Vintage Lebkuchen Recipe

Hilda Lebkuchen
This sounds great, but I must send on this recipe that is at least 100 years old — Lebküchen — Hilda ‘Hode’ Eiseman Hode made this every year for Christmas. She did the final mixing in a huge dishpan with a wooden spoon and her hands. I cut it in half and freeze some of the dough in well-sealed containers for two or three years. Freezing the dough seems to improve it as the flavors have more time to blend. Thaw the dough, then roll out as usual. May take extra flour.
Ingredients:
1 pound light brown sugar
1 quart light molasses
1 ½ cups shortening (original recipe called for lard)
1 tablespoon salt
1 pint sour cream
1pint sour milk (or buttermilk)
3 tablespoons baking soda dissolved in buttermilk
1 heaping tablespoon baking powder
½ tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
5 pounds flour (save out 1 – 2 cups for rolling out dough)
1 quart chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans are good)
2 ½ pounds raisins
1 pound dates
1 pound mixed candied fruit
Directions:
1. Grind together the last four ingredients and mix with the flour and spices.
2. Cream sugar and shortening until light.
3. Add molasses, sour cream and milk with dissolved baking soda.
4. Add and thoroughly mix in the flour/spice/fruit mixture.
5. Chill dough.
6. Roll out on a floured board to about ¼ inch thick. Cut into rectangles.
7. Place on a greased baking sheet.
8. Glaze with a thin mixture of confectioner’s sugar and milk (or water) before baking. Can add half a candied cherry or nut to top of cookies.
9. sBake at 350° about 10 minutes. Cool on a rack. Store tightly covered in cool place.

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