About this recipe:I have always loved lebkuchen biscuits at Christmas, so this year I have had a crack at making them myself. There really is something Christmassy about the spices used in these Christmas biscuits – it’s that glorious mix of cinnamon, nutmeg and that extra richness from the cloves. And cloves are such a tricky spice that can completely overpower many spice blends, but seem to conjure up the right flavour for this festive period.
Sieve the dry ingredients into a large bowl, then thoroughly mix.
Warm the honey and butter in a pan over a low heat until the butter melts, then pour into the flour mixture. Add the lemon juice and lemon and orange zest. Mix well with a hand held whisk until the dough is thoroughly combined.
Cover and leave to cool overnight, or for at least 2 hours. to let the flavours meld together and work that festive magic.
Heat oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
Roll the lebkuchen dough in your hands into around 25 balls, each 3cm wide, then flatten each one slightly into a disc.
Divide the lebkuchen mixture between 3 baking trays lined with baking parchment, or ideally with an edible baking paper, with a decent amount of room for them to expand.
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until when touched lightly no imprint remains, then cool on a wire rack. While still warm, glaze the lebkuchen with the icing glaze, made as below.
While the cookies are baking, make your glazing icing: mix together the icing sugar and egg white to form a smooth, runny icing.
Brush the top of each biscuit with the glazing icing. Leave to dry.
You should ideally allow these Christmas cookies to mellow. To do this, you should store the lebkuchen in an airtight container for a day or two to allow the flavours to mellow and the cookies to become softer.
You can add an extra sugar glaze to give the tops even more lustre - 100g caster sugar plus 50ml water melted and boiled to 90 degrees C; mix in 1 tablespoon of icing sugar; brush over iced lebkuchen.
My new favourite biscuits! Baked them with the intention of giving some away but they didnt leave the house. Changed the recipe a bit; used ginger instead of cloves, used golden syrup instead of honey. Yum! - 27 Nov 2013