December 20th, 2012 | Posted by Monika Topolko in Recipes

Last Minute Christmas Baking: Honey Cookies

Honey Cookies

Traditional Croatian honey cookies are not that different from gingerbread cookies. In fact, they are virtually the same, except that they are not spiced with ginger, since it is not among the traditional Croatian spices and was hard to get in the past. They are usually spiced with cinnamon and cloves, the two ultimate Christmas spices, and sweetened with honey.

Honey Cookies

Among many recipes for honey cookies, this is probably the most basic one. Unlike most of the other recipes, these old-fashioned honey cookies do not contain ground nuts, and are fat free. To make them, you’ll need just flour, spices, honey and eggs, which probably makes them one of the cheapest Christmas treats. They’re dead simple to make, too.

Honey Cookies

The walnut halves on top of the cookies are completely optional. You can substitute them with blanched almonds or skip them completely, especially if you’re looking for a cheaper version. In that case, press the top of each ball with your finger to flatten it slightly. Once baked, roll the warm cookies in icing sugar. Another option is to cover the cookies with a simple icing sugar glaze.Honey Cookies

Although these cookies are incredibly quick and easy to make, you do need to pay attention to the baking time. It is crucial that you don’t overbake them, as they will become really hard and crumbly. They will soften after couple of days in an airtight container, but it’s best that you keep an eye on them while they’re in the oven. That way you’ll be able to eat them straight away and they will get better and better the longer they sit. Honey cookies can be stored for up to 4 weeks.

Honey Cookies

 The beauty of these spiced little cookies lies in the fact that they can be made either weeks before Christmas, or quickly put together on Christmas Eve. For more easy last minute holiday recipes make sure to check the previous post.

Recept na hrvatskom

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Old-fashioned Honey Cookies

Yields about 80 cookies
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Difficulty: Basic

Category: Cookies
Cuisine: Croatian
There are many versions of honey cookies out there, and this is one of the most simple and basic recipes. Many traditional recipes ask for ground walnuts or almonds, but not this one. These cookies are also completely fat-free. It is crucial that you do not overbake the cookies, as they will become too hard and crumbly. Honey cookies can be stored for up to 4 weeks in an airtight container and they get softer and better the longer you let them sit.
550g flour
1 heaped teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
130g sugar
6 tablespoons honey
3 large eggs
1 egg white, to brush the cookies
80 walnut halves
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and sugar. Add honey and eggs. Mix with a wooden spoon to form a dough.
Take a teaspoon of the dough and form a small ball using the palms of your hands. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Place the balls onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 cm apart. Brush each ball with some egg white and press a walnut half on top of each ball.
Bake for 10-12 minutes. Don't overbake them or else they will be too hard. They are done when they start browning at the bottom. The rest of the cookie should not get dark. Cool them on a rack and store in an airtight container. They can be stored for up to 4 weeks.

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10 Responses

  • Anna says:

    I’ve never had honey cookies in my life. Yours look so inviting, though.
    I’ll save the recipe for later :)

  • Upravo se peku, hvala za recept

  • Paul S. says:

    Looks great and I think I’m going to give these a try today but…a cookie that contains 3 eggs is not fat-free.

  • Katerina says:

    Hello, I am in the process of baking them. I made a mistake and made them too big. I had no idea that they grow so much (although you mention it, it should be more clear for dummies like me).
    Should the texture be chewy?

    • Hi Katerina,

      the larger the cookies are, the more they will grow. When still warm, the cookies should be a bit soft and chewy, but once cold, they should be just barely crispy. The longer you keep them in an airtight containner, the tastier and softer they become.

  • Alix says:

    Hello! So, I had to look up the conversion for 550g into cups and I came up with 3 and 2/3. I used this much flour and was left with an excess of crumbly flour and sugar and spices in the bottom of the bowl that the eggs and honey didn’t saturate. I figured I used too much flour and looked up the conversion on a different site and came up with more like 3 cups.
    That being said, I’ve had these cookies in the oven at 170* for over 15 minutes and they’re still extremely soft. Like, I can’t pick them up off the parchment without them stretching and tearing apart. I turned up the heat so we’ll see if they start to harden a bit.
    Would be nice if you had the cup conversion on your recipes as well, but I do understand that Americans don’t rule the world (though many of us might like to think so) and our measuring system isn’t exactly universal. Wish we are on the metric system, gah…
    On the plus side, they do smell awesome. And I plan to eat these little guys regardless of texture. :)

  • Alix says:

    Update: had them in for another 8 minutes or so at 250* and they’re finally done and hardened. Also should have mentioned that I added more honey so the dough was more saturated and this might have contributed to them being so soft.
    Update #2: I have way too much time on my hands…

    • Hi Alix,

      I’m sorry you’ve been having a hard time with these cookies. I think your main issue were the conversions. 550g of flour is actually more along the lines of 4 1/2 cups (4 cups + 3 tablespoons, to be more precise). When converting from metric system you also have to bear in mind the ingredient on hand. A cup of flour does not weigh the same as a cup of sugar. Sugar is more dense and so 1 cup of sugar weighs around 225g, while a cup of all-purpose flour weighs around 125g. Here’s a great calculator that takes into account different kinds of ingredients while converting from cups to grams and vice versa. On the right sidebar you can navigate between different ingredients, such as butter, sugar, rolled oats and so on:
      Judging by the way the cookies were falling apart in your hands after 15 minutes in the oven, I think your dough was probably too wet and your cookies larger than mine. The additional honey did not help either. Was the dough sticky while you were rolling the cookies? Also, are you positive your oven was at the right temperature? 170°C equals to about 350°F.
      Anyway, I hope you managed to salvage the cookies in the end and hopefully they didn’t come out too hard. When baking with honey, cookies tend to harden a lot more than when using sugar, and they take a few days of softening up in an airtight container before they’re ready to eat.
      As far as the conversions are concerned, I am aware that most of my readers would prefer my recipes in cups, but I don’t own a set of American cups or measuring spoons so I rely on online conversion tools, just like you. There is always room for error when converting from metric system and I really wouldn’t want to put the incorrect numbers on my site and risk my readers having a kitchen disaster because of my mistake. That’s why I weigh all the ingredients carefully and try to write the method in a clear and detailed manner. However, I do realize that there is also a lot room for error when you convert the measurements yourself, and I’ll think about adding cup conversions to my recipes.
      Thanks for trying out my recipe and giving me some insight into the problems you had. I’ll probably make the cookies again soon just to check the measurement and make sure I didn’t get anything wrong.

      Best of luck,

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