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These German biscuits are a little like gingerbread, but spicier. Decorate to your heart's content and enjoy with a cup of tea, or package in a pretty bag and treat friends to an edible Christmas gift.
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 the butter, honey, treacle and muscovado sugar together. Cool.
2. Sift the our, 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 well in the dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a dough.
3. Knead briefly on a floured surface until smooth, then shape into a disc, wrap in cling film and chill for 20-30 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 180 ̊C, gas mark 4. On a very lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to just over 0.5cm thick and stamp out different-sized stars with pastry cutters. Put on parchment-lined baking sheets; re-roll the trimmings to create more. Bake for 12 minutes. Allow to cool for a minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. Melt the chocolate and dip the biscuit bases in it, shaking gently to remove any excess. Set, chocolate-side down on parchment-lined trays; chill until set. If the edges are ragged, 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 and decorate as desired. The biscuits will keep in an airtight tin for up to 5 days.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in October 2017.