As far as I know, no one else in the world makes “leb cookies” as my dad’s Grandma Cecil made them. These cookies have a sort of German flair due to their almost coffee-like intense chocolate flavor coupled with light spices. They are one of my dad’s favorite Christmas cookies, but I have never been able to perfectly replicate them. Unfortunately, his mother was the one to record the recipe and she is notorious for skimping on the best ingredients to save money and calories. My attempt this year is to recreate what Cecil would have done by adding extra cocoa, Karo, and pecans. I also doubled the icing recipe. I will let you know what dad says! The recipe below is the pumped up version.
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 lb (4 sticks) butter
1 1/4 cups dark Karo syrup
1 1/4 cups chopped pecans
1 cup cocoa powder
3 cups flower
1/4 tsp cinnamon (heaping)
1/4 tsp ground cloves (heaping)
1/4 tsp nutmeg (heaping)
2 tsp baking powder
32oz powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
10 tbsp cold milk
Mix all of the cookie ingredients in order. I typically get each ingredient just partially mixed before I add the next one.
Scoop out dough onto either two 9×13 pans or one very large pan with roughly equivalent area. Spread it out as evenly as possible.
Bake this at 350 for 50 minutes.
Don’t ice them until they are completely cooled.
For the icing, put your powdered sugar and vanilla into a mixing bowl. While mixing, add the milk tablespoon by tablespoon until you reach an icing consistency. For me it took 10 tablespoons.
To store, layer between wax paper with a few apple slices in each layer. This makes them even more delicious over time!