Don't leave Oktoberfest without a Lebkuchenherz or also commonly known as Wiesnherz, an opulently decorated German Gingerbread Heart. It's THE WAY to express your feelings about someone else at Oktoberfest!
What Are Wiesnherzen?
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If you wake up the morning after Oktoberfest without a Wiesnherz around your neck, did Oktoberfest really happen?? Let's make sure you're not goign to face this moral dilemma! Text your Wiesn-ready friends right now to invite them over for an evening of decorating Lebkuchenherzen aka Wiesnherzen for your Oktoberfest party. Because your Dirndl and Lederhosen aren't complete without a homemade gingerbread heart. Typically awarded by a good friend or lovebird, these hand-decorated German Gingerbread Hearts are THE WAY to someone else's heart.
Messages for Lebkuchenherzen
There are the typical messages and saying gracefully piped on with sugar icing, such as 'I mog di' (Bavarian German for 'I like you') or Schatzi (German for 'treasure' or 'darling'). And then there are the more fun ones, less usual ones, often funny ones like this one right here. 'Sie kann kochen' translates from German to 'she can cook' and is definitely going to be dirndl husband's neck anchor for the upcoming Oktoberfest in Kansas City... whether he wants it or not! It may just end up in his mouth before the party is over. If you're into dry humor, try phrases like 'Ich hasse Bier' (German for 'I hate beer') or 'Depp' (German for 'idiot'). Whatever kind of phrase or words your mind can create, pipe it on and gift generously! I promise everyone will love these.
How To Make German Gingerbread Hearts
The dough comes together quickly, but then should have some time to rest overnight. This is called a curing process, and München where they make these Wiesnherzen in large batches, the dough cures for several weeks (this is a cool video showing a large production Wiesnherzen bakery - it's in German, but you'll get the just of it)! Ain't nobody got time for that! The Lebkuchenherzen bake quickly, the frosting is easy, but you will need to be careful that you're not spending endless time decorating them. I may have had a little too much fun with mine! To make things go quicker, a little help from friends or kids could be useful! Scroll on down for this very time-sensitive Oktoberfest recipe (or think waaaaay ahead for Christmas time now)!
More Oktoberfest Recipes
Lebkuchenherzen/Wiesnherzen (German Gingerbread Hearts)
- Heat butter, honey, sugar, cocoa powder and gingerbread spice in a pot over medium heat. As soon as it turns into a cohesive mixture, remove the pot from the stove and allow to cool.
- Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl, add salt, eggs and honey mixture and knead for about 15 minutes.
- Cover the dough in plastic wrap and allow to cure for half a day at room temperature (if you’re in a hurry, skip this step).
- Before baking, make sure you create holes with a small round cutter or the end of a straw for the ribbon to go through.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 200 Celsius / 390 Fahrenheit for 12 to 15 minutes.
- For the icing, combine all ingredients, then add more egg or powdered sugar to achieve a thick icing consistency.