This short window of availability made them even more desirable.
So those of you on a gluten-free diet can still enjoy this recipe!
Here it is, in all it's glory.
Enjoy this little taste of a German Christmas!
Makes 10 - 15 cookies
100g mixed candied peel
3 tbsp brandy/orange juice/water
100g ground almonds
150g ground hazelnuts
50g walnuts - blitzed until size of breadcrumbs
4 tsp lebkuchen spice mix (see right)
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
150 g soft brown sugar
Topping: 100g plain chocolate (70% cocoa if possible) or 25g icing sugar and 2tsp water/lemon juice
Spice Mix (makes slightly more than recipe requires):
2 star anise - seeds only!!
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground coriander
3 tsp cinnamon
Grind star anise and fennel seeds in pestle and mortar until fine. Mix in remaining spices.
Line a baking tin with greaseproof paper. (No need to grease this.)
In a small bowl, mix the peel with the brandy/orange juice/water, and leave for five minutes.
Whilst that's soaking, weigh out the nuts and mix with the spices, baking powder and salt.
Blitz the peel until a smooth paste and then stir into the nut and spice mixture.
In a seperate bowl, whisk the eggs until pale and fluffy. Add the brown sugar and whisk until well combined. Fold this into the nut mixture, making sure it's all well combined.
Place heaped spoonfuls of mixture onto greaseproof mixture, flatten slightly - leave them with a thickness of around 1.5 cm - and then, with damp fingers, smooth the tops. (You can place them 1 - 2 cm apart on tin as they don't spread.)
Put in oven for 20 - 25 minutes (for larger ones), if making slightly smaller check after around 18 mins. They should be relatively firm to the touch, but still feel soft. If unsure, take them out - they are better underdone than overdone.
Cool on the tin.
Once cold, top with choice of topping:
Chocolate: Melt chocolate in a microwave or over a pan of water. Spread all over lebkuchen.
Icing: You want a thin icing (not like in the photos - my mistake...on more than one occasion!). Mix icing sugar with water or lemon juice and spread over lebkuchen.
Once set, store in fridge for up to five days - the maximum amount of time in our fridge before they were all devoured...
- We prefer the big lebkuchen, as we remember - hence only getting 10 from the recipe. You can easily make them smaller, but check on the oven times, and still leave them thick to prevent drying out.
- If you can get 'oblation' (thin, wafer rounds) then spoon the mixture onto these - I can't find them anywhere here! But the finished product would be more authentic if you have them!