I am really a big fan of Christmas, which I know is not the coolest thing to admit to, but I love all the detail of it. Of course, it has nothing to do with the great amounts of food of all varieties.
And I really love the first packet of Lebkuchen that we get. For many years I had a German supplier who also used to send us a tin of gingerbread cookies each year (the china ornaments that accompanied them we are best to gloss over!) There’s also the time I left MGG and an alleged responsible adult in the kitchen with a gingerbread house kit…definitely a lesson in reading all the instructions first:
So, if you don’t want the faff, or even if you do, then here’s my roundup of the best gingerbread around. I think you may find it somewhat tricky to actually hand this over as a gift!
* Firstly, this is the one that caused the challenges to an adult. The results were tasty, and I know they had fun doing it. I do notice they have made one great amend though, and that is that this now has pre-made gingerbread pieces for assembling. Failing that, then buy a pre-made one from them.
* For a very cute round of festive gingerbread cookies, then I don’t think they come cuter than The Christmas Cookie Feast from Message Muffins. Great for a foodie family gift, you get Mr and Mrs Christmas plus 10 mini chocolate biscuit reindeer and 10 mini gingerbread Santas. Plenty to go around, and hopefully no squabbling!
* It’s probably no surprise that the internet allows there to be a site called The Gingerbread House, and that it is dedicated to gingerbread houses, and even castles. There are small kits, and large kits, and also a party kit that allows you to build 10 little houses. Or let 10 little pairs of hands loose on this perfect Christmas Day activity after the presents have all been unwrapped and boredom settling in kind of activity.
* To take the authentic route, then try the Gingerbread House kit from German Deli, a great online source for German goods. This gives you pretty much everything you need except the icing sugar. They also have a great selection of proper Lebkuchen for an authentic taste of German traditions. After all, I think it’s them we have to thank for this!
*For gingerbread without the guilt or calories,then I would pop Philosophy’s Gingerbread Man into a food lover’s Christmas stocking. A long soak in this will cheer up any dreary winter evening! My alternative would be anything in Origins Ginger range, which adds a zing to any shower time with its mix of ginger and citrus.
* Finally, if you’ve got someone who doesn’t like ginger, or want a slightly delinquent version, then check out this version from Fortnum & Mason. An enchanted cottage rather than Gingerbread house, made with chocolate biscuits rather than ginger biscuits, and comes with a whole stack of decorations. Hopefully including Santa’s legs!
Of course, you could always take the DIY route to produce something bespoke, and there’s a great recipe over on BBC Good Food. A different thing to do on stir up Sunday perhaps.