Lebkuchen
  • Serves icon Makes about 32 biscuits
  • Time icon Takes 20 minutes to make, 12-15 minutes to cook

Lebkuchen are German honey and spice biscuits, similar to gingerbread. They’re a great recipe for an edible Christmas gift.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
160kcals
Fat
5.2g (1.4g saturated)
Protein
2.6g
Carbohydrates
27.4g (18.9g sugars)
Fibre
0.9g
Salt
0.1g
Calories
160kcals
Fat
5.2g (1.4g saturated)
Protein
2.6g
Carbohydrates
27.4g (18.9g sugars)
Fibre
0.9g
Salt
0.1g

Per biscuit

Ingredients

  • 90g skinned hazelnuts
  • 65g blanched almonds
  • 300g plain flour
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 175g dark soft brown sugar
  • 175ml clear honey
  • 50g unsalted butter, softened
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon or ½ large orange
  • 2 large free-range eggs

For the icing

  • 300g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp white rum
  • 6-7 tsp lukewarm water

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Line 2 large baking sheets with baking paper. Put the nuts into a food processor with half the flour, then pulse to a fine mixture. Add the remaining flour, the cocoa powder, spices, salt, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda, then process briefly to mix.
  2. Put the sugar, honey, butter and lemon or orange zest into a large mixing bowl and cream together using a hand-held electric whisk until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Gradually add the nut mixture, then mix on a slow speed until just blended. Set aside in the fridge to rest for 10 minutes.
  3. To shape the biscuits, scoop out portions of the dough using a measuring spoon, about 1½ tbsp at a time, and roll between slightly wet hands into smooth balls. Place the balls 4-5cm apart on the prepared baking sheets – they will spread out during baking. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 12-15 minutes until the surface of the biscuits no longer looks wet and a skewer pushed into the centre of a biscuit comes away clean. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool. Store in an airtight tin until you’re ready to ice them.
  4. To ice the biscuits, sift the icing sugar into a small bowl and stir in the water and rum. (If you don’t want to use rum, use 2 tbsp extra water instead.) Dip the tops of the biscuits, one at a time, into the icing, allow the excess to drip away, then turn the biscuits right-side up again and leave on a wire rack placed over a baking tray to set.

delicious. tips

  1. Un-iced they’ll keep in an airtight tin, layered between baking paper, for 2 weeks. However, it’s best to ice them the day you want to eat them because the icing discolours quickly.

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