I love love love lebkuchen, those soft spicy gingerbread-like half cookie half cakes that you can get at this time of year. Must be my Austrian roots showing though! We always used to buy a bag or two (good for a little snack as they tend to be about 50 cals each so a nice seasonal treat), but this year when I noticed them in the shops, upon reading the ingredients I was very annoyed to see they all contained pork gelatine. Hmm, they never used to. I suspect they are all made in the same place, as all the shops checked so far have the same problem (Asda, Tesco, and Andy’s parents got a mix pack from Aldi which was also not veggie). I told Andy about how I was sad because I do love them, and what did he do?
Yup, he bought himself a bag! Hmm.
So I decided that I would try to hunt down a recipe, which is easier said than done. In the end I found this recipe, and from the comments it seemed like it was the soft of thing I was after. Some of the recipes looked like gingerbread cakes, and some looked too crunchy. The comments also mentioned that you should leave the dough overnight to make them have a more authentic texture.
I halved the recipe.
First up I mixed 125g plain flour, 45g ground almonds, 1tsp ground ginger, 1tsp cinnamon, a pinch of cloves and some mixed spice, with 1/2tsp baking powder and 1/4tsp bicarb.
Then I melted 100ml honey and 40g pure spread, and poured this over the flour mix. I am sure golden syrup would work just as well, as it is a similar recipe and technique to making gingerbread for houses.
Then I mixed it all into a ball of dough.
I left it to cool for a bit, covered it in cling film and left it in the fridge overnight.
The next day I preheated the oven to 180C, and rolled the dough into little balls. It needed to be squashed and kneaded a little bit.
These went into the oven for 12 mins (the recipe said 15 but a lot of the comments said this was too long). Next time I might even try 10 mins.
When they had cooled a little bit I coated them in a little apricot jam. The lebkucken I love the most have a little apricot filling with dark chocolate.
Then I melted a little dark chocolate (maybe 50g) and stirred in a little cinnamon and ginger. I then dropped this over the top of the jam.
I tried one right away (too impatient to wait for the chocolate to set!) and I am really pleased with the results- they are slightly soft but not like a cake, and lovely and spiced. Yum.
We had a lovely relaxing Sunday- did some gardening (we still had bulbs that needed planting) and walked up to the shops- Andy even treated me to a soy chai latte in Caffe Nero (we don’t have a Starbucks) and on our way back popped to Aldi for a few bits. Look what we found!
Yup- they did not have the ones that Andy’s parents bought, but both the bag of iced ones and the pack of chocolate ones are vegetarian. Ah well, nothing quite beats home-made does it?
I bought some very cute kitchen things the other week from accessorize:
These are little cookie stencil things- I was thinking they would make pretty shapes on top of chai lattes, but I think I need my milk a little more frothy- need one of those hand held milk whisker things.
And a gingerbread family! How cute! I may not have time to make a gingerbread house this year, but I will for sure make some little people 🙂
I have also been perusing the internet for gifts (for others, and also things I would love!).
How about a Yankee Candle sampler set from play?
Or this cute owl door stop?
Or a cookie monster dressing gown???? (I caved in and bought the matching PJ’s as I needed another pair with sleeves!)
I already have this book and it is amazing- never had a bad recipe yet! Click on this link to visit Amazon and look inside if you don’t believe me.
As that book is so good, I am tempted by the cupcakes book by the same authors.
How about an Owl hot water bottle? I am loving owls at the moment- so cute!
Or some thermal running gloves (from Wiggle– Andy has the men’s version and they seem fantastic compared to other brands).
Or owl cupcake cases????
Or a scented warmer (I love the ones you can heat in the microwave)
And it would not be my blog without some kind of tea!
I must say I am totally loving the fact that it is all on the internet too! Yesterday I did a 10 mile run (1 hr 47 so I was very pleased- think that might be my fastest on that route?) but was a bit tired in the afternoon. I popped to the shops- while I was there I saw a scarf that I thought my Nan would love, so I queued up (in M&S) and I am not joking there was one woman in front of me and she spent 15 minutes at the checkout!!!!! Argh! She kept adding things on, taking things off, trying to use vouchers, needing gift receipts, getting more jewellery, buying things separately- honestly my blood was boiling! Then I went into John Lewis as I saw things in the window when I ran past, and got totally lost inside the shop- it was so busy and claustrophobic and hot and I was worried I would give myself a panic attack or something (not that I suffer from them, but I did feel lost and had no idea how to get out of the shop and people kept bashing into me!!!)-much nicer to sit at home with a cup of tea and order things! 🙂
Do you prefer to buy in store or online?
What is on your Christmas wishlist?
And is it just me that is obsessed with those lebkucken??