Oktoberfest Gingerbread Hearts – Lebkuchenherzen
Oktoberfest is all about beer, Brathändel (rotisserie chicken) … and Lebkuchenherzen (Gingerbread Hearts)!
One could almost say that the Oktoberfest is some sort of Bavarian Valentine because it is a “must do” for the men to get their beloved girlfriend or wife a gingerbread heart with a nice writing on it.
Writings would be like “Schatzl” or “Spatzl” or another Bavarian word with the meaning like “darling”. These Gingerbread hearts have a string attached and the women wear them like a necklace.
An Oktoberfest treat for young and old
These hearts are quite expensive and I was really surprised how easy it is to make the dough and just bake them myself. If you make only a few of them, then the icing and writing aren’t too much trouble either … it’s just that I always make so many of them, that at the end my hands hurt from all the decorating.
I made a lot of them for one of our Oktoberfests, packed them in small bags and gave one to every child that came with their parents. They loved it! My hearts were smaller than the original Gingerbread Hearts, though. In Munich, they have about the size of an iPad.
Important to know about the Oktoberfest Gingerbread Hearts
Preparing the dough is a little uncommon with the melting of the sugar, honey and butter but I swear, once the dough is ready it is the softest dough you’ve ever touched!
One important thing one must know is, that after baking and cooling, the hearts are sort of hard but that’s OK. You need to put them in a tin jar for a few days and then they get nice and soft and ready to eat.
A German Christmas gift?
I really hope you try this, it’s so much fun and some friends like them so much that I bake a large batch before Christmas as a gift for them.
Actually one finds Gingerbread Hearts not only at the Oktoberfest, they also are on every Christmas market in Germany.
I had quite a few photos of the baking and wrapping and everything … but guess what? I lost them! I’ll make new pictures the next time I bake Oktoberfest Gingerbread Hearts and will add them then.