---------- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.05
  
       Title: Lebkucken--Birr
  Categories: Cookies
       Yield: 6 servings
  
       1 c  Molasses*
     1/2 c  Honey
       1 c  Sugar
     1/4 c  Butter; or margarine
   2 1/2 ts Baking soda
     1/4 ts Cardamon; ground
   1 1/2 ts Ground cloves
            Eggs; separated
            Flour--4 to 6 cups white
  
      *Molasses--use about half and half, dark and light.
       In a cup dissolve soda in a little warm water. In a large saucepan, put
   butter, sugar, honey and molasses, where it will get hot but DO NOT boil!
   When sugar dissolves (just before boiling), remove from stove and place in
   LARGE mixing bowl and let cool a bit. Can be warm to touch but not hot!!
   Add cardamon, cloves, and soda and mix. Add egg yolks and mix well. Then
   beat egg whites stiff and add them. Mix together adding as much flour as
   can be stirred with spoon, to make a very stiff dough. Let chill slight or
   even overnight. (Dough will keep well for 3 days in refrigerator).
   
       Knead with hands a bit and roll out onto floured pastry cloth. Cut into
   cookie shapes. Bake on Cookie sheets at 350 6-8 mins. If using airbake
   pans, cook about 8 mins.  COOL BEFORE STACKING in cookie container.
       **Optional; before baking sprinkle with colored “crystals” for
   decoration. Also great with ICING and decorated--use a confectioners sugar,
   butter type icing. To keep cookies soft in containers add a piece of bread
   in the container and keep sealed. They will keep for months (if not eaten
   quick enough). Uniced cookies freeze well.
        Traditionally we would bake these the day after Thanksgiving, and all
   would stir the dough with wooden spoon, till the spoon stood straight up!
   Best if left to age a couple days before eating! (In your dreams!!)
  
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