Make Your Own Edible Tree Ornaments

 
Making your own edible Christmas decorations brings satisfaction, novelty and a personal touch to Christmas that high street products cannot touch. Not only are these little Christmas treats great to look at, they taste great as well, and are easy to make.

Edible Tree Ornaments

 

There is something special about handmade Christmas decorations in that it echoes of centuries-old Christmas traditions. In fact, making your own edible Christmas craft harps back to medieval times, and is still a strong Christmas custom in Nuremberg, Germany. Lebkuchen, or life cakes, as they are also known, are made from a special German recipe that preserves these Christmas treats throughout the Christmas holiday period.

 

Recipe for Life Cakes

 

The recipe for Lebkuchen cakes are can be altered to personal tastes, but traditionally was made from energy giving ingredients, such as honey, fruit and spices. Nowadays, these life giving cakes are made from simpler ingredients. To make them, you will need:

  • 100g (4oz) of plain flour
  • 50g (2oz) of butter
  • A pinch of baking powder and bicarbonate of soda
  • 35g (1.25oz) of golden syrup
  • 35g (1.25oz) of brown sugar
  • Teaspoon of black treacle
  • Pinches of cinnamon, mixed spice, ginger and nutmeg
  • A teaspoon of water.
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) or gas mark 4.
  2. Gently heat the brown sugar, treacle, syrup and the spices in a saucepan.
  3. Bring to the boil and remove from the heat.
  4. Add the butter, baking powder and bicarbonate. Melt the butter into the mixture and stir until smooth. Add the sieved flour to form a warm and smooth dough.
  5. Roll out onto a floured surface to a few millimetres thickness.
Cut the dough into desired shapes, which can be bells, stars, half moons, Xmas trees, birds, Santas, snowmen, holly leaves or berries. Remember to pierce a hole at one end of each shape before placing in the oven.
 
Detail for Holiday Decorations

 

A varnished effect can be achieved by brushing egg white over the shapes prior to baking. Cook on greased

baking paper for ten minutes or until light brown.

 

Once cool, pipe a little icing over the edges to add some definition if desired. Using seasonal food colouring, such as green and red, will make the life cakes look striking. Pass ribbon through the hole and hang on the tree or other location within the house.

 

Edible Holiday Decorations

 

Making your own Christmas decorations is easy and adds a personal touch to Christmas, not to mention an old tradition that goes back to European medieval times. An old Lebkuchen recipe is still going strong in Nuremberg and is easy to make. All that is required is a little imagination in the shapes cut and the detail applied. These life cakes’ preserving ingredients means these little Christmas treats will keep throughout the Christmas period for children to admire and enjoy.
 
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Photo credit: Jonik Wikimedia Commons
 
 
 

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