Holiday season is the time for sharing and Peta of Peta Eats is sharing a dozen cookies, some classics and some of her own, from all over the world with us.
Oh, Peta gave us so many choices but I knew I had to make the German Lebkuchen (gingerbread) cookies. Lebkuchen is the ultimate Christmas memory to me and this recipe is beautiful soft and moist yet firm enough to cut out any shape you like. Perfect for Christmas baking with family and friends.
In Germany it's a beloved tradition to have friends over for some cookie baking (Plaetzchen) to devour them on the four Sundays leading up to Christmas Eve. Also important is the table decoration consisting of a wreath with four candles marking the four Advent Sundays. On the first Sunday you'll light only one candle and then the second on the second Advent and so fourth.
It's such a nice welcoming of Christmas that I miss very much here in Sydney. I still have candles on the table but since it's summer it doesn't quite feel the same to me.
Anyway, baking is still fun even in summer and these gingerbread cookies are very scrumptious.
115g dark brown sugar
225g plain flour, sifted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 egg, beaten
50g ground almonds
25g icing sugar sifted
2 tsp water
In a large pan place the honey, sugar and butter. Put on a low heat until
the butter and sugar have melted. Remove from the heat. Sift together the flour,
spices and bicarbonate of soda. Beat the egg in a small dish. Add one
half of the flour mixture and half of the egg to the pan and mix well. Repeat with the remaining
flour and egg. Finally add in the ground almonds and mix till thoroughly
combined. The dough now needs to be chilled, it is very sticky and will
seem along way away from being a biscuit dough but don’t worry.
Place it in a
plastic bag, an easy way of doing this is to fold a bag over the inside of a
large jug and tip the dough in.
Chill overnight in the fridge, in fact you can leave this dough to develop
it’s flavours in the fridge for up to three days.
Roll dough out between two
sheets of greaseproof paper to approx 5mm thick. Preheat the oven to 160c
Fan/180c/Gas Mark 4. Cut out shapes and lay them on a lined baking tray.
Bake in the oven for 7-9 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool for
five minutes on the tray to firm up a little before carefully transferring to a
Mix up a runny icing glaze combining your sifted icing sugar with the water.
Line up the lebkuchen on a wire rack. Using a pastry brush glaze the tops of the biscuits by
brushing on a thin layer of icing. Apply a second coat and leave to dry. The
biscuits will keep for up to three weeks in an airtight container – that’s if
you can resist eating them.