Berner Lebkuchen Bites

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL! I cannot believe another year has already passed – and boy what a crazy one it was…. so many fantastic moments, a few not so fun times, yet somehow I feel no different to December 2014 (apart from the odd new wrinkle or two). I also don’t really feel like the holiday season has properly started – let me blame that on the lack of snow. WHERE ARE YOU?

Nonetheless, it is truly a wonderful time of the year filled with family traditions, games, mulled wine, presents and exorbitant amounts of food. I’m pretty sure you all have either a lunch or dinner invitation/duty on the 25th. For those of you out there who haven’t had a chance to bake christmas cookies, but promised to bring something homemade along on Christmas day, these hazelnut bites are perfect – unique, nutty, spicy, gluten-free, lactose-free (sadly not vegan – haha) and delicious. Berner Lebkuchen is a special sort of “gingerbread” from my home town – a.k.a. the capital city of Switzerland. Traditionally it comes decorated with the cantons coat of arms – a rude bear sticking its tongue out. Personally I prefer the bite size finish – one doesn’t feel so bad about eating more than two ;-).

Berner Lebkuchen Bites

IMG_7168

adapted from Wildeisen


makes about 60 bites
You’ll need

350 g ground hazelnuts
50 g
 candied orange peel, finely diced
50 g candied lemon peel, finely diced
150 g ground almonds
400 g caster sugar
100 g honey
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves
3 egg whites
100-200g milk and dark chocolate, mixed

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Spread out your ground hazelnuts on a baking tray and roast for about 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients excluding the chocolate until you have a rough sticky dough. If you feel it is too dry add some more egg white (note to you: be careful….first time round I added a tad too much and it ended up waaay to moist). Set aside for an hour.
  3. Once the hour is up, roll the dough into bite size pieces, about 20g each, and spread on a baking tray. The balls should now be set aside to dry at room temperature overnight, for at least 12 hours.
  4. Once ready to bake, preheat the oven to 220°C and bake your bites for about 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
  5. Melt your chocolate and creatively drizzle it over the bites. Enjoy!

Rating – 9/10

Everyone who tried them loved them – this is already my second batch within a week!

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