These chocolate dipped Lebkuchen are really easy to make, keep well and embody all the flavours of Christmas. Lebkuchen are a traditional German festive biscuit, similar to gingerbread but are softer and more cakey. They are made with honey, ground almonds and lots of spices and are topped with a sweet glaze as well as often being dipped in chocolate.
I love having a tin of these around at Christmas to snack on, they go great with a cup of tea (or a mug of mulled wine) and they never last long in my house. They are really quick and easy to make as well, but I do think that the flavour is better if the dough is allowed to rest in the fridge overnight; you can just give it half an hour to firm up before baking if you prefer though. I glazed the tops of the Lebkuchen and dunked the bottoms in dark chocolate; if you want you can just drizzle over the chocolate once the glaze has set rather than dunking them, the choice is yours.
Chocolate Dipped Lebkuchen
- 150 g (1/2 + 1/3 cup) dark brown soft sugar
- 150 g (5.3oz) runny honey
- 50 g (scant 1/4 cup) butter softened
- finely grated zest of 1 orange
- 300 g (2 1/2 cups) plain flour
- 150 g (1 1/4 cups) ground almonds
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 2 medium eggs
- 150 g (1 1/2 cups) icing (powdered) sugar sifted
- 2 tbsp water
- 200 g (7oz) dark chocolate chopped
Put the sugar, honey, butter and orange zest in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, ground almonds, cocoa powder, spices, salt, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda, set aside.
Beat the eggs into the sugar mixture one at a time, whisking well after each addition then gradually mix in the flour mixture until well combined.
Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for half an hour (or overnight). Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 and line two baking sheets with baking parchment.
Scoop out portions of the dough using a measuring spoon - about 1 1/2 tbsp at a time, and roll between slightly damp hands into smooth balls. Place them well spaced apart on the baking sheets and flatten them slightly with your fingers.
Bake for about 15 minutes until firm and lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Transfer the Lebkuchen to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
Place the icing sugar in a small bowl and gradually mix in enough of the water to form a slightly runny icing - not too wet though or it will all run off. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet.
Dip the tops of the Lebkuchen in the glaze, allow the excess to drip off then place them right-side up on the wire rack to set.
Once the glaze has set, melt the chocolate, either in a bain marie or in short bursts in the microwave then pour it into a small bowl. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Dip the bottoms of the Lebkuchen in the chocolate, allow the excess to drip off then place them chocolate side down on the parchment to set. Once set store in an airtight container.