12 Bakes of Christmas 2017: Lebkuchen

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Nothing says Christmas to me like the glorious blend of ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon in these delicious, traditional German biscuits. Similar to gingerbread, lebkuchen are easy to make and even harder to resist. They can be enjoyed as a treat with a hot drink on a cold day or as a bundle for a homemade Christmas gift for that special loved one.

Prep time: 15-20 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Makes 18-20 biscuits

Credit: Sophie Pitman

Ingredients:

250g plain flour
85g ground almond
2tsp ground ginger
1tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp of baking powder
200ml clear honey
85g butter or margarine (unsalted)
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 orange, zested

Method:

  1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Heat the butter and honey together in a saucepan over a low heat until the butter has melted, then add into the dry mixture along with the citrus zest and juice. Mix well until the mixture forms a solid dough and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 180C/Fan160C.
    Once cooled, split the dough into 18-20 equal balls, each 3cm wide, and flatten each one slightly into a disk.
    Divide the biscuits between two trays lined with baking parchment and bake for 15 minutes. Make sure to leave enough room between each biscuit as they will expand.
    Once baked, transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  4. To decorate, beat 1 egg white and mix together with 100g icing sugar and 1-2tbsp of water to form a smooth, runny icing.
    Dip the top of each biscuit into the icing and spread with a knife. Leave to dry out.

Tip: Allow the flavours in these biscuits to mellow before eating by storing in an airtight container for a day (or two if you can resist). You won’t be disappointed with the wait!

Tip: These biscuits are very sweet so if you don’t have much of a sweet tooth, consider using 200g of melted dark chocolate instead of icing sugar to offset some of the sweetness.

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