Ever since I learned that these delicious, German spiced-gingerbread biscuits existed, they’ve been THEE taste of Christmas. Since I learned how to make them, they’ve been quintessential.
They go perfectly with a cup of tea and some Bach.
I made some this week by special request (yes, dear sister, that was you) and since posting a photo of the finished product on Facebook, have been harangued for the recipe (three people *totally* counts as ‘haranguing’, okay?).
SO! To save time and to give EVERYONE the chance to enjoy the deliciousness (cos I’m not precious about my biscuits, and I’d rather you make these and savour them than get all ‘secret recipe’ on yo ass), voici la recette:
For the Lebkuchen spice
2 tblsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground star anise seed
If you are grinding your own spice mix, it’s worth increasing the quantities several times over and then saving the rest in an airtight container to use another day.
For the biscuits
300g Plain white flour
100g Almonds (ground)
2 tblsp Lebkuchen spice
4tblsp Cocoa powder
1tsp Baking powder
1tsp Bicarbonate of soda
85g Butter (unsalted)
Weigh out the dry ingredients into a medium bowl. Put the flour and cocoa powder through a sieve. If you ground your own spices, put the spice mix through a sieve, too.
Melt the wet ingredients in a pan over a low heat until the butter melts and the mixture goes smooth and glossy, then pour it over the dry ingredients and mix well until the dough is combined and fairly stiff. Cover and leave to cool for 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 180°C/355°F (fan 160°C/320°F, gas mark 4).
Add more flour if the dough is still a bit soggy. Shape the dough into about 20 fat golf-ball sized balls. Place on baking trays lined with greaseproof paper or baking paper, leaving room for them to expand. Flatten each one with the palm of your hand to make a round biscuit about 1 cm thick. Bake for 15 minutes until just tinged brown on the edges, then cool on a wire rack.
Enjoy the scent of baking and try not to eat the air – it’s worth waiting until the biscuits are cool and iced.
In a small bowl, mix six heaped tblsps icing (confectioner’s) sugar with a few sploshes of amaretto until you have a smooth, runny consistency. Dip the top of half of the biscuits in the icing and leave to set. Add sprinkles as desired.
Make a cup of tea (or coffee, or hot chocolate) and snuggle down with at least two of your freshly baked biscuits of utter AWESOMENESS. Cook’s perks, yo!