So what do two Asian girls living in Melbourne know about traditional Oktoberfest Heart Shaped Cookies called Lebkuchen?
Well honestly nothing much.
We know so little about it, that we haven’t even been to the Oktoberfest festival in Munich to see what it’s like yet (although we have been to Munich, so maybe that gives us a smidge of street credit…I hope). But as we make gingerbread biscuits and we have a heart shaped cookie cutter and we’re based in Australia we’ve gotten plenty of orders for these Lebkuchen which mean’s we’ve had to study these little beauties and try to replicate them to the best of our abilities (which is more Kawaii then German…).
These German cookies definitely require a certain unique technique to make them exactly like the Oktoberest style love hearts. However we’ve improvised and came up with our own interpretations of it and we’re going to show you how, in case you were interested on making some this October!
Firstly let’s start with the basics; make or find a heart shaped cookie. Try to find a standard cookie size of about 8.5cm across in diameter or larger, any smaller than that and it might be hard to fit any sort of decorative flair in the middle once that elaborate border has taken up most of the surface area.
Depending on the type of cookie you have made, we sometimes like to flood the whole cookie with brown thin icing. This makes the border and writing stick a bit more firmly to the cookies. We have done them without flooding the cookie too and most of the time its fine, occasionally though we found the border does break off, especially on humid days. But if you live in a dry area, not a problem and just skip this step.
Our heart here is shaped about 11cm across in diameter so we’re using a large circle piping nozzle (Wilton 5, for a standard cookie a Wilton 3 will work fine).
Starting from the middle of the heart start moving the piping bottle in an upwards and downward motion with your hands while moving your hand along the outer edges of the heart.
TIP: You don’t have to do this border in one go, you can pause, turn the cookie so your hands are not forced to be in an uncomfortable position.
You can stop right here with the border and leave it as a single layer. But in this case we wanted to add an extra colour so with a slightly thinner nozzle (Wilton 3 or Wilton 2 for a smaller heart) I go around the edge of the heart again in the same up and down motion with the hand.
Leave that to the side and let the border dry for a few hours (longer waiting time in colder weather) so when you get ready to do the middle you don’t accidently smug the border with your hands.. but we’re professionals (*cough*) and we’re going to go straight into it!
Watch the video below for the full tutorial and to see how we decorate the middle, but you can go off the path and do it anyway you like because there are no rules.
However for some ideas have a look at what we’ve created before or try to use some of these common phrases that seem to appear on these traditional biscuits.
Prost = Cheers
Ich liebe dich = I love you
Held = Hero
Mein Traumprinz – Prince Charming
Weil I Di mog = Because I like you
Ich bin Single = I am single (for all our single ladies out there, hola!)
Es ist Aus = It is over (dumped by a cookie… better than a post-it (SATC reference) right audience)
Whatever message and decorations you choose have fun with it, and if it all goes to shizz just eat it and hid the evidence.. that’s what we do.
Oktoberfest Gingerbread Cookie video tutorial
Happy decorating GC Peeps!
Janet & Michelle