Hi guys! A very Christmassy post from me today, with a couple of vegan versions of Christmas favourites – lebkuchen and gingerbread biscuits. Both are perfect to give to guests, package up as presents or to simply eat! They’ll also make your house smell amazing whilst cooking; a gorgeous warm, spicy scent.
These gingerbread biscuits are so simple, fun to decorate and you can even hang them on your tree (though maybe not if you have bouncy, greedy dogs like mine!).
80g dark brown muscavado sugar
2 heaped tbsp molasses
10 cardamon pods
250g plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 teaspoon Egg Replacer + 1/2 tablespoon water
2 tbsp non dairy milk
Preheat the oven at 180C/160C fan.
Mix the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the molasses.
Open the cardamon pods and crush the seeds (you can do this in a pestle and mortar or I used a coffee bean grinder). Add them to the mixture, along with the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, ginger, egg replacer and water. I don’t tend to mix the ‘egg’ up beforehand as I find it harder to mix – it gets a bit gluey. Add more spice if required.
Beat in the plant milk. The dough should come together in a ball and not be too wet. You can add more milk if necessary.
Roll out on a floured surface and cut the biscuits into shapes – I did trees and stars from cutters then freehand hearts and candy canes. Place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and bake for 12-14 minutes. Cool on cooling rack and ice only once cold.
And then ice any way you want! This year we got premade icing pens from Sainsbury’s – vegan friendly and really quick.
You can also make simple white icing from 100g of icing sugar to 1tbsp of water or lemon juice. Then add more icing/water until it’s the thickness you want.
If you make a hole in these whilst still hot out of the oven, they can also be hung on the tree by a piece of ribbon!
Lebkuchen are a traditional German baked Christmas treat, similar to gingerbread. I can’t claim mine are very traditional, but they are warming, fragrant and good with coffee!
200g syrup (I tend to use agave or golden)
85g vitalite/vegan spread
200g plain flour
100g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground allspice/mixed spice
½ tsp ground cloves
zest and juice from 1/2 orange
pinch sea salt
Filled: apricot jam
Chocolate dipped: 200g dark chocolate
Iced: 200g icing sugar and 2 tbsp boiling water
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan.
Heat the syrup and vitalite in a saucepan over a low heat until melted. Tip into a large bowl and put in the fridge for 5 minutes.
Once slightly cooled stir in the remaining ingredients. (The mixture will be very wet – see below). Return to the fridge for at least 1 hour, until completely cold.
Now these can be left plain or filled with apricot jam (my favourite).
Plain: Roll out to 2.5cm thick on a lightly floured surface – as it’s wet you may use quite a lot of flour. Use cutters to cut out shapes (I used star cutters and freehand hearts). You can also roll into balls around golf ball size and flatten slightly.
Filled: Roll out to around 1.5cm thick. Dot the right-hand half of the dough with the jam, leaving plenty of space. Fold over the remaining dough and flatten around the jam. Cut out shapes as before, ensuring the jam is in the centre of each.
Transfer to greaseproof paper lined baking trays, leaving enough space between each to spread during cooking. Bake for 15 minutes, until firm to the touch and golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Now to ice! To make a sugar glaze, mix the icing sugar and water in a bowl. Dip one face of the lebkuchen into the glaze and return to the wire rack, icing side up, to set.
To make chocolate lebkuchen, dip one face into the chocolate and return to the wire rack, chocolate side up, to set.
If yours come out prettier than mine you can also leave some bare.
I hope you like these recipes. Do you have a go to Christmas recipe? Would you make either of these? Let me know in the comments or come chat on Instagram!