Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A chewy, usually honey-flavored Christmas cookie containing nuts and candied fruits.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A traditional German Christmas biscuit form of gingerbread.

Etymologies

German, from Middle High German lebekuoche : lebe-, of unknown meaning + kuoche, cake; see kuchen.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
See German Kuchen ("cake"). The origin of the first component is uncertain: it might come from Latin libum ("flat bread") or Germanic Laib, loaf, or Leb-Honig, crystallized honey often used in baking. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • To me they taste a little like the fantastic brandy sauce I made to pour over our Christmas pudding, crossed with the thin German lebkuchen biscuits....and with an orange flavour.

    Archive 2005-12-01

  • As we explore the market we stop for some lebkuchen which is a famous traditional gingerbread cake.

    TravelPod.com TravelStream™ — Recent Entries at TravelPod.com

  • The main difference was fewer lebkuchen and roasted nuts stands and, in a Gallic twist, more escargot stands.

    Christmas episode « The expat numbat: from AU to NL

  • The two basic forms of gingerbread are shortbread made with molasses, which originated in Scotland, and lebkuchen, which uses honey as a sweetener and originated in Germany.

    The Christmas Cookie Cookbook

  • Germany's soft ginger honey cakes lebkuchen or pfefferkuchen are possibly the first cookies/cake traditionally associated with Christmas.

    Christmas Honey Cookies for the Honey-Tongued Saint

  • Marzipan and lebkuchen from Cost Plus, Choxie and almonds in nice containers from Target.

    December 26th, 2007

  • Plus, it was enormous, and it took us (actually, Bruno, he loves that kind of dry spicy thing, like a kind of lebkuchen, a gingery spicy cakey biscuit) the whole of our holidays in the mountains to get through it.

    Home again, home again, jiggity jig

  • If you don't know a word, it puts it in context for you, like Bart slipped a lebkuchen to the Schnauzer, if that clears it up.

    CNN Transcript May 31, 2006

  • They taste a bit like a cross between German lebkuchen gingerbread and the brandy sauce I make to pour over our pudding.

    Archive 2005-09-01

  • Two years ago I made excellent lebkuchen from a recipe I accidentally threw away bugger.

    Archive 2005-09-01

Comments

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  • Haha! The balls. The cookies only broke my teeth when they were really, really stale.

    January 5, 2008

  • The ball or the cookie?

    January 5, 2008

  • You mean the ones that broke your teeth when you ate them? Yum!

    January 5, 2008

  • Me, I'm anti-redhot and pro Lebkuchen. At least the kind my Gran made. No walnuts or firey sugar, just a glazy icing and if you were extra lucky, one of those silver balls...

    January 5, 2008

  • They're omnipresent in the States around Valentine's Day--I know because I once received an entire shoebox (sans shoes) full of them. It took about six years to eat them all, and I haven't bought shoes since.

    January 4, 2008

  • Okay, the I'm convinced the world needs Red Hots, thanks jenn :-)

    January 4, 2008

  • You don't like Red Hots???? Have you ever had one that came with its very own lebkuchen attached to the back?

    January 4, 2008

  • I hate eating redhots, but they are certainly cute as the dickens.

    January 4, 2008

  • Red Hots are spicy little cinnamon candies sold in the US. My grandma used the frost the lebkuchen with white icing and place three little Red Hots in a cluster on the top of the lucky cookies. Less fortunate treats got a lonely nut.

    January 4, 2008

  • What are redhots? I'm excited.

    January 4, 2008

  • German spice cookies with all kind of wonderful stuff inside of them. You want the ones topped with redhots instead of walnuts.

    January 4, 2008