My inner geek actually thought “This is such a nice idea! I need Hearthstone cookies. Omfg!”. Then I realized: You played that game for roughly a week and really sucked at it – I even died in the tutorial for countless times.
First I thought a simple sugar cookie would be a great base. But for Christmas, what can be better than German “Lebkuchen”? It’s so rich and aromatic and it reminds me so much of the Christmas market perfumes back in my hometown which I loved to visit with my grandparents. So, to all you geeks and nerds out there, Merry Christmas – always embrace your inner geek!
PS: If you want to find out if you suck at the game as much as I did, try it for free: Hearthstone!
- 250g Honey
- 150g Dark Brown Sugar
- 100g Light Brown Sugar
- 100g Butter
- 10g Freshly Grated Ginger
- 5g Four Spice
- 10g Cinnamon
- 500g Flour
- 4 Teaspoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 2 Eggs
- 6g Salts of Hartshorn
- 6g Potash
- 30ml Brown Rum
- Mix sugar with honey and heat it on the stove on medium heat. As soon as the sugar starts to dissolve, add in the butter and the spices. Grate the ginger as fine as you can and stir it in as well. If sugar is dissolved completely, remove it from the stove and let it cool for roughly 10 minutes.
- In the meantime mix flour and cocoa powder in a big bowl and mix the rum with your potash and salts of hartshorn - these will be your raising agents.
- Start stirring the heated mixture into your dry ingredients, if it is all used up, add one egg slowly after another. Also add your raising agents.
- Now comes the hard part. Kneading the dough. This is quite exhausting - it also seems like a great idea to let your kitchen machine do it. Don't! The dough is very hard and your machine will have a hard time. So roll up your sleeves and work that "Lebkuchen"!
- Knead until the dough doesn't stick any longer. If it stays very wet, add some more flour. Your dough will look shiny and non-sticky when it is kneaded perfectly.
- Let the dough rest for at least 1 night in your fridge. You can actually store it for roughly 2 months! The longer it rests, the softer and better the gingerbread gets. Best to use is a ceramic bowl which can be closed properly.
- When you want to bake it, roll it quite thin - the potash and the salts of hartshorn can leave a bitter taste if the gingerbread is too thick. So try to have it not thicker than 5mm. Use whatever cookie cutter your geeky heart desires!
- Bake it in a preheated oven at 180°C for 5 to 8 minutes. Keep an eye on them, they will be quite soft when you have to get them out of the oven, so the best is to check on of the gingerbreads and cut it open. If you see a fluffy and baked texture, take them out. Otherwise leave them for a bit longer. They should be light brown, the darker they get, the worse they taste and gingerbread can turn easily into a bitter mess.
- If you want a shiny and glossy top, take the gingerbreads out of the oven right before the end of the baking time and brush a sugar-water mixture on them. Then bake them for 1 or 2 minutes more.
- Do you prefer simple decorations like the glossy top, you can also press blanched almonds into the freshly rolled out dough.
- Do you want to be fancy? Then go the more artsy route and use royal icing as decoration. I used the wonderful recipe from Joy of Baking for that.
- Should your gingerbread get really hard, put some chopped, fresh apple into the box as soon as you store it. Take care that it doesn't get too wet, so put a thick layer of parchment paper between the "Lebkuchen" and the apple slices. Change the apple at least every two days to prevent them from molding.