In Austria, in the time before Christmas you will sometimes find Filled Gingerbread in certain bakeries. Filled Gingerbread is usually rather about 2 ½ to 4 inches big and at least an inch thick. Depending on the bakery, there are lots of variations. They might be filled with nougat, marzipan, nuts or jam, glazed with chocolate or sugar frosting, and decorated with nuts or candied fruit.
I love Filled Gingerbread. It is really good, and very rich. Whenever we buy some, we usually cut it into small pieces and have it for dessert.
About two weeks ago I saw Filled Gingerbread in a traditional bakery in Linz. I did not buy any, and unfortunately I did not even take a picture. It looked delicious, but was quite expensive. I let myself be inspired and decided to create my own Filled Gingerbread.
Preparing the dough was simple and fast. I then used my cookie cutters for about one third of the dough and was very happy about my gingerbread-trees, the bears, hearts, stars, roosters and ducks.
With the remaining two thirds of the dough I played around. I cut out various shapes and decorated them with almonds and nuts. I filled the baked gingerbread generously with raspberry or cranberry jam and with marzipan, then I dipped the edges into chocolate glazing. What can I say. Delicious.
I am thinking about making more of this gingerbread. I can imagine that rosehip jam or orange marmalade and marzipan would make a great filling, or orange jam and nougat. And coconut flakes on the chocolate glazing, or chopped nuts. There are many combinations I can think of!
Unfortunately, if you have fructose-intolerance, gingerbread is not ideal as it contains a lot of honey – therefore I listed this recipe in the category “Off Limits”. I usually avoid honey, but still made this gingerbread with honey and not with rice syrup, as the honey is essential for the taste of the gingerbread. At least my Filled Gingerbread is lactose-free when it comes to filling and glazing. I can therefore eat small amounts of it.
4¼ cups (500 g) wheat flour
2 cups (250 g) rye flour
¾ oz. (20 g) baking soda
1 cup (300 g) honey
1 cup (200 g) fine sugar
2 egg yolks
7.2 oz. (200 g) soft butter
grated lemon peel from ½ lemon
1 tbsp. vanilla sugar (not vanillin)
1 package gingerbread spices (or: 3 g ground cinnamon, 2 g ground cloves, 1 g ground ginger, 2 g grated lemon peel)
Milk for brushing the gingerbread
Almonds (peeled), walnuts for decorating
Filling (sufficient for ⅔ of the dough):
7 oz. (200 g marzipan paste
Powdered sugar (for rolling out the marzipan paste)
Raspberry jam or cranberry jam
Glazing (sufficient for ⅔ of the dough):
7.2 oz. (200 g) dark chocolate, lactose-free (Lindt 70%, Merci 72%)
¼ cup (50 g) butter
Preheat the oven to 355° F (180° C). Cover baking sheets with baking paper.
Combine wheat flour, rye flour and baking soda in a big mixing bowl.
In a small pot, warm honey and sugar over low heat. Stir until well combined.
With a strong kitchen machine and a dough hook, knead flour mixture, egg, egg yolks, butter, grated lemon peel, vanilla sugar and gingerbread spices to a firm dough. You can also do this by hand, but be warned – kneading this dough will be quite a bit of work! Leave the dough in the fridge or in a cool place for at least three hours.
Lightly knead the dough through again. Cover the worktop with flour. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is about 1/3 of an inch thick.
With a cookie cutter, cut out any shapes you want. Decorate with almonds and/or walnuts, brush with milk and bake for 10-15 minutes until light brown.
Use the remaining two thirds of the dough for the Filled Gingerbread: either use big cookie cutters, or cut out squares of a bit more than two inches. Decorate the gingerbread you want to use for the top parts with almonds or nuts. Do not decorate the bottom parts. Brush with milk and bake for 10-15 minutes. Let the gingerbread cool.
Cover the worktop with powdered sugar and roll the marzipan into a thin plate of about 1/16th of an inch. Cut the marzipan paste into the same shapes as the gingerbread. You will need one piece of marzipan for two pieces of gingerbread. The marzipan will go in the middle.
Now fill the gingerbread: take a bottom part and thickly spread it with jam. Place a piece of marzipan paste onto the jam. Take a top part and spread the bottom side with jam. Put both parts together. The gingerbread with filling now consists of a bottom part, jam, marzipan paste, jam, and a top part.
Prepare the chocolate glazing: coarsely chop the chocolate. Cut the butter into small cubes. Melt in a small pot over low heat.
Dip the edges of the Filled Gingerbread into the chocolate glazing. Let it cool on a cooling rack.
If you want to make filled gingerbread with all the dough, use 10.7 oz (300 g) marzipan paste for the filling, and 10.7 oz. ( 300 g) chocolate and ⅓ cup (75 g) butter for the chocolate glazing.
Dough adapted from: Gasteiger, H., Wieser, G., Bachmann, H. (2008, 12. Auflage). So kocht Südtirol. Bozen: Athesia AG.