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Similar to gingerbread but a little spicier, these traditional German biscuits make great gifts – although you’ll definitely want to keep a few for yourself. Get creative with the decorations, then package up in pretty boxes or bags
Makes: About 30 biscuits
90g unsalted butter
50g clear honey
125g black treacle
30g dark brown muscovado sugar
350g self-raising flour, plus a little extra
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground ginger
Good grating fresh nutmeg
½ tsp ground allspice
Pinch ground cloves
1 egg, beaten
200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
200g icing sugar
1 In a pan, melt together the butter, honey, treacle and muscovado sugar. Take off the heat and leave to cool.
2 Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, spices and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Mix the egg into the butter mixture, then pour into the dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a dough.
3 Knead the dough briefly on a floured surface until smooth, then shape into a disc, wrap and chill for 20-30 minutes.
4 Preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to just over 0.5cm thick. Use pastry cutters to stamp out different-sized stars and place on parchmentlined baking sheets, re-rolling the trimmings to create more. Bake for 12 minutes. Cool for 1 minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely
5 Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water and dip the biscuit bases in it, shaking gently to remove any excess. Place, chocolate-side down, on parchment-lined trays, then chill until set. 6 If the chocolate has set ragged, carefully shave off any excess with a sharp knife. Mix the icing sugar with 1-2 tbsp cold water to make a thick, pourable icing. Transfer to a piping bag with a small nozzle or drizzle it from a teaspoon to decorate. Keep in an airtight tin for up to 5 days.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in October 2017.