These delectable spiced honey cookies are traditionally made at Christmas, but you can enjoy them any time of year. It turns out there is a legend to pierniki. One type of pierniki were invented by accident when a Torun baker's daughter, called Katarzyna, baked on her own one day to help out her sick father. She baked the dough too close together and the cookies fused together on the baking sheet into a shape now known as Katarzynki. The town still enjoyed her cookies to reward her for caring for her sick father. Today, Katarzynki are still the popular!
Cooking Note: Most Polish spice cookie recipes call for an entire cup of sugar plus a cup of honey in their recipes. The more traditional Polish recipes use only a cup of honey, no sugar, and are not nearly as sweet. We added just 1/2 cup of sugar, but you can add a whole cup if you like them very sweet, or add more honey. And, if you like them less sweet, just omit the sugar all together and keep it traditional. Also, if you add a sweet glaze, you may opt to keep the cookie more like a gingerbread, that is less sweet.
Polish Honey Spiced Cookies
HOney Spiced Cookie DIRECTIONS
1. Beat together the honey and whole eggs until light and fluffy. (You may need to slightly heat the honey and cool to liquify it). Sift over the flour, baking soda, spices, and beat to combine
2. Chill dough for several hours or overnight, covered. This will harden the dough.
3. Preheat oven to 400 F. Roll out dough on a slightly floured surface, about 1/4 inch thick. Stamp out dough with cookie cutters. Place on greased baking trays. Bake for 10-15 minutes until pierniki are golden brown. Remove with spatula to cool.
4. For the glaze, add the water slowly to the sugar and mix to a smooth paste with a couple drops of almond extract. Spread over cookies with a knife and let set.