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Polish Recipes Newsletter

Polish Honey Spice Cookies (Pierniczki)

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

  • 1 cup clear honeyChristmas Polish Cookies
  • 4 eggs
  • 3-4 cups all purpose flour (for a more traditional flavor, use all-purpose rye flour)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2-1 cup sugar (optional)

Cookie Glaze

  • 200 g (7 oz) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract

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.




I had a horrible time with

I had a horrible time with this recipe. I prepared exactly as instructed and the dough came out the consistency of peanut butter, and with the honey it was so sticky it was unworkable. I added another cup and a half of flour and tried to roll it out with ample flour on the ruling surface and pin and it was still impossible to work. I ended up slapping big dollops of the stuff on a cookie sheet and tried just getting it cooked. They turned out pretty good, but I would use this recipe ever again.

Hmm, every flour is different

Hmm, every flour is different so I changed the recipe to 3 to "4" cups.  But, you REALLY have to make sure you chill the dough before rolling it out.  That is how it hardens.  


I would like the cookie cutter of the gingerbread lady in the frilly white lace royal icing design.

Excellent Recipe

Thank you so much for posting this. I just made a batch for Christmas. They're delicious.

Thanks Anne!

That is so great to know, thanks for writing to us!  Did you end up using all the sugar or just the honey?  Was just curious what worked for others.  Happy Holidays!  

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