Lebkuchen

Ingredients

200g / 7oz runny honey
85g / 3oz butter
200g / 7oz plain flour
100g / 3.5 oz ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 unwaxed orange, finely grated zest & juice
Pinch of sea salt

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper or parchment.

  2. Melt the honey and butter mixture in a small saucepan over a low heat. Pour into a large mixing bowl and chill in the fridge for 5 minutes.

  3. Take the mixture from the fridge and sieve in the remaining dry ingredients.Stir as you go. Chill in the fridge until completely cold (approx. an hour).

  4. Take pieces of the dough and roll into small balls, about an inch across. Place on the baking trays and flatten down slightly. Leave  enough space between them to let them spread during cooking. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the lebkuchen has risen and firm to the touch. Let them cool on the baking tray for a few minutes then transfer onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

  5. If you want to add a chocolate glaze, melt half the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl over a simmering saucepan of water, making sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. When the chocolate has almost melted, take the pan off the heat and stir in the remaining chocolate until it is melted. Dip the lebkuchen into the chocolate and return to the wire rack to set.

Lebkuchen shapes

If you want to cut your Lebkuchen with biscuit / cookie cutters, let the dough chill till it is cool but still soft. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to approx. 2.5cm/1in thick. Cut out shapes and bake as before but if your cookies are large they may need a little longer in the oven.

Filled Lebkuchen

Wait until the dough has cooled but still soft. Roll out on a dusted work surface to 2.5cm/1in thick. Place a little apricot or cherry jam to one side of the dough then fold the rest of the dough shape over and press the edges to seal it. If you want to cut shapes from the filled Lebkuchen, make sure the jam is in the middle of each one. Bake as above. If your cookies are large they may need a little longer in the oven.

Decoration

Pipe royal icing with a fine nozzle around the outlines or ice in details from your cutter shape.

Potted up

The painted plant pot is finished. Here’s the one side:

Here’s the other (there are two flowers as well but I’m not keen on them so keeping them hidden):

Time for tea. Hope you had a great weekend! xoxox

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