Although the beau and I visited Switzerland from late October to early November, we noticed that many Swiss stores had already begun decorating for Christmas. For instance, luxury clothing boutiques had sparkling strings of Christmas lights dangling from the storefronts and chocolate shops had cottony bundles of artificial snow nestling in the corners of their windows. Best of all, the Swiss supermarkets were stocked with bountiful displays of seasonal Christmas cookies. The Christmas cookies that repeatedly caught my eye (and helped to empty the cash from my pocket, time after time) were "elisen lebkuchen" cookies, or spiced German Christmas cookies.
The first time I purchased elisen lebkuchen cookies, I was mesmerized. After carefully opening the crinkly cellophane wrapper, I laid out the three different cookies from within the package and delicately inspected them one-by-one, caressing the edges with my fingers. I divided the cookies according to their three types: (1) plain, (2) coated in chocolate, and (3) coated in a milky sugar glaze. Each cookie had an airy, rice papery, communion wafer layer adhered firmly to the back. (Although I have analogized certain textures to communion wafers before, the cookie backing literally tastes like a communion wafer, and later, after industriously scouring the web, I discovered that indeed, the backing is a communion wafer.)
As I bit into the thick and pillowy soft cookie, I found that they possessed the encompassing, warming flavors of gingerbread and rum with a soothing aftertaste of cloves and allspice, and just a hint of cinnamon. The dimpled cookies had crunchy bits of chopped hazelnuts, distributed throughout the cookie dough. The cookies coated in chocolate and the thin layer of hardened sugary icing were also delightful. Even though I purchased the cookies from the store rack, the cookies had retained the moisture and texture of being freshly baked, just a few hours ago.
I hope my post about my experience with elisen lebkuchen cookies gets you in the holiday mood. They sure did for me, way back in October!