Friday, 13 June 2008

Lebkuchen Bars

For the Dough:
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup almonds
2 3/4 cups flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup tightly packed chopped
   candied orange rind
1/2 cup tightly packed chopped
     crystallized ginger
4 tablespoons butter, room
   temperature (very soft)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup honey
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Nonstick spray, for greasing
For the Glaze:
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract or rum
   or brandy or Grand Marnier
3 to 4 tablespoons warm water

  • For the Dough: Place pecans and almonds into a blender or food processor and pulse until finely ground. 
  • Transfer to a bowl along with the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, powdered ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, cardamom, and salt.
  • Add finely chopped candied orange rind and crystallized ginger.
  • Stir.
  • Add butter and brown sugar and honey.
  • Stir until somewhat combined.
  • Add eggs and vanilla and continue stirring process.  (My hands usually enter the mass at this point to make sure everything is well combined.)
  • Line a 8 x 13 cake pan with parchment paper.
  • Lightly spray any unlined sides of the pan with nonstick cooking spray. 
  • Spread the dough as best as you can into a thin, even layer.
  • Bake in the center of the oven until surface is dimpled and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. The cake should be springy but firm. 
  • Let cool on a rack for 15 minutes.
  • For the Glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk confectioners' sugar with vanilla/rum/brandy/etc and add enough water to make a thin but spreadable glaze. 
  • Spread glaze on just-warm cake and let cool completely. 
  • When cake is cool, remove with parchment from pan and cut into 8 short strips, then cut each strip into 6 bars.
  • Allowed to stand at least 1 day before serving (if you can).