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Lebkuchenherzen or Gingerbread Hearts are sold at Oktoberfest and German fairs for lovers to give to each other.
They are quite large and come with cute expressions and an attached ribbon so your girlfriend or boyfriend can wear it around their neck.
For your Okotberfest party you can write the traditional “I love you”, “I love Oktoberfest” or the name and date of your party. They make a great party favor for your guests.
There are so many different recipes for Luebkuchen, but this one is my favorite.
If you prefer it spicy to sweet, omit the maple syrup.
As a Canadian I love that maple syrup is in the recipe! My father was a Finlander, so this side of me loves the cardamom. They add it to everything – even a sprinkle in the ground coffee to add that spiciness.
- 3/4 c butter
- 3/4 c molasses
- 1/3 c honey
- 1/4 c maple syrup (optional)
- 4 eggs
- 4 1/2 c flour
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- Melt butter, molasses, honey and maple syrup together over low heat. Let cool.
- Add eggs, flour, spices, salt & soda to mixture. Stir until you have a soft dough.
- Shape into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Chill overnight.
- Roll out to 1/3″ thickness. Cut into large heart shapes, about 7″ across. Punch two holes in the top of the heart with the end of a drinking straw to lace the ribbon through when completed.
- Bake in preheated 350°F oven 10 to 15 minutes. (Do not let the edges brown – the cookie will be too hard.) Cool.
- Use Royal Icing with an added teaspoon of almond extract to decorate. See photo for idea of traditional way to ice: a ribbon edging, with cute saying in center & flowers. Attach ribbon and hang as decoration or give to friends.