Tuesday, December 3, 2013

GERMAN GINGERBREAD COOKIES "LEBKUCHEN"


Syrup:

300 g sugar
1/2 l water
1 kg sugar
Melt the sugar until it starts bubbling,then stir with wooden spoon until brown in colour.
Lift the pot into the sink.
Pour in quickly the hot water,be very careful as it will be very dramatic!
When all the steam is cleared,lift the pot back to the heat,stir until all the caramel is dissolved.
Add the rest of the sugar & boil slowly few minutes until you get the syrup right.
This will make about 1,7 kg syrup.

Cookies:

Vol.1:

3 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp cardamom
3 tsp cinnamon
or allspice
orange peel,grated
500 g butter
300 sour cream or plain yogurt
6 egg yolks
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp bread soda
2 tsp citric acid
2 kg flour
Pour all the spices into the hot syrup,mix well & cool a bit.
Add butter,cut into smaller pieces & mix until smooth.
Now add the sour cream,egg yolks & salt,mix well.
Mix flour with baking soda & citric acid,sift into the dough,knead.
You get 4,8–5 kg dough,will keep in the fridge wrapped into the cling film 1-2 weeks so you can make one big patch & then just use as needed..
Bake at 200C for ca 8 min,depends how thick your cookies are.

You can use the baking powder instead baking soda & citric acid,just it wont be as crispy.

Vol.2:

Syrup from 600 g sugar
50 ml water
Make same way as described above.

400 g butter,softened
3 egg yolks
1/4 tsp salt
ca 30 g allspice,it really depends how you like it,you can add some extra cinnamon
1/ tsp baking soda
1 kg flour
Mix the spices with hot syrup,cool until room temperature.
Beat egg yolks into the softened butter,add salt.
Pour in the syrup.
Add flour mixed with baking soda.
Mix well.
Wrap into the cling film & keep in the fridge overnight before using.Or at least 3 hours.
Keeps in the refrigerator for ca 3 weeks.

DECORATING:

Now to the best part :)

Glaze:

3 egg whites
300 g dusting sugar
1 tsp citric acid
Whisk until you get the thick cream.
Place into the piping bag & then just decorate your cookies.
You can use plastic sandwich bags,cut small hole into the bottom corner.
Very good also for making the gingerbread houses!

You can cover the cookies before baking with chopped nuts etc.
Melt some white chocolate & dip cookies in half way.
You can make sparkling cookies:sprinkle some sugar over the cookies(pat in slightly) before baking.

Dried sliced orange or sliced apple,pear,banana etc. are very decorative along with cookies!!
Just finely slice your fruits (you  can dip them into the syrup) & place the single layer over the baking paper onto the baking sheet & slowly bake in the oven at lowest temperature for a few hours until firm.
You can keep the oven door slightly open with the wooden spoon to keep the low temperature.

Ganache:

300 ml fresh cream
300 g dark chocolate
or white chocolate
Bring the cream to the boil,add chopped chocolate & stir until well melted & smooth.
Cool.
Use it as a filling between two cookies.
Or cover the cookies with a bit of the ganache & sprinkle over with roasted nuts or dried cranberries.

Lemon Glaze:

1 egg white
1 1/2 cup sifted icing sugar
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Beat egg white, powdered sugar & lemon juice until smooth.
Brush onto still warm cookies & can then be decorated with diced mixed candied fruits & peels.


These are invitingly spicy cookies, which can be baked ahead.
Roll & cut out rectangles, fun gingerbread folk, trees, stars etc.
We make these every year, continuing a family tradition. They are our favorite holiday cookies.


1 comment:

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