Lebkuchen & Cinnamon Hearts

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. My favourite time of the year starts now. The smell of cinnamon, star anis, cloves and oranges. Having an excuse to bake tons of cookies. And also having an excuse to eat tons of cookies I guess. I don't need to say more.

For starters I wanna share with you two of my favourite, and very classic christmas cookie recipes: Lebkuchen and Cinnamon Stars which in my case turned out be hearts, as I don't have any star-shaped cutters (note to self: Perfect excuse to go shopping for new cutters). 

Lebkuchen

makes 50
prep time: 90min.

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp salts of hartshorn (ammonium carbonate)*
  • 400 g coconut blossom or muscovado sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 egg whites
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 125 g honey
  • 100 g candied lemon peel
  • 100 g candied orange peel
  • 350 g white spelt flour 
  • 200 g ground hazelnuts
  • 250 ground almonds
  • 2 tsp Lebkuchen spice**
  • 50 baking wafers (70mm) 

    for the glaze
  • 150g dark chocolate for coating 
  • 150g icing sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon

* If you can't get a bold of this, you can also use baking powder
** contains cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, pepper, anis, allspice, coriander, ginger, cardamom

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Mix the salts of hartshorn with 1 tbsp lukewarm water and set aside. Mix the sugar with the eggs, egg whites and using an electric mixer whisk until the mixture is fluffy and creamy. 

2. Add the lemon zest, honey, candied lemon and orange peel and hartshorn salt and fold everything into the mixture.

3. In another bowl mix together the flour, hazelnuts, almonds and lebkuchen spice. Now gradually add the dry ingredients to the batter, making sure everything is well incorporated. 

4. Using two spoons scoop 1 tbsp if batter each on a wafer and place on a lined baking tray. 

5. Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool down to room temperature. 

6. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie. Mix together the icing sugar with the juice of the lemon (should be quite a thick paste, if need be, add more icing sugar). Coat half the lebkuchen with chocolate and the other half with the lemon glaze. Let the glaze solidify. If you can refrain from eating them all right up, they should keep up to two weeks in an airtight container. 


Cinnamon Hearts (gluten-free)

makes 50
prep time: 50min. (+ 2 hours resting)

Ingredients

  • 3 egg whites
  • 250 g icing sugar
  • 0.5 tsp vanilla
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 0.5 tsp ground coffee
  • 390 g ground almonds

Instructions

1. Beat the egg whites until you get stiff peaks. Sieve the icing sugar and add gradually to the egg whites. Reserve 3 tbsp egg whites for later. 

2. Mix the ground almonds with the vanilla, cinnamon and ground coffee. Now add the dry ingredients to the egg whites. Fold together until the dough doesn't stick to your hands. If it's too sticky add more icing sugar (or a little bit of oat or rice flour). 

3. Roll out the dough between to pieces of cling foil (roughly 1 cm thick). Place the dough in the fridge for 2 hours. 

4. Preheat the oven to 100°C. Using (heart-, or star-, or whatever shape you like-) cookie cutters, cut out your cookies, place them on a lined baking tray and brush on some of the remaining egg whites. 

5. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes. Let them cool down completely before removing from the baking sheets.