When I think of Christmas there are always certain family traditions that spring to mind. Those little things that if we didn't have, we would really miss and Christmas just wouldn't be quite the same. In our family, Christmas is all about those little traditions. We always have a tub of Quality Streets, it's the one and only time my parents by a Radio Times, we enjoy the Nigella ham in Coca Cola on Christmas morning and everyone has to eat at least one brussel sprout.
Another item we always seem to tuck into at Christmas time is Lubkuchen. Now I'm not entirely sure why or how this tradition started, I'd love to say it was because our great ancestors were German and the recipe has been passed down through generations. Unfortunately, this is not the case. We are not German, nor do we have German ancestors, nor do we usually make them. The truth is, I imagine, that my mum saw them in the supermarket one year, decided to buy them, and has done ever since. Mainly because me and my eldest sister insist that she does; because, y'know, Christmas wouldn't be the same without them!
After asking my fellow foodies in the latest food bloggers chat if anyone else had them, and a few people said yes I decided I would try my hand at making some, and they didn't turn out too badly. I did want them more of a cakey texture, so I've adjusted the thickness and cooking time below from what I actually did, this should hopefully make them a softer consistency, rather than crunchy gingerbread biscuits.
250g plain flour
75g ground almonds
2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarb of soda
200g runny honey
75g unsalted butter
80g icing sugar mixed with 3 tbsp water
125g dark chocolate, melted
50g white chocolate, melted
1. Put the flour, ground almonds, spices, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarb of soda into a medium sized bowl and give a quick stir to mix it all together.
2. Over a medium heat, in a saucepan, melt together the butter and the honey until completely melted.
3. Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients and form into a stiff dough. Leave to cool slightly. Pre-heat the oven to 180c and line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
4. On a slightly floured surface knead the dough together and then roll out until about 1cm thick. Using a cutter create the desired shapes you want (I went for circular, but the stars would be super Christmassy!) and lay them out on the baking trays, leaving some room for them to expand.
5. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are just starting to turn brown. Once out of the oven, leave to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
6. Decorate how you wish - I went for half dipped in icing sugar with dark chocolate drizzled over them, and the other half dipped in dark chocolate with white chocolate drizzled over it.
What are your families' Christmas traditions?
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