Hey guess what time it is? It’s Christmas edible gift time, yay. So save your pennies and treat the mediocre friend in your life to some delicious homemade baked goods. This years offering is lebkuchen – a traditional German Christmas treat resembling gingerbread. Soft, cakey and full of Christmas spices, these little biscuits make the perfect thrifty gift, especially if you’ve been spending too much money on drinking and Uber’s. Fröhliche Weihnachten!
For more edible gift ideas why not try my vanilla shortbread or salted sultana rum fudge.
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Makes 16-18 biscuits / Hands on time 20 mins / Total time 30 mins + cooling and icing / V
250g plain flour
80g ground almonds
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp all spice
¼ tsp sea salt flakes
2 tsp cocoa powder
½ tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp baking powder
Zest of half a lemon
50g dark brown muscovado sugar
80g unsalted butter
110g icing sugar
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour with all the spices, cocoa powder, salt, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and the zest of half a lemon. Mix until the ingredients are well distributed.
2. In a small saucepan over a medium heat, melt the honey, butter and the dark muscovado sugar together. Once melted take off the heat and pour straight into the dry mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon until you have a wet dough. Leave to cool for a few minutes or until the dough is cool enough to handle. Preheat an oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas mark 4.
3. The dough will still be warm but easy to work with. Using your hands pick up around 35g of dough (about the size of a walnut) roll into a ball and divide between 2 lined baking trays, spacing out evenly to allow room for the biscuits to expand. Using the back of table spoon, flatten each ball slightly into a disk shape (although they should spread out slightly naturally on their own).
4. Bake in the oven for 10-12 mins. Once expanded and golden in colour, remove from the oven and leave to cool on the trays for 5 mins before twisting each biscuit carefully with your fingers to loosen it and transferring to a wire rack. Leave to cool completely.
5. To ice, mix 110g of icing sugar with 1 and a half tbs of water until you have a thick but loose paste. Place a sheet of cling film under the wire rack to catch any drips. Spoon 1 tsp of icing over each biscuit and using the back of the spoon, push the icing to the edges using a circular motion (don’t worry if these drip, that’s the idea). Grate over the remaining lemon zest (optional) and leave to set before serving. Store in a tin lined with a baking sheet for up to a week.
If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.