Spiced lebkuchen

Spiced lebkuchen
  • Serves icon Makes about 35
  • Time icon Hands-on time 30 min, oven time 10-12 min, plus cooling

Lebkuchen is a traditional German Christmas recipe. These spice-laden star biscuits are full of festive flavours and undeniably moreish.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
95kcals
Fat
3.5g (1.6g saturated)
Protein
1.4g
Carbohydrates
14.2g (8.6g sugars)
Fibre
0.5g
Salt
0.1g
Calories
95kcals
Fat
3.5g (1.6g saturated)
Protein
1.4g
Carbohydrates
14.2g (8.6g sugars)
Fibre
0.5g
Salt
0.1g

Ingredients

  • 90g unsalted butter
  • 70ml clear honey
  • 100ml black treacle
  • 30g dark muscovado sugar
  • Finely grated zest 1 lemon & 1 orange
  • 250g self-raising flour, plus extra

To dust

  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • 60g ground almonds
  • 1 free-range egg yolk

For the icing

  • 150g icing sugar
  • Juice 1 lemon

You’ll also need… 

  • Baking sheets lined with non-stick baking paper and star-shaped cutters

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. In a large saucepan, melt together the butter, honey, treacle, sugar and both citrus zests over a medium heat. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. While the mixture is still warm, sift in the flour, cocoa powder, ground spices, bicarb of soda and salt. Stir in the ground almonds and add the egg yolk, then mix together to form a dough. Gently knead until smooth – it should be warm, very soft and slightly greasy.
  3. Lightly flour the work surface and roll out the dough until about 1cm thick. It will be soft and sticky, but you don’t need to be gentle with it as it’s a robust dough.
  4. Using your cutters, stamp out as many biscuits as you can, lifting them onto the prepared baking sheets with a palette knife. Re-roll the dough remnants and continue stamping out until you have about 35 biscuits.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes – the biscuits will still be quite soft when you take them out of the oven. Leave to firm up on the trays for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Mix the icing sugar with the lemon juice to make a quite runny icing (you may need to add a splash of water if your lemon isn’t juicy). Dip the biscuits face-down in the icing (or just drizzle the icing over the top), then leave, icing-side up, to set on a wire rack.

delicious. tips

  1. Make the dough up to 48 hours ahead and keep chilled, covered. Freeze the dough or the baked biscuits (un-iced) for up to 1 month.

  2. These are traditional German Christmas biscuits. The recipe varies depending on the region.

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September 2019