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Posts tagged ‘christmas biscuits’

New Years Eliesenlebkuchen & a gift of Pottery

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Little slow of the mark with this one, lebkuchen would normally be baked pre Christmas and I would certainly have eaten my first one at the beginning of December the minute they arrived in the Frankfurt shops. I make a batch every year but have been a little busy baking Christmas cakes, trays of gingerbread, festive biscotti and panforte for the shop but no lebkuchen! In fact I had not even missed or thought about it until I read London Eats post about Eliesenlebkuchen. Christmas may have been and gone but I wasn’t going to wait a whole year to have lebkuchen, I blame you London Eats! A batch for a New Year celebration, perfect idea, the problem is we have almost finished them and I doubt they will make it into the New Year.

I had forgotten how truly special these biscuits are, the scent wafted through the house and I couldn’t even contain myself to wait for them to cool. Stuffing one in my mouth hot from the oven. Good? Yes, but much better if you wait for them to cool and glaze or dip them in chocolate. I haven’t written the recipe but offer you a link here, I did make a few changes due to available ingredients and how I remember them (see below).

Some of you may know that I am a bit of a vintage diva, owning a lot of 60s & 70s outfits. Well it doesn’t stop at clothes, I picked up the set of New Zealand Temuka pottery you see in the photo Christmas Eve at the Op Shop (Charity Shop) and wrapped them up and put them under the tree. A gift to me from me! The cups are the perfect flat white coffee size, just the right thing when you gift your hubby a coffee machine for Christmas ;o) The pot we can use for tea.

If you scroll below you will also see my latest vintage find that needs a little TLC , I’ll post pics of the chairs once pretty and complete.

Enjoy your New Year celebrations…. see you in 2014! xx

My changes to the Lebkuchen recipe

1. I had no bakers ammonia (hard to come by here) so I just skipped it. I was going to add a bit of baking soda instead but completely forgot and the results were still amazing. So don’t worry if you can’t get any.

2. I had lebkuchen spices which are better than mixed spice as they contain more spices (ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground allspice, ground nutmeg, ground coriander, ground cardamom, ground ginger, ground anise seed, ground star anise). Maybe make your own or add a few extra spices to the mixed spice. Here’s a link .

3. I also used ground hazelnut only which is how I remember having them.

4. I pipped mine onto bakers rice paper and glazed one side.

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Spelt & Rye Spiced Biscuits

The smell of baked mixed spice wafting through the house is what truly defines Christmas for me, it takes me back to the years I lived in Frankfurt , the shops where full of the best every Christmas confections, biscuits and cakes. If I could transport myself there for a few days over Christmas I would visit the Weihnachtsmarkt with my good friend Petra, drink Gluewein by the Christmas tree and subject her to English carols with my cat warbles. We would eat sausages & sauerkraut and fill our bags with Lebkucken and marzipan treats, well I would anyway, Petra wouldn’t need to as she can pop them in her shopping bag anytime. Viel spass meine liebe freundin und trink eins fuer mich auf dem Markt!

But it is another friend who inspired me to bake spiced cookies in November, I had been chatting to Arfi of Homemades on Twitter about baking ammonium (hirschhornsaltz) used in Swedish spiced biscuits and where to buy the ingredient which doesn’t seem to be available here. All the talk of Christmas biscuits and spices had me longing for some goodies all day so I rushed home and put these together. I have used a combination of Spelt and Rye Flour, the Rye leaves little kernels in the mouth after the biscuit is gone which I love, a bit nutty. If you don’t like that texture then stick to all Spelt flour.

If anyone knows where we can buy Ammonium Carbonate, Bakers Ammonia in NZ  please let me know.

This is also my entry to our monthly blogging event Sweet NZ which is being hosted this month by Lucy over at The Kitchenmaid. Do pop over to her blog and see what she is up to as well as our Kiwi round up of sweet treats at teh end of the month.

Ingredients

150g butter

100g brown sugar

200g spelt

100 rye

2 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 ground cardamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

2 Tbsp water

slivered almonds to garnish

Method

Pre heat oven to 180C. You will need 3 baking trays.

Beat together the butter and brown with an electric mixer until creamy.

Add flour & spices to the butter mixture and mix until just combined (maybe a little crumbly).

To form the dough add the 2 tablespoons of water and knead dough together slightly

Flatten the dough and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

To roll the dough out lay the dough between two sheets of greeseproof paper and roll dough to approximately ‘cheese cracker’ thickness.

Refrigerate in sheet form for 10 minutes, it’s easier to cut chilled dough.

Cut out biscuits with your preferred cookie shape. I used mini circles which made about 45 and place the biscuit shapes onto a non stick baking tray.

Decorate with slivered almonds if you wish.

Bake biscuits for 10 minutes. The biscuits will be dark brown due to the spelt and rye flour.

Allow to cool.

The biscuits will keep for a week in an airtight container.

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