Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Christmas Lebkuchen

It's been a while since my last post - November and December turned out to be pretty busy - but there have been plenty of opportunities for baking around Christmas - so many, in fact, that I spent about 8 hours on Christmas eve in the kitchen...

So, most of what is to come was the product of a huuuge day of baking - although these weren't. Every year I bake something (normally of the small cake/biscuit variety) to give to people for Christmas presents - providing whatever you make looks (and obviously tastes!) good, they're the perfect gift for those people who have everything - and your boss!

Anyway, this year's offering was lebkuchen - delicious spicy German cake/biscuits that are not only delicious but last really well, so great to give away. All you need is a nice cake tin (John Lewis always do great ones at Christmas), a bit of ribbon and you're away.

The recipe I used (to great success) was this one from the BBC:

I made it completely as written, changing only the icing - I missed out the egg as I was giving the cakes as gifts, and just went for icing sugar and water instead.

I do recommend taking the cakes off the hot tray as soon as possible after taking them out of the oven, to cool on a wire rack - when they first come out, they'll be pretty soft, but they soon crisp up on the outside (while keeping deliciously soft on the inside). And I don't recommend trying to do anything more exciting with the icing - I tried to do different colours and patterns, but actually the rough texture of the top of the biscuits makes them difficult to decorate - so a bit of plain white icing definitely looks best:

Straight out of the oven

After icing (the rest got eaten too quickly to take a photo of them all!)

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