Thursday, 28 November 2013

Lebkuchen- German gingerbread cookies

Aromatic spices, sweet honey, zingy orange zest- all combined in those soft, melt-in-the-mouth cookies covered with a thin layer of sweet icing.  I love all gingerbread by those must be my favourite… Cookies are soft when taken out the oven and go very hard once they have cooled just to get soft again the next day, and they taste better and better as the time goes by…

Ingredients (for 30 cookies):

For the dough;:
  • 250 plain flour
  • 85g ground almonds
  • 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb. of soda
  • 85g soft, unsalted butter
  • 200ml honey 
  • zest of 1 orange
For the icing:
  • 2 cup icing sugar
  • few tablespoons of hot water

Place all dry ingredients and orange zest in a bowl.  Melt the butter with honey in a small saucepan, then leave aside to cool a little. 

When the mixture has cooled slightly, but is still warm, add to the bowl with dry ingredients and mix until smooth and well combined.  Cover the bowl with cling-film and leave in the fridge for about an hour.  The dough should be a little sticky, if it is too dry add 1-2 tbsp of milk and knead quickly.

Shape the dough into walnut-sized balls and place on a lined baking sheet, spread well apart (you will need two trays) and flatten slightly. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 10-15 minutes.  Take the tray out the oven and leave to cool for couple of minutes, the cookies will be very soft but will harden when cooled slightly, then transfer to a cooling rack.  

When the gingerbreads are cooled prepare the icing; to do that mix icing sugar with hot water and stir until smooth, if too runny add some icing sugar, if too thick- some water.  

Dip each cookie in icing and leave to set over night.  

Can be stored in a tin for several weeks.


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