Christmas is such a magical time of the year, especially when you have kids. Well, the nearly 6-year-old gets a bit overexcited with so many treats and experiences (read: overly emotional, expressing itself in massive cheek and colossal tantrums) and the baby, well, she’s a baby, what does she even know?!
That doesn’t take away from the most magical time of the year. Now an (arguably) adult, I realise how deeply rooted the associations with Christmas really are. I grew up in Germany – the winners of Christmas (no, seriously, have you been to a Christmas market? Have you tasted Glühwein? Right, so there!). Although the Christmas tree doesn’t go up until Christmas Eve, in time for 1st Advent, my mother, my sisters, and I would decorate the house in time, start baking the smorgasbord of Christmas cookies or Plätzchen, and Christmas songs would play on repeat. It was eye-opening to have to share this time and my own traditions with someone who may have different associations and traditions (how dare he!) and forge our own. Nearly 10 years later, we are still not in full agreement with it all but it continues to be fun to negotiate year in and year out.
Most frustratingly, the Northerner doesn’t really enjoy the cookies. So the smorgasbord (seriously, like 14 different types of cookies, I kid you not) has now become the few that I want to eat and am still happy to stomach by Christmas, so I don’t have to make them into a different type of food – delightful nonetheless, but Christmas cookies after Christmas… really?
Now, Elisenlebkuchen are a chewy, sweet, spiced, nutty delight that I can’t get enough of (until Christmas, that is). Oblates or wafers are easy to get in Germany, and in the UK, they are an Amazon jobby (I tried these and they worked really well).
- 5 eggs
- 200g demerara sugar
- 200g ground almonds
- 200g hazelnuts, coarsely ground
- 200g walnuts, coarsely ground
- 100g citrus peel
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp “Lebkuchengewürz” Gingerbread Spice Mix
- 1 tsp nutmeg, powdered
- ½ tsp clove, powdered
- 1 measure of rum
- Wafers, gluten-free
- Optional: 70%-85% dark chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 175 Celsius. Lay out your wafers on baking trays with baking paper.
- Prepare the mixture by creaming the eggs with the demerara sugar until foamy.
- Fold the ground nuts under, and add the citrus peel, spices, and rum. Mix until the ingredients are all evenly distributed. If the mixture is too wet, add more ground almonds or – if you are very sensitive to almonds – ground the other nuts more finely so it becomes a meal (don’t add flour, even if gluten-free).
- Depending on the size of the wafer you use, add a tablespoon or two of the mixture.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 175 Celsius.
- The lebkuchen are delicious as is, but you can add an extra layer of delight by glazing them with dark chocolate. Simply melt the chocolate in a bowl in a water bath and brush the chocolate on the cooled-down cookies. Dream!
- 5 Eier
- 200g brauner Zucker
- 200g gemahlene Mandeln, fein
- 200g gemahlene Haselnuss, grob
- 200g gemahlene Walnuss, grob
- 50g Zitronat
- 50g Orangeat
- 1TL Zimt
- 2TL Lebkuchengewürz
- 1TL Muskatnuss
- ½ TL Nelkenpulver
- 1 Schnapsglas Rum
- Gluten-freie Oblaten
- Optional: 70-85% dunkle Schokolade
- Heize den Ofen auf 175 Grad Celsius vor und lege die Oblaten auf ein Backblech aus.
- Schlage die Eier mit dem Zucker schaumig.
- Hebe die Nüsse unter die Ei-Zucker-Masse, füge das Zitronat und Orangeat, sowie die Gewürze und den Rum hinzu.
- Verteile die Masse auf deinen Oblaten und backe für 15 Minuten bei 175 Grad Celsius.
- Die Lebkuchen schmecken ganz wunderbar so wie sie sind. Du kannst sie aber auch noch mit dunkler Schokolade glasieren. Schmelze die Schokolade in einem Wasserbad und dann pinsele die Schokolade auf die Oblaten.
Lasst es euch schmecken!