Monday, December 22, 2008

Spiced German Elisen Lebkuchen Cookies

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!


  1. Here, the stores already display Christmas stuff in October... Great cookies! I'm glad you like them.

    Cheers and Happy holidays,


  2. My Goodness...... sweet-tooth heaven.

  3. Thank you so much Rosa's Yummy Yums, I have a feeling that I am in love with your country!

    Switzerland is definitely the land of chocolate, KirkK!

  4. If you are ever in Nurnberg, or any part of Germany, try these Nuernberger Lebkuchen from this company. They are kind of hailed as the "originals" across Germany. Certain stores only carry them during the Christmas season, but you travel to Nuernberg, there is a store that is open all year around.

    I even found them in my local gourmet store in Princeton. :)

  5. I've never seen or heard of these treats, but they sound so festive and interesting! My tastebuds implore you to let us know where to find these locally!

  6. RLo, I will have to visit Germany and utilize your excellent German recommendations!

    I will keep my eyes and ears open Foodhoe, and you will be the first to know when I make such a local discovery!

  7. Lebkuchen Schmidt chocolates are a chewy, usually honey-flavored Christmas cookie containing nuts and candied fruits.

  8. I live in St Catharines Ontario, and am in love with Nurnberger Elisen- Lebkuchen . Does anyone know where I can purchase these delicious confections here in the surrounding area. Perhaps Hamilton, or Oakville, Mississauga or Toronto area. Sure would apprecialte it if anyone knows.


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