stars

I made some traditional German Christmas-season treats I wanted to share with you: Elisenlebkuchen are a very common type of gingerbread in Germany but are made without ginger. They come coated with a sugar glaze or chocolate coating, sometimes plain. They are flourless, made with almonds and hazelnuts, candied orange and lemon, and ground clove, baked on a plain tasting wafer called ‘Oblate’ in German.

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Then there are the ‘buttery’ Christmas cut-out cookies, which are simply made of flour, butter (in my case Earth Balance margarine) and sugar. Adding rum extract is never a bad idea. They are then iced with a sugar coating; I added lemon rind to some of the icing. Next time I’ll try using coconut oil since I’m not crazy about margarine, whatever brand.

The cinnamon stars (Zimtsterne) I made a few months ago: again flourless with hazelnuts and almonds, orange rind and juice, sugar, and spices. I am including the recipe here, also published in this month’s Lifelines, the magazine of the Toronto Vegetarian Association. If you end up baking them yourself, I’d love to read your comment! Happy baking, Christmas or not!

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