Dominosteine (German Layered Christmas Cookie)

Dominosteine - Christmas Cookies from Germany
J.McGavin
  • Total: 3 hrs
  • Prep: 2 hrs 30 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 3 to 4 dozen (36-40 servings)

"Dominosteine" (Dominos) were invented by a German chocolate maker named Herbert Wendler in Dresden in 1936. They were less expensive than his other chocolates and were created to appeal to a wider audience. They became especially popular during World War II when food shortages were common.

Mainly sold at Christmastime, the original recipe calls for marzipan layered with gingerbread while the "doppelt-gefüllte" or double-filled dominos have a layer of orange or apricot jelly as well.

Ingredients

  • For the Lebkuchen Dough:
  • 1/2 cup/125 grams honey
  • 5/8 cup/125 grams/10 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons/25 grams butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon baker's ammonia (ammonium carbonate (or Hirschhornsalz)
  • 2 2/5 cups/300 grams flour
  • 2/3 cup/50 grams almonds (ground)
  • 1/4 teaspoon food grade potash (potassium carbonate, pearl ash, Pottasche)
  • 1 tablespoon Lebkuchen spice mix (or similar)
  • For the Marzipan Filling:
  • 6 ounces/150 grams almond paste (not marzipan)
  • 1 cup/100 grams powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rum (or water)
  • 1 cup orange marmalade (or apricot jam)
  • For the Chocolate Coating:
  • 1 pound chocolate coating (or couverture)
  • Optional: shortening to thin

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this cookie is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Prepare the Lebkuchen Layer

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place the honey, sugar, and butter in a saucepan and heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool until lukewarm.

  3. Mix the egg yolk with water and baker's ammonia, then add to honey mixture and combine well.

  4. Stir in flour, ground almonds, potash, and spice mix. The dough will be stiff.

  5. Pat into a 7 x 7-inch square between 1/4 and 1/2-inch thick on parchment paper. Straighten the edges by pushing them with a knife.

  6. Bake at 350 F/175 C for about 25 minutes, or until set, but not browned.

  7. Cool, then cut the square in half horizontally, like a layer cake, using a serrated knife.

Prepare the Marzipan Layer

  1. Place the almond paste and powdered sugar in a bowl. Cut the two together with a pastry dough cutter.

  2. Add the rum or water and work into a smooth paste.

  3. Roll the paste between wax paper (use powdered sugar to help it not stick, if necessary) out to fit the Lebkuchen.

Assemble the Cookies

  1. Lay out the bottom layer of lebkuchen. You can brush it with sugar water or more rum, if you wish, to make the squares a little softer.

  2. Brush half the marmalade or jam over the bottom layer. Place the marzipan on top of the jam.

  3. Brush the other half of the jam on the underside of the top layer and then put the two layers together like a sandwich. Press together tightly.

  4. Use a knife with a serrated edge to cut the large, square sandwich into one-inch squares, using a sawing motion for clean edges.

  5. Melt the chocolate coating or couverture according to package directions. Use shortening to thin, if necessary.

  6. Dip each cookie in the chocolate, rolling to coat all sides.

  7. Lay out on waxed paper to dry.

Tip

  • You can substitute 1/2 teaspoon baking powder for the ammonium carbonate and 3/4 teaspoon baking soda for the potassium carbonate.
  • Store in layers separated by wax paper. These cookies will keep at room temperature for several weeks.