Dominosteine or Domino Cubes are traditional German Christmas cookies and are not the easiest cookies to make. You need to have baking experience for this recipe. They consist of a Lebkuchen dough and have layers of marzipan and jam in between. At the end of the recipe you will find a link to a German website which is showing photos to all steps.
Additional ingredient information: Pottasche,” potash or pearlash is a baking aid used in some German baking recipes, especially gingerbread (Lebkuchen) recipes. It is often used in conjunction with hartshorn or baker’s ammonia. In modern baking it has been all but replaced by baking soda (“Natron” or sodium bicarbonate).
“Pottasche” or pearlash is also known as potassium carbonate (K2CO3). It is an alkaline salt (white powder) which reacts with water or an acid (sour milk or fruit juice, for example) to create carbon dioxide, which gives baked goods a different lift than baking powder.
As a substitute, use 1/2 teaspoon baking soda for every teaspoon of pearlash or potash. Note: The taste of the final product may be different from the original.
Lebkuchen Spice Ingredients:
Honey, anise seeds, coriander, cloves, ginger, cardamom, and allspice.
If the Lebkuchen part of the cookies should be hard it will become softer. But it should not be crumbly. If this is happening something went wrong. Make sure to use an extremely sharp knife to cut them.
They taste the best when kept in a tin box before serving them.
Ingredients Dominosteine or Domino Cubes
(makes 35 – 50 pieces)
125 g honey
125 g sugar
25 g butter
300 g flour
2 tbsp cocoa (unsweetened)
1/2 package baking Powder Dr Oetker, 0.25oz
1 tbsp gingerbread spice (or 1 package), alternatively all spice, or use your favorite spice only
50 g fine chopped walnuts or almonds
1 egg yolk
1 tsp hartshorn salt (Ammonium carbonate) – Find it here –
1 dash Potash – Find Pottasche here –
150 g raw marzipan
100 g powdered sugar
1 tbsp rose water or dark rum
225 g jam (orange) or red currant jelly
500 g unsweetened baking chocolate
1 tbsp neutral coconut oil or sunflower oil (alternatively shortening)
Baking Instructions Dominosteine
- Melt butter with honey and sugar in a pot.
- Pour the melted honey-butter into a bowl and let cool off.
- Mix in egg yolk and 6 tbsp water.
- Combine flour with spices, cocoa and almonds.
- While stirring mix flour with the dough; should it get form start to knead it.
- Preheat oven to 175 C or 350 F.
- Roll the dough on a layer of baking paper.
- Form the rolled dough to a rectangle (about 15x20cm or 6 x 8 inches).
- Bake it for about 25 min.
- Knead the marzipan with powdered sugar and 2 tbsp rum.
- Place the dough between 2 layers of baking paper and roll it until you get it a bit bigger than the size 15×20.
- Remove carefully the upper baking paper.
- Make an upper and lower part out of the cooled off Lebkuchen cake.
Spread on the lower half a layer of jam.
- Place a marzipan layer on top and spread another layer of jam.
- Last layer is the Lebkuchen.
Cut all edges straight and with a sharp knife (important) cut it in little squares, every one should be off the same size.
Using the double boiler method melt the chocolate.
Turn each Domino cube in the chocolate and place them on baking paper – let them dry thoroughly.
Cut off all dripped chocolate.
How to Make Pearl-Ash
You first have to make potash which itself is made from lye. To make lye, you pass water through a barrel of hardwood ashes over and over until an egg can float on the residue.
So making the potash, you would evaporate lye water until you have a solid.
Pearlash is a purified version of potash. It was used primarily in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries but because of its bitter aftertaste it was eventually replaced by baking soda.
– To avoid a chewy and hard Lebkuchen cake carefully wrap the cake with all layers just not the chocolate in foil and keep it overnight on a board, place heavy books on top.
The next day cover it with chocolate.
– Warm jam or jelly first before spreading it on the marzipan; by warming the jam it will become liquid which makes it easier to spread. When it cools off the jam will be firm again.
Video in German How to make Dominosteine without Marzipan
Before he rolls the dough you place it for 1 hour in the fridge
Easy Version for Homemade Dominosteine – In German
This recipe is not using Potash and Hartshorn salt!
325 g flour – 250 g honey – 100 g butter – 65 g sugar – 1 tbsp Lebkuchen spice – 20 g cocoa – 1 package baking powder (0.5oz) – 2 eggs – 2 tbsp rum or rum flavor
See baking instructions above.