Cookie Swap – Reindeer Antler Lebkuchen
These gently spiced Reindeer Antler Cookies are a twist on a German classic. Made in the style of Lebkuchen cookies they have the taste and aroma of Christmas with an extra bit of decadent chocolate drizzled on top. Read on for the recipe.
Weeks and weeks ago I signed up to take part in a cookie swap between some of my fellow foodie blogger friends, kindly organised by Andrea from Made with Pink. The idea was that we’d all pull a name out of a hat and bake Christmas cookies for the lucky lad or lady who we drew. It sounded like fun and any excuse to bake cookies seemed like a good idea to me so I signed myself up!
Little did I know that the weekend before the big cookie swap I’d be heading to Germany where I would discover they (the Germans) are the Kings of Christmas cookies or “Weihnachtsplätzchen” as they call them.
Pfeffernusse, Vanillekipferl and Zimsterne are all staples in German households over the Christmas period. They embrace spice, nuts, preserves and chocolates to make some of the most festive, comforting Christmas themed cookies I’ve ever tasted. I also love how much effort goes into the presentation with star and crescent cookie cutters, essential for certain cookies.
Lebkuchen – a German Classic
Having eaten my way through most of the cookies on offer in Germany I knew that for the cookie swap I’d have to do my take on a German classic – my cookie of choice was the Lebkuchen which is similar to the gingerbread biscuit we know and love in England.
Not content with choosing a German cookie to bake, I also bought a couple of cookie cutters from a stall in Frankfurt’s Christmas market: two stars and an antler cookie cutter. Seeing as these cookies were heading off to someone extra special, I decided they’d look best shaped as Reindeer Antlers. I am so proud with how they turned out! This cookie recipe is perfect for intricate cut out shapes as the dough holds its shape very well when chilled then baked.
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Yield: 24 cookies
- 250g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 85g ground almonds
- 2 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Large pinch of all spice
- Twist of black pepper
- 150ml clear honey
- 50ml dark treacle
- 85g butter
- Sieve together the flour, ground almonds and spices into a large bowl and place to one side.
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan, gently heat the honey, treacle and butter until the butter has melted.
- Pour the butter and sugar mixture into the large bowl of flour and mix well until it begins to come together into a dough.
- Knead with your hands until you have a relatively firm ball of dough.
- Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes until it is cool and stiff enough to roll out.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C or gas mark 4.
- Lightly dust your surface with a little flour and cinnamon.
- Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out until it is roughly 0.5cm thick.
- Using a cutter, cut into reindeer antler shapes.
- Transfer the cut out cookies onto a baking sheet lined with grease proof paper leaving a little room for spreading.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes or until they are just golden brown.
- Leave the cookies to cool on the baking sheet until they are firm enough to transfer to a wire wrack.
- To decorate, melt the dark.
- Fill a small piping bag with the dark chocolate,
- Snip a small hole in the end of the pipig bag and drizzle the dark chocolate over the cookies.
- Repeat with the white chocolate.
- Allow all of the chocolate to cool and set before serving.
These delicious cookies are a robust, that stand up to dunking in hot chocolate, tea or coffee. They also look great served on a decorative plate on the coffee table for guests to help themselves to.
Have you ever taken a trip to Germany over the Christmas period? Which is your favourite German Christmas Cookie? Why not give these Reindeer antler Lebkuchen a try – perhaps they will be your new favourite cookie!
The Cookie Swap
If you want to see what other bloggers baked for the cookie swap – head over the Made with Pink where Andrea, the cookie swap organiser, has put together a linky for all of the cookie swap recipes. Hopefully there will be plenty to inspire you this Christmas!