Christmas in JULY or why not in june?

Maybe we can't travel to Europe right now, but we can celebrate Christmas like Europeans. Bring on the Pfeffernüsse ...

INGREDIENTS

280 g Plain Flour

30g Almond Flour

1/2 Tsp Baking Soda

1/4 Tsp Salt

1/4 Tsp Fine White Pepper

4 Tsp Lebkuchengewürz

110g Brown or Coconut Sugar

1/3 Cup Honey

3 Tbsp Heavy Cream *

5 Tbsp Unsalted Butter

1 Large Egg

* For dairy free, substitute coconut cream for cream

For the Icing

310g Icing Sugar

2-4 Tblsp Hot Water

For Lebkuchengewürz

2 1/2 Tbsp Cinnamon

2 Tsp Ground Cloves

1/2 Tsp Ground Allspice

1/2 Tsp Ground Coriander

1/2 Ground Green Cardamon

1/2 Tsp Ground Ginger

1/2 Tsp Ground Star Anise

1/4 Tsp Ground Mace - Use the Actual Nutmeg Seed

1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg

 

Mix all spices together and store in an airtight jar.

Being from a European background had its perks when I was a child. Every December, my mother made a variety of delicious German and Czech Christmas Cookies. And I helped. Well, barely at first,  but eventually I got the hang of it. One favourite of mine is Pfeffernüsse. These divine iced spiced cookies will warm up any cold and rainy winter afternoon. Perfect for the Melbourne Winter. Make up your own Leberkuchengewürz (German Gingerbread Spice) and store in an airtight jar in a cool dry place. It will last for months!  Recipe below.

METHOD

* Add the flour, almond meal, baking soda, salt, pepper and Lebkuchengewürz to a large bowl and mix together.

* Put the brown sugar, honey, cream and butter into a medium saucepan and heat until the sugar has completely dissolved.

* Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

*Add the flour mixture to the saucepan or just add the wet ingredients to the dry.

* Add the slightly beaten egg and stir until combined. The dough will be quite sticky.

* Pour the dough onto some plastic cling wrap and wrap it up tightly into a rectangle.

* Refrigerate overnight.

* The dough will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.

* Preheat oven to 175º C.

* Remove dough from wrap, slice into 2 long pieces and roll into 2 logs 20-25cm wide.

* Slice each log into 25 cm pieces and roll these into balls.

* Place balls onto lined baking sheets and bake for about 15 minutes or till golden brown.

* Allow cookies to cool before glazing.

* Mix icing sugar and hot water to make the icing. Less water, will make a thicker icing. I personally use a little more water and make a thin glaze.

* Dip the cookie in the icing (or apply with a brush) and place on a rack to harden.

* Makes 40-50 cookies depending on size.

For a spicier cookie add a little more spice and white pepper.

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South Yarrra, Victoria, Australia

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