The secret to perfect lebkuchen is in the resting phase after glazing. An apple wedge in the storage container provides moisture that softens the cookies. This German classic is from Shauna Sever's book Midwest Made: Big, Bold Baking from the Heartland.
Look for dark muscovado sugar in natural foods stores or online. If you can find it, it’s worth every penny for these special holiday treats. If not, organic dark brown sugar tends to be richer in color and will give you a deeper-hued cookie.
WHITE CHOCOLATE VARIATION
Do not glaze cookies; let cookies rest 3 days with apple. Melt 10 ounces white baking chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat. Dip unglazed cookies halfway in melted chocolate. Let stand until set.