Christmas Biscuits Special Part Two – Chocolate Covered Orange Lebkuchen

Well, as my current bit of male eye candy Michael Bublé likes to say, ‘it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!’ As I write it is snowing, the children break up from school later and we are off to see a Christmas movie this afternoon. I’ve been preparing for Christmas this year since October, but it still seems to have come round very quickly. I’m feeling relatively under control though. My list for the next week is long but manageable. I’ve only got the truffles to make for my Christmas hampers and then I can wrap them up and make them look pretty with lots of ribbon and sparkle. Looking forward to that. Also, my freezer is now full of yummy seasonal treats and dinners. It has certainly been a bit of a mission to achieve this but one I have thoroughly enjoyed.

For this recipe I got my children totally involved. It lends itself perfectly for the assistance of little ones. I baked the biscuits and then one day after school this week I melted the chocolate, got all the sprinkles out of my cupboard, and let them decorate. My girls have now proudly dispatched their biscuits to a number of lucky recipients. I love to watch their little faces as they get thanked for their thoughtful gift.

Lebkuchen is a traditional German biscuit and I see it as the ‘adults gingerbread’. It is just a little bit more sophisticated than its child favoured cousin. Children will still love this but adults especially might enjoy lebkuchen. Something different to have with a mug of steaming mulled wine maybe?

I have taken the basis of this recipe from the book ‘Gifts from the Kitchen’ by Annie Rigg, but as you might expect, have added a couple of little extras. The main one being a larger quantity of orange zest to give these a lovely citrus kick. I have also covered mine in chocolate rather than an icing glaze. The reason for this is because I think melted chocolate is a bit easier for the children to use and because we just love chocolate in our house.

What you will need:

  • 3 tbsp clear honey
  • 4 tbsp black treacle
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 75g dark muscovado sugar
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch ground allspice
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • zest of one orange
  • 50g of dark and white chocolate for covering the biscuits
  • 1/2 tsp orange essence
  • Selection of sprinkles

Makes about 30 biscuits but depends on size

How to make:

  1. Melt the honey, treacle, butter and sugar in a pan over low heat. Stir until smooth and leave to cool
  2. Measure all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl, make a well and add the orange zest then add the egg and the melted mixture
  3. Stir briskly with a wooden spoon until a dough forms
  4. Wrap dough in cling film and chill in fridge for about 2 hours until firm
  5. Preheat oven to 180c/350f/gas 4 and line two baking trays with parchment paper
  6. Lightly dust your work surface with flour and roll out dough to about 1cm thickness. Cut out Christmas shapes and place on baking tray a little distance apart
  7. Bake for between 10-15 mins until firm and even in colour
  8. Cool on wire rack
  9. Melt both dark and white chocolate in separate bowls over a saucepan of simmering water. Add the orange essence to the dark chocolate to make it chocolate orange flavour
  10. When biscuits are cooled, ‘paint’ on the chocolate. We used a silicone pastry brush and it was really easy for the children to use and also for me to clean afterwards – LOVE the silicone pastry brushes!
  11. Sprinkle what decorations you have over the biscuits and cool in the fridge

The final thing to say, but by no means least is that this blog post with the inclusion of chocolate and orange makes it a perfect entry into the “We Should Cocoa” blog challenge run by Choclette from the blog Chocolate Log Blog and Chele from Chocolate Teapot.

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16/12/2011. Tags: , , , . Christmas baking, Homemade for the kids, Sweet Baking.

6 Comments

  1. Choclette replied:

    These look very festive and it’s such a delight that you got your children involved. I can just imagine how excited they must have been. I was planning on making Lebkuchen for my hampers this year, but I don’t think it’s going to happen now. The orange sounds like a lovely addition. Thanks for participating in WSC

    • Homemade By Fleur replied:

      Thanks for your comment. We certainly had fun making them. We also did a gingerbread house a few weeks ago, that was fun too. Will certainly be participating in WSC again. Can’t think of anything better as I love chocolate!

  2. Phil in the Kitchen replied:

    Lovely zesty treats. – they must make great gifts. I agree with you about silicone pastry brushes – they do make life easier and I’ve destroyed a fair number of traditional brushes in my time. I admire your state of Christmas readiness – I must start thinking about Christmas soon I suppose.

    • Homemade By Fleur replied:

      Hi Phil, Thanks so much for your comment. It is lovely to hear from people who have been reading my blog. I am just hoping that after all this preparation I will be able to enjoy a bit of Christmas too, rather than be stuck in the kitchen! Fingers crossed.

  3. whatkatebaked replied:

    I do love this time of year- the build up and anticipation looking ahead to the Big Day…plus all the festive baking of course! These look the most delicious gifts- I’m sure they will be met with delight by the recipients! What else will be in the hampers?

    • Homemade By Fleur replied:

      Thank you. My hampers have got shortbread, biscotti, mincemeat, chutney, granola, fig and chocolate christmas cake, truffles, chilli oil (made by my husband) lavender sugar, and Christmas spiced salt. Wrapped up the first one last night. I’m so pleased with it. Can’t wait to give them out now!

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