Peppered Lebkuchen

November/December 1995

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An interpretation of a classic German holiday wafer cookie, these richly spiced cookies are terrific right from the oven when the spices permeate the kitchen, but are even better after a few days as they “age” to a wonderful deep flavor.

Peppered Lebkuchen

Makes: 4 dozen cookies

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  • Cookie Dough
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange juice


  1. To make cookie dough: Whisk together flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, ginger, mace, baking soda, salt and pepper in a bowl until thoroughly combined.
  2. Blend honey, brown sugar, egg and 1 1/2 teaspoons each lemon and orange zests in a large mixing bowl. Add the dry ingredients and stir to make a smooth, somewhat soft and sticky dough. Transfer the dough onto wax paper or plastic wrap and shape into a flat, 1/2-inch-thick disk. Wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  3. To make glaze: Whisk together confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 teaspoon each lemon and orange zests, lemon and orange juices in a small bowl until smooth. Cover and set aside.
  4. To bake cookies: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray. Working with half of the dough at a time, roll it out on a lightly floured surface to a large rectangle slightly less than 1/4 inch thick. Trim the edges with a pastry wheel or pizza cutter and cut into 1 1/4-by-2-inch rectangles. Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until the edges are lightly colored and the cookies are firm, 8 to 10 minutes. Immediately transfer to a rack. Brush the tops of the warm cookies with the reserved glaze. Let stand until the glaze sets, about 1 hour.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.


Per serving: 43 calories; 0 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 4 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrates; 1 g protein; 0 g fiber; 21 mg sodium; 19 mg potassium.

Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2

Exchanges: 1/2 carbohydrate

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Recipe Categories

Ease of Preparation
Total Time
1 hour or less
8 or more
Health & Diet Considerations
Diabetes appropriate
Low carbohydrate
Preparation/ Technique
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