Christmas Baking – Lebkuchen

As soon as both Halloween and Bonfire night are over, my thoughts always turn to Christmas and what I’ll make this year. Each year I try to make a few things as gifts and in the past I have made mainly fudge, chocolate truffles, marzipan fruits and those sort of things which are great sweet treats and also small and easy to post if necessary at this time of year.
This year I am taking things a little further and making some food gift baskets for friends and family with lots of different foods inside. I also thought about making my own mulled wine or spirits but the cost of glass bottles for packaging is so high I will be giving it a miss this time around! I already know in 2012 I will be freecycling and keeping an eye out in the sales for things to use ready for next Christmas!
Lebkuchen christmas biscuits recipe
A favourite in this house at Christmas is gingerbread men, cornish fairings and lebkuchen – all different takes on a spicy gingery biscuit. When being baked they all smell like Christmas so they are great for making on Christmas eve. I haven’t baked lebkuchen before – a traditional german ‘biscuit’ recipe that contains nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and cloves, which makes a lovely alternative to gingerbread men so yesterday I baked a ‘test’ batch ready for Christmas!
lebkuchen christmas biscuits recipe close up icing

I used this recipe from the BBC Goodfood website and added icing in a more ‘artsy’ (messy!) way instead of coating them entirely. They all cracked on top during cooking which looked so pretty and they taste spicy without being overpowering – I’ll be making some more just before christmas.
Also this week I enquired about running a stall at our local Christmas Fayre to sell some goodies – fudge, truffles, stollen etc but after the cost of the stall itself (£25 with £5 deposit – which I thought was a bit steep) I would barely break even. I haven’t done anything like this before but my baking abilities seem to be taking off and I’m baking for the local majorette group again this week so I thought the fayre would be a logical step to test the waters. So I’ve decided not to do it as it would be too expensive and once again will aim to do one next year instead. Do give me some tips if you are in the same boat (gifts, crafts, art, baking etc) -how do you keep costs down for events?
I am now off to make some chocolate orange profiteroles :) And more christmas baking piccy’s to follow soon. What are your favourite Christmas recipes and treats?

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