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
adapted from Wildeisen
makes about 60 bites
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Once ready to bake, preheat the oven to 220°C and bake your bites for about 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
- 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!