CHRISTMAS HONEY COOKIES
Traditional Christmas honey cookies, tasting like cake with so many tasty layers and flavor complexity that arises from different spices, orange and delicious, sweet, gold honey. So simple to make but extremely flavor compact. No butter here, only olive oil.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Servings: 40 cookies
- 1½ cup (370ml) olive oil
- ⅔ cup (150ml) orange juice
- 1tablespoon orange zest
- ⅔ cup (150ml) cognac or brandy
- 1-1½ cup (200g-300g) table sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground clove
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 7-8 cups (1kg) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 cups (250g) walnuts, chopped
- 2 cups (250ml) water
- 1-1½ cups (200-300g) table sugar
- 1 cup (340g) honey
- 1 cinnamon stick
Preheat the oven at 200°C / 390°F.
In a big bowl, combine the olive oil, sugar, orange, orange zest, cognac/brandy, sugar, clove powder, cinnamon powder. Whisk well for 1-2 minutes to dissolve sugar.
In another smaller bowl, sift the flour with the baking powder and baking soda and add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture. Use a spoon and gradually incorporate the flour.
After adding 6 cups of flour, the dough is too firm to stir with the spoon. Use your hands to gently fold the dough from the bottom to the top. Knead for no more than 2 minutes. Add gradually more flour. It is time to check the dough. Shape one cookie and let it rest for a couple of minutes. If it holds its shape, the dough is ready. If the cookie is melting down, add more flour to the dough.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (just in case because they usually don's stick), shape the cookies in any form you like and place them leaving some distance between them. Pinch lightly their surface with a fork or press gently the cookies on a cheese grater.
Place the sheet in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown. Let them cool.
In a saucepan on medium-high heat add water, sugar, the cinnamon stick. Boil for 5 minutes and remove from heat. Let it cool for about 10 minutes and add the honey. Whisk until it dissolves and remove the cinnamon stick.
Dip the cookies into the hot syrup with a slotted spoon for 5-10 minutes. The time depends on how sweet and soft you want them. Test the first one and adjust accordingly for the rest of them. Then dip them in batches to save time, rotate them and remove them.
Place them on a large platter and immediately sprinkle chopped walnuts. Alternatively, place them in a well-sealed food container and keep them out of the fridge for one month.
A clever way to enjoy those cookies is to make a huge batch 3-4 weeks before Christmas and to keep them in food containers WITHOUT the syrup. They are an excellent and convenient snack even without it.
Then, when you want to serve them or to offer them as a gift at Chrismas, make the syrup and adjust it to the quantity you want to serve/offer. Don't forget the chopped walnuts.