Please, please, please? I am desperate.
I need a recipe for Lebkuchen! Christmas of 2001 I passed in Strasbourg. The capital of all things Christmas in my opinion; street fares selling anything a Christmas goer could need, along with steaming vats of mulled wine to keep you warm as you mingle among the wears. And from every boulangerie, the smell of Lebkuchen, German gingerbread.
The problem is not so much finding a recipe, as finding the right recipe. Any Christmas buff can tell you gingerbread is a very loose kind of term, it covers everything from the cardboard crunchiness of store-bought gingerbread cookies, to the grandma-style molasses laden sticky bread, to the thick cake-like walls of the age old gingerbread house. Unfortunately for me, these are most certainly not what I am looking for in Lebkuchen.
I have blindly been searching for pain d'épices , the French version, and however delicious (see my recipe here). It is just not the same. I gained a little ground with some good luck in my travels, meeting up with a French girl at the tea plantation in Corrientes, I begged for a little help, and attempted to describe what I was looking for.
"Pain d'épices , you know! It comes in round disks, like big cookies only with the texture of a cake and covered with a glaze, either sugar or chocolate, please tell me you have had them?!"
she looked perplexed for a moment, and I began to think these dream bars were out of my reach,
"Oui, what you want is Lebkuchen, that is the German name, should should have a bit more luck searching under that name."So I searched. At least I found a few pictures:
(This picture has been shamelessly stollen from here)
(and from here)The recipe results have been less than helpful, the best I can find are the thin crispy cookies (here is a picture).
I will never give up the search but I know when it is time to call in reinforcements. So please. Help a girl get her cookies! All help is most supremely appreciated.