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Lebkuchen (Honey Cakes)
8 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tablespoons baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
4 cusp ground almonds
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped citron
2 cusp plus 2 tablespoons honey
2 cups plus 3 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
4 tablespoons brandy
Sift flour, baking soda and spices together twice.
Add ground almonds and citron.
Mix honey and molasses in a saucepan and heat to a gentle boil. Remove from the stove.
Make a hole in the center of the flour, and add the honey mixture while still hot. As you stir this into the flour, gradually add the brandy.
Work this up into a ball of dough, cover, and set aside to ripen in the refrigerator for 8 days. The dough will rise in bulk as it ripens.
On the eighth day, roll out the dough 1/4-inch thick and cut into 2 1/2-inch rounds. Set these on greased baking sheets, cover, and store in a cool place overnight.
Heat oven to 325 degrees F.
Bake cookies for 12 to 15 minutes or until fully risen and pale brown on the bottom.
Cool on racks. As they cool, the cookies will harden.
Store in airtight containers.