A favorite among all German Christmas treats, these Flourless Christmas Cookies (Elisenlebkuchen) are made of ground nuts and candied peels, topped with either sugar or chocolate glaze. Take your pick!
‘Lebkuchen’ is a traditional Christmas treat in Germany.
Gingerbread is the closest comparison I could think of because of all the spices that goes into making them – and they’re baked. Almost every part of the country has their own version of making these treats.
My favorite among them is the one that comes from Nuremberg, called ‘Elisenlebkuchen’. These cookies contain little to no flour at all, just a combination of ground almonds and hazelnuts.
HOW TO MAKE FLOURLESS CHRISTMAS COOKIES
CAN I USE ALMOND MEAL FOR THESE FLOURLESS COOKIES?
Yes. However, I strongly suggest that you try grinding the nuts yourself.
The reason for this is it’s nicer to bite on larger bits and pieces of the nuts – which only happens when you grind them on a food processor (or blender). It gives you a different texture in every bite.
CAN I REPLACE THE DRIED PEELS WITH OTHER DRIED FRUITS FOR THESE CHOCOLATE GLAZED COOKIES?
You can give it a try, but the ones that I’ve tried only have dried lemon and orange peel. I believe this is how the traditional flourless Christmas cookies are done.
CAN I SKIP THE MUFFIN PAPER WHEN MAKING THESE COOKIES WITH NUTS?
Ok, this one is a bit tricky. The ones I’ve tried always use some sort of edible muffin paper (I believe they’re called oblaten wafers). I don’t know about you, but I have never heard of that when we were living in Stockholm.
So, I wanted to make the recipe more adaptable by using muffin papers instead (remember NOT to eat it though!)
You need the muffin papers at the bottom because the cookies are so soft when you take them out of the oven. Using a baking sheet will be difficult because you still need to apply glaze while they’re still warm (if possible).
Muffin papers make the flourless cookies easier to handle separately.
TIPS FOR MAKING GLAZED COOKIES –
- Feel free to make the cookies slightly smaller, if that’s how you like them.
- The chocolate glaze will not harden too much, so don’t expect it to look like the sugar glaze.This might be a concern for you if you live in a warm country.
- When using muffin papers, cut the extra part with a pair of scissors as soon as the cookies are cool enough to handle. Do not wait for them to completely cool down because it’s better to apply the glaze when the cookies are still warm.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH ELISENLEBKUCHEN?
Since we’re in Frankfurt, I like having these treats with warm apple wine. But that’s only when we go to the Christmas market. 🙂
At home, I love having them with a cup of tea or a glass of red wine. YUM!
FOR OTHER CHRISTMAS RECIPES, CHECK OUT THESE POSTS –
OR IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR MORE GERMAN RECIPES, CHECK OUT MY OTHER POSTS –
VIDEO ON HOW TO MAKE GERMAN FLOURLESS CHRISTMAS COOKIES
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 cup hazelnuts
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- pinch of ground mace
- pinch of ground clove
- pinch of ground allspice
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 lemon, grated zest
- 1/3 cup candied orange peel
- 1/3 cup candied lemon peel
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp water, hot
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips, semi-sweet
- 2 tsp butter, unsalted
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
Grind almonds and hazelnuts until they get not-so-powdery.
In a medium to large bowl, mix and combine eggs and powdered sugar.
Add lemon zest, mace, clove, allspice and salt. Mix to combine.
Add ground nuts and candied peels. Mix until thoroughly combined.
Spoon some of the cookie mixture on top of a muffin paper, about ½ inch thick. You can set the size of the cookies as you prefer, but this recipe makes about 12 medium-sized cookies.
Place the cookies (and muffin papers) on a baking tray and in the oven for 18 to 20 minutes.
While the cookies are in the oven, prepare the sugar and chocolate glaze.
For sugar glaze, mix powdered sugar and hot water.
For chocolate glaze, melt and mix chocolate and butter. You can do this in a double boiler or in the microwave.
Once the cookies are out of the oven, let them cool for a few minutes.
While the cookies are still warm, cover some of them with sugar glaze, and the remaining ones with chocolate glaze.
Set glazed cookies aside for the glaze to harden (a bit).