Russian Spicy Cookies (Gingerbread)

Like in many other countries it used to be a tradition in Russia to start baking Christmas treats in December. The smell of freshly baked cakes and cookies filled the air and enhanced the Christmas spirit. The Russians started baking spicy cakes back in the 9th century, main ingredients being honey, berry juice and rye flour. Later other ingredients and spices were added and the basic recipe was transformed into lots of different variations. In the 13th this tasty spicy cake called pryanik (russ.: “пряник”) was included in cook books.

Spicy Cookies with Honey and Walnuts

Spicy Cookies with Honey and Walnuts

Ingredients
300 g (=2.5 cups) flour
100 g (=1/2 cup) honey
4 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp butter
2 eggs
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp clove powder
100 g (=0.8 cup) walnuts (chopped)

Directions

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  1. Warm up honey and sugar in a pan until sugar melts completely. Do not boil!
  2. Take pan off the heat, stir in flour, mix well and allow to cool.
  3. Blend in eggs and baking powder.
  4. Add soft butter, clove powder and chopped walnuts. Mix well.
  5. Drop dough by tablespoons about 1 inch apart onto greased baking sheet. Set on middle rack into cold oven and bake at 200C/390F for about 10 minutes.

Spicy Cookies with Honey and Lemon

Spicy Cookies with Honey and Lemon

Ingredients
150 g (=1.2 cup) flour
100 g (=1/2 cup) honey
4 tbsp sugar
0.2 cup water
3.5 tbsp butter
1/4 lemon (juice and zest)
pinch baking powder
1 egg yolk or some coffee cream

Directions

  1. Warm up honey, sugar and water in a pan until sugar melts completely. Do not boil! Take pan off the heat and allow to cool.
  2. Stir in 75 g flour and blend until smooth.
  3. Blend in soft butter, baking powder, lemon juice and freshly grated zest.
  4. Stir in remaining flour, just enough to make smooth and elastic dough that doesn’t stick to the hands. Don’t use too much flour to prevent cakes from getting too hard.
  5. Roll dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut out biscuits using a cookie cutter.
  6. Place biscuits onto greased baking sheet, brush with egg yolk or coffee cream. Bake at 200C/390F for about 10-15 minutes.

Russian recipes

Salads and Appetizers
Recipes for Russian salads, Mushroom Caviar, Russian eggs, etc.
Soups and stews
Borsch, Solyanka, Shchi and more recipes.
Main Dishes
Recipes for Russian pancakes (bliny), pelmeni, fish and meat recipes.
Grilling and BBQ
Shashlik recipes for Caucasian style barbecue.
Baking
Recipes for Russian pierogi, Vatrushki, an apple pie and cakes
Drinks
Recipes for Kwaß and Cranberry Water with Honey

Russian cuisine

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Russian Easter Feast – Russian Easter recipes