Chocolate-Pear Lebkuchen

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Washington Post

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Ingredients

4 1/2 cups unbleached flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

2 tablespoons ground ginger

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

24 tablespoons (3 sticks) unsalted butter, preferably with butterfat content of 82 to 86 percent, at room temperature (see headnote)

2 3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar

2-inch-piece peeled ginger root, finely grated (1 tablespoon)

Finely grated zest of 1/2 or 1 lemon (1 teaspoon)

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

6 ounces pear puree (baby food is good to use)

24 tablespoons (3 sticks) unsalted butter, preferably with a butterfat content of 82 to 86 percent (see above)

Scrapings from 1 vanilla bean

2 tablespoons pear eau de vie (brandy)

2 3/4 cups chopped milk chocolate, preferably 37 to 38 percent, such as Guittard or Dagoba (available at Whole Foods Markets)

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