Gift Idea Alert! I know, I know, it’s mid-November but you can never start too early if you want to take the stress factor out from holiday gifting. (OK, my Christmas shopping during summer sales might be a bit extreme, but you get the concept).
When it comes to presents, you can expect food favors from me, and as we approach festive season I will post delicacies that double as gifts to help tick some names off your list.
Today, I’m here to give you the ultimate winter classics: gingerbread spice and Lebkuchengewürz. Lebkuchen is also a gingerbread variety: the traditional German Christmas treat made with honey, spices, enriched with nuts and sometimes icing on top.
Gingerbread and Lebkuchen spices are similar, but not identical. Equally heavy on the cinnamon, while a traditional UK/US gingerbread blend has ginger, cloves (sometimes nutmeg and allspice is also added), Lebkuchen spice is more complex with coriander, star anise, cardamom and black peppercorn.
Both are versatile mix of spices perfect for baking the classic cookie, and can also be added to lots of other things. Basically, whatever you want to have a holiday flavor, let it be food or beverage.
Gingerbread spice is great in fruity sauces to accompany roasts, to sprinkle on a towering whipped cream mountain floating on your hot cocoa, on roasted butternut squash or carrots, adding to waffle batter, oatmeal, rice pudding, bundt cakes, crumbles, pies, to infuse honey and for making sugar syrups. Just to mention a few. 🙂
Stating hereby I have nothing against buying gingerbread spice at the store, since I usually have all the ingredients in my spice cabinet, I make it for myself. When I can’t get something like it happened with cardamom not so long ago, Kotányi Honey Cake spice mix (the one I used for my Festive Plum Preserve) or Bella Lebkuchen Spice from Aldi are tried, true & much loved replacement items.
Wether your taste gravitates towards the Anglosphere or Germanoshere, all you need is 5 minutes of your life to pre-make these endlessly customizable blends to have at the ready for several rounds of holiday baking and gift-giving. Fragrant, warm and aromatic, gingerbread spice is the perfect pantry staple to transform any food into a festive treat.
You can buy ground ingredients, or for an even richer aroma, buy whole spices and grind at home in a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder.
A little tip for mixing the spices evenly that I’ve learnt on family sausage stuffing events is to measure everything into a plastic bag, twist to close (don’t press air out) and shake.
2 parts ground ginger
2 parts ground cinnamon
1 part ground cloves
- Mix ingredients well
- Store it in an airtight container in a cool, dark place
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp ground star anise
½ tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp ground black peppercorn
- Mix ingredients well
- Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place
Go on and get bakin’!
*Disclaimer: I like and use the products mentioned in posts on My Chest of Wonders. What I write about such items represent my genuine and unbiased opinion, I am not being compensated in any way through sponsorship or gifts.*
“Store shelves with goods” illustration featured in title image © Redspruce