Traditional gingerbread cookies, in German they are called Lebkuchen and in French Pain d’épices, what is basically a gingerbread loaf. Spices like cinnamon, ginger, all spice and molasses give gingerbread that spicy, sweet, gingery, pungent, intense flavor.
The baking of gingerbread cookies is simple, however baking takes adjusting and measuring and over time the lessons I learned with baking are very simple, OBEY and follow the recipe.
Cooking is a different animal, you can “wing” it and to be honest there are a lot of recipes that I cook where I don’t use measurement cups, measurement spoons or scales, everything is done by feel and taste.
Around Christmas my mind is always drawn to baking, maybe because baking is something that brings back memories, tastes and smells; all symbols of pleasure, comfort and traditions. What kind of a holiday would Christmas be without the warm aromas of weihnachtsgeback and konfekt? For me, baking is a great way to get into the Christmas spirit. It takes some time to garnish the cookies, however it’s time well spent.
For the decorating of the gingerbread cookies, I’m using Wafer Paper, creating edible masterpieces. All are reproductions of vintage postcards printed on translucent sheets of dehydrated potato starch. These images create a beautiful work of edible art and are memorable holiday gifts.
Baking gingerbread cookies or Lebkuchen is a time honored tradition for many families in Germany that goes back to the 14th century. During this time, gingerbread was something of extremely high value due to the fact that a lot of the spices used to make gingerbread were hard to come by and honey was expensive. At one stage, the value of Lebkuchen was so high that it was used as a currency. Christmas time in Germany is a magical time. The streets are brimming with lights and nativity scenes can be seen throughout the town. The prized image below is the town square from where I was born. The building on the right is City Hall and just around the corner was the school. The building straight ahead is the doctor’s office, this is where I got my broken arm fixed and put in a cast when I was a child.
An interesting historical fact about the town, the community was donated in 768 under the name Husun to the Lorsch Abbey.