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Food Lovers Encyclopedia: L

Illustration by John Burgoyne


Lebkuchen
[Santa’s preferred snack]
We’re betting these medieval-era spice cookies, pronounced LAYB-koo-kuhn, have tempted more than a few Saint Nicks lumbering down chimneys over the centuries. Hans Röckenwagner’s version is based on elisenlebkuchen, a soft, almost cakelike cookie from his native Germany that’s made with ground nuts, marzipan, and holiday spices. He bakes the honey-sweetened cookies according to strict lebkuchen regulations set by the City of Nuremberg, such as using less than 10 percent flour. That counts as low carb, right? 

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