This recipe comes from Christmas, 1961. These bars have a light, tart frosting. This dough needs to ripen for a couple of days, but it's worth it.

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Ingredients

50
Original recipe yields 50 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Combine sugar, honey and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, stir together the honey mixture with the chocolate chips, almonds, candied fruit, eggs, and orange juice. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, baking soda and baking powder; stir into the fruit and nut mixture. Tightly cover the bowl, and refrigerate for 2 to 3 days to blend the flavors.

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  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10x15 inch jellyroll pan. Spread the dough evenly into the prepared pan.

  • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool and frost with the orange frosting.

  • To make the orange frosting, put the confectioners' sugar in a small bowl, and beat in the orange juice 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Spread over the cooled bars. Cut bars into diamond shapes, and place cinnamon candies on top then sprinkle with the green sugar.

Nutrition Facts

135.2 calories; 1.7 g protein; 26.5 g carbohydrates; 7.4 mg cholesterol; 39.5 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (9)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
12/04/2002
I am half German and have searched for years for a recipe that comes close to the ones my uncle sent us when I was young. This is it! Thank you Juanita! Forget the cinnamon candy (totally unauthentic!) but use nonpareils. These look like brownies so it might be a good idea to warn guests! The cloves were too strong when the cookies were fresh but after a few days they tasted fine to us. I used parchment for these and did not grease it or the sheet. These keep well and don't dry out sitting out on the buffet table for hours. Enjoy! Read More
(25)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
12/04/2002
I didn't really enjoy it. It wouldn't be something I try again. Read More
(8)
11 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 10
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
12/03/2002
I am half German and have searched for years for a recipe that comes close to the ones my uncle sent us when I was young. This is it! Thank you Juanita! Forget the cinnamon candy (totally unauthentic!) but use nonpareils. These look like brownies so it might be a good idea to warn guests! The cloves were too strong when the cookies were fresh but after a few days they tasted fine to us. I used parchment for these and did not grease it or the sheet. These keep well and don't dry out sitting out on the buffet table for hours. Enjoy! Read More
(25)
Rating: 5 stars
12/26/2008
This is the most authentic recipe I have found for lebkuchen. I added grated lemon and orange peel to the dough. For the icing I added orange peel and more juice to make a thin glaze. Another commenter suggested "dropping" these on parchment paper which I did. Made a very authentic cookie. Roll into golf-ball size for the most attractive cookie. Do not overbake. At 325 F check at 15 mins for golf-ball sized dough balls. After you cool the honey sugar mix the most effective way to mix is with your hands. It's a difficult and messy step but I believe it is what makes these so authentic. What's up with the red hots?!? Forget about it! Read More
(16)
Rating: 5 stars
12/03/2002
I KNOW IT IS NOT FAST BUT MY DAUGHTER WHO IS 10 LOVED IT EVEN WITH IT TAKING LONG. IT WAS STILL FAIRLY EASY FOR HER TO HELP WITH AND IT TASTES AUTHENTIC GERMAN! Read More
(14)
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Rating: 5 stars
12/27/2006
I've made these for several years. It just wouldn't seem like Christmas without them. Usually I followed the procedure as written and made bar cookies. This year I rolled the dough into large balls almost golf ball size. They spread to about 3 1/2 inches and looked like traditional Lebkuchen. Bake on parchment paper about 18-20 minutes. It makes about 3 dozen big cookies. Next time I think I'll make logs before refrigerating and cut thick slices for ease of handling this very thick sticky dough. I decorated them with a chocolate glaze and candy sprinkles. I've been asked for the recipe many times. Read More
(12)
Rating: 5 stars
05/27/2003
I let the dough mature in the frig for 3 days and then made the bars the day before I was going to serve them. I didn't use cloves but added that amount of extra cinnamon. I used candied cherries for the fruit. Very chewy flavorful and different. Thanks Juanita! Read More
(11)
Rating: 3 stars
12/03/2002
I didn't really enjoy it. It wouldn't be something I try again. Read More
(8)
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Rating: 5 stars
12/17/2011
Absolutely delicious and they seem to get better the longer they stay in the container--of course they only lasted two weeks because I could not resist them. I followed the recipe exactly in terms of ingredients except that I made my own candied orange peel which provided great flavor and texture that store-bought candied fruit rarely does. I also chopped the almonds in the food processor until they were somewhat finely chopped but were not in danger of reaching a flour-like grind. And then instead of using the cake pan technique which I worried might make the cookies tend to dry out and because I wanted a more traditional cookie I dropped the equivalent of one and a half to two tablespoons on a parchment-covered cookie sheet. Then since the tops were somewhat spiky due to the stickiness of the dough I wet my fingers and smoothed the tops down a bit which resulted in a nicely smooth top for icing. A perfect holiday cookie not only because it tastes wonderfully like Christmas but also because it keeps so well and thus can be made well ahead of time. I'll be making these every year from now on! Read More
(6)
Rating: 5 stars
12/08/2016
I love these!! Lebkuchen cookies are my absolute favorite!! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
04/06/2014
Odd that a Juanita posted this recipe and I am a Juanita too with a question for her. My mother (now dec'd) my sister and I have been using this very same recipe since the 60's sans red hots glaze or any toppers for that matter. Our families crave this at Christmas time so we each make triple the recipe. My question is where did this version originate? We have no idea what magazine it was in and this was before every household had computers and access to the almighty web. Your input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Read More