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Thursday, 27 December 2012

Honey Holiday Cookies

I am not the biggest fan of gingerbread; instead, since I was rather young, I make those honey cookies for Christmas and New Year’s. They are rather similar to gingerbread ones in that you can mold the dough the same way. However, this one is not that sharp and spicy, but rather mild honey-cinnamon-like (big surprise there!). I like to dunk mine in my milk or pumpkin spice latte. This recipe makes for a huge amount; I couldn't count them as the elves were continuously eating them before I took all the batches from the oven.

Decorated honey cookies

Honey holiday cookies recipe:
2 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup sunflower seed oil
700-900 g/25-32 oz flour
2 tbsp. powdered cinnamon

1. Heat the oven to 200C/390F.

Proof of temperature choice :D
2. Mix well the honey with the baking soda in a small bowl or cup until it gets pasty.

Honey and baking soda mix
3. Mix the eggs with the sugar until fluffy (preferably with a mixer), add the soda and honey paste; then slowly while mixing pour the oil little by little. Next, slowly start adding the flour and cinnamon while mixing. It depends on the brand how much flour you need, could be different every time. You might need to switch to the spiral looking whisks of your mixer and even start mixing with a big wooden spoon as the dough gets tougher. By the end you’ll need to knead it to incorporate the last bits of flower. It is important that you don’t overwork the dough as it will get too tough and the cookies will be too hard to bite on. The consistency of the dough you are looking for is play-doh like, it shouldn't be neither sticky (you won’t be able to cut it) nor too hard.

How to knead
4. If you don’t have a rolling pin and cookie cutters or you just don’t feel like all the hassle, you could make little balls out of the dough and bake them like that. Otherwise, flour your clean smooth surface (table) very well and flatten the dough on top. Sprinkle some flower on top of it and on your rolling pin so the dough doesn’t stick (do that every time the dough gets sticky) and start rolling from the middle out on all sides (vertically, horizontally, diagonally). The easiest way for me to roll (with a normal rolling pin like the one on the pictures) is to have my hands in the middle of the pin and slide them to the sides as I roll. Make sure the dough is the same thickness everywhere or some parts of the cookies will burn and others will be raw. You are looking for 0.5 cm/0.2 inches thickness.

How to roll
5. Sprinkle some more flower on top and smooth it with your hands. Now, you can cut out your shapes. If you don’t have cookie cutters, you can use glasses that have thin rims. This way you can make circles, crescents and all sorts of variations. A cute idea is to cut a little rectangular shape at the bottom of your cookie, so you can hang it on the rim of your coffee cup. Once you’ve cut your shapes, just re-knead your dough and roll it again, until finished. Don’t forget to flower the table or working surface, otherwise you won’t be able to remove your shapes from it.

Not yet baked cookies
6. Put your unbaked cookies on some baking paper-laid baking tray (if you don’t have baking paper just oil and flour the tray) and bake for between 5-10 min depending on the thickness of your dough. You are looking for golden brown.

7. Decorate your cookies if you like. You can sprinkle them with powdered sugar; stick them together with butter cream, chocolate, jam, etc. I went for encasing them with marzipan, which I coloured and rolled and decorated them further with icing. I used Dr. Oetker for all the decorations.

Honey Cookies

The ready cookies

By the way, look at these crazy old scales I found in my apartment! Funny huh! Next to them is the recipe for the cookies; love it when they looked all loved and used!

Old scales and the original recipe
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Would you make these lovely cookies at home?