Lebkuchen Recipe

These soft and chewy German Christmas biscuits are the perfect festive bake to try at home. Full of Christmas spices, citrus zest and honey, these biscuits are gluten-free so everyone can enjoy them.
Serves 24 - 30 mins to prepare and 15 mins to cook, plus cooling and setting - 85 calories / serving - Freezable


250g gluten-free self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp ground mixed spice
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tsp finely grated orange zest, plus extra to decorate
2 eggs, beaten
125g clear honey

To decorate

100g royal icing sugar
25g dark chocolate, broken into pieces, plus extra to decorate

Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Line a large baking tray with nonstick baking paper. Sift the flour and mixed spice into a bowl with ¼ tsp finely ground black pepper, then stir in the orange and lemon zest. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs and honey. Mix well until a soft dough forms.

Dust a work surface with flour and roll the dough out to about 1cm thick. Use a 4cm round cookie cutter to stamp out 24 rounds, re-rolling the dough as necessary. Space the rounds a little apart on the baking tray and bake for 12-15 mins until crisp, slightly risen and cracked.
Meanwhile, sift the sugar into a bowl and mix with 4 tsp cold water to form a smooth glaze. As soon as the biscuits are cooked, transfer to a wire rack over a tray, brush with the glaze and leave to cool. 

As the biscuits cool, the glaze will set to give a thin, glossy coating.
To decorate, put the chocolate pieces in a heatproof bowl and melt over a saucepan of just-simmering water. Remove the bowl and leave the chocolate to cool for 5 mins. Spoon into a small disposable piping bag, snip off the end and pipe zigzags over the biscuits (or drizzle the chocolate with a teaspoon). Sprinkle with orange zest and grated chocolate, then leave to set. Best eaten 24 hrs after baking, when the texture has softened. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Tip: The un-iced biscuits can be frozen for up to 1 month. Defrost thoroughly before icing and decorating as above.
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