This version of the honey cookie has a South Amana spin, with additional nuts and spices! 

Süd Amana Lebkuchen – South Amana Honey Cookies 

4 cups honey
2 ⅓ cups brown sugar
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
4 eggs
3 teaspoons baking soda
¼ cup whiskey
9 ½ cups flour, sifted
½ pound ground hickory or walnuts
Vanilla frosting
Preheat oven to 325°.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan on medium-low heat, warm honey, stirring in brown sugar. When lukewarm, add allspice and cinnamon.

Dissolve baking soda in the whiskey. In a very large mixing bowl combine honey mixture and baking soda and whiskey. Slowly stir in eggs and flour. Blend in nuts. Cover and chill overnight. Using your hands or a wooden spoon, blend dough, kneading well until dough achieves a light, springy quality. This may take 10 minutes or more. Roll dough into several 1- to 2-inch-thick ropes. Cut ropes into 2- or 3-inch-long pieces and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Cookies should be golden brown, oval-shaped, and about ½ inch thick. When cool, frost with vanilla frosting.

Makes about 11 dozen cookies.

Henrietta B. Berger, South Amana

Note: with 55 communal kitchens in seven villages preparing essentially the same foods, it makes sense than more than one recipe for a common dish exists in Amana. This is also true of Christmas cookies, which were made by virtually all colony cooks. Five variations of the Lebkuchen  recipe were seen in the course of preparing this book. Some recipe variances can be said to occur by village For instance, it seems that in South Amana they preferred their honey cookies with nuts and spices, as several South Amana natives have reported. Mrs. Berger’s recipe requires nuts, cinnamon, and allspice, unlike Mrs. Unglenk’s version from the village of Amana, which does not.


This recipe comes from the cookbook Seasons of Plenty: Amana Communal Cooking and was posted with permission of author Emilie Hoppe. Learn more about the book and how to purchase it.