These wonderful little ginger and honey biscuits from Germany have a real festive flavour and a slightly chewy centre. They appear in the shops here in the UK around Christmas time, sometimes heart-shaped, covered in dark chocolate with a jammy centre. They are delicious!!
The chocolate coating is optional and a bit fiddly. It should be spread on the cookies after the egg white mixture is dry.
It’s the egg white coating that keeps the biscuits moist and chewy, if you omit that and just go for the chocolate, the biscuits will tend to be crunchier and drier.
250 g plain flour
85 g ground almonds
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
pinch each ground cloves, grated nutmeg and black pepper
200 ml clear honey
85 g butter
finely grated zest 1 lemon
For the topping:
100 g icing sugar
1 egg white
225 g dark chocolate (optional)
Tip all the dry ingredients for the biscuits into a bowl.
Heat the honey and butter together over a low heat, until the butter has melted, then pour into the flour mixture along with the lemon zest.
Mix well with a wooden spoon and keep on stirring until the dough firms up and is reasonably solid, although it will still be a little tacky. Cover and set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.
With floured hands divide the dough into about 32 balls, then flatten each one slightly into a disk.
Place on baking trays lined with baking parchment, leaving space between them to expand. Bake for 15 minutes, then place on a wire rack to cool.
To make the icing, mix the sugar and egg white together with 1-2 tablespoons of water to form a smooth, runny icing.
Dip the top of each biscuit in the icing and spread with the back of a knife. Leave to dry out in a warm place.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water. Use a pastry brush to coat the biscuits then place on a tray lined with baking parchment. Place in the fridge until set.