Before Last year I didn’t know that Lebkuchen was a thing - I happened across a bag of festive looking biscuits in Sainsbury’s and it turns out that are literally the most satisfying Christmas cake/biscuits ever - the soft resistance of a cake, protected from going stale by a delicate layer of icing sugar, and dipped generously in Chocolate. I found the store-bought kind a little too cinnamon-y, though, so since then I’ve set out in pursuit of my perfect Lebkuchen recipe.
I personally think it’s the ultimate in soothing, repetitive Christmas baking, and it tastes super festive, too. I’ve added a little more orange, a little more cinnamon, and, quite frankly, omitted the spices I didn’t feel the need to have kicking around in my cupboard the rest of the year! I hope you like this recipe too, I’ll be sure to enjoy one or two (hundred) of these whilst wrapping gifts, watching Arthur Christmas and getting cosy this Christmas, but they’d also make fantastic last-minute Christmas gifts all bundled up in a pretty tin.
This recipe is adapted from a recipe by Domestic Gothess:
(for the Lebkuchen)
150 g Golden Caster Sugar
100 g Runny Honey
50 g Butter, Softened
1 Orange (zest and juice of)
300 g Plain Flour
150 g Ground Almonds
1 tbsp cocoa powder
2 1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
(for the glazing)
200 g Icing Sugar
Plain Chocolate, just melted.
Sift together the ground almonds, flour, spices, salt and cocoa in a bowl and set aside.
In a second bowl, stir together the sugar, honey, butter, orange zest and orange juice.
Beat the eggs into the sugar mixture, one-by-one, before slowly incorporating the flour mixture.
Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for at least 30 mins to firm,
Preheat the oven to 180c and line two baking sheets.
When the dough is cooled, scoop out a small piece of dough and roll into a ball shape and place on the baking sheets, flattening slightly.
Bake for 10 minutes until ever-so-slightly browned.
Remove to a cooling rack until completely cool.
Next, mix up the icing sugar with a tiny amount of water. It should be a gluey consistency in order to get that frosty, glazed look, not too runny. Dip the lebkuchen into the sugar, top-down to coat in sugar, then lightly shake off the excess and place on a large sheet of baking paper to cool.
Once all the lebkuchen are glazed in sugar, heat the chocolate. You can warm it over a pan of hot water, or in the microwave, but you should only heat it until just-melted, with lumps remaining. Then allow the heat of the melted chocolate to melt the remaining lumps. This method ensures the chocolate hardens again once cooled.
Dip the bottoms of the Lebkuchen slightly into the chocolate, and again shake lightly to remove any excess. Transfer to a fresh sheet of baking paper to cool.
Once cooled, enjoy with a cup of tea or hot cocoa, a festive film and a warm blanket.