I received a gift from Austria - a tin of large Lebkuchen - they are delicious! There is a layer of "crunchy paper" on the bottom of each cookie. Is this edible or should it be peeled off?
I suspect it is parchment that was on the baking sheet. I would peel it off.
Thanks Linda - it's not parchment, it breaks rather easily and the topping of the cookie is sort of wrapped around the edges of it. It's probably edible, but for me it takes away from the enjoyment of the cookie - I don't want to be eating a "paper" kind of thing on the bottom! :)
Parchment that has been in the oven becomes brittle and very crispy,,,peel it off. LOL!
I think the "papery thing" is rice paper, which is completely edible! Don't mean to bring any religion into this discussion....but this is also what you get when you take communion in church.
I have bought European almond macaroons that have the same that you found in Lebkuchen cookies.
They sell it at "Food-Crafter's Supply Catalogue" (cooking & baking supplies). You can see it here:
Here is a link that might be useful: Rice Paper
It is edible and part of the cookies-they use that in all of their Lebkuchen. The name escapes me at the moment but I brought some back when we lived there for just that reason.
They are German baking wafers called "oblaten". The cookie dough spreads out and covers them.
Thanks everyone - makes me feel better to know it's edible, but it still feels strange to be eating it LOL.
Cindy I have in front of me a lovely metal painted biscuit tin which contained German Lebkuchen from NÃ¼rnberg. It's so attractive I use it as a decorative item. The label is still on the bottom of the tin describing the ingredients in German and English. The white wafer on the bottom of this lebkuchen is described as being made of 'wheat flour, starch, water'.
I had also thought it was rice paper on the bottom and had a discussion with our German friend who gave us this tin of lebkuchen at the time. He insisted that the oblaten wafer was being made in Germany many years before rice was seen or available in that part of the world. Of course it is meant to be eaten along with the gingerbread on top.
Sharon, I was wrong - mine are also from NÃ¼rnberg. Here is a (which I will also keep). Thanks for the info.
I also looked up some history about Lebkuchen and it says "The use of wafers for Lebkuchen may indicate monasteries as their origin."
All I know is that they are wonderful! Thanks again everyone.
Glad to hear you are enjoying them-I always did too. Now I make something similar but not the same. If you have a German store close by or one that sells German items during the Christmas holidays, chances are they will carry these.