When she escaped Hungary during the 1956 revolution, my grandmother carried only a small suitcase. It held a few clothes...and thankfully, her cookbooks. In her new home, she honored her traditions through food: jelly donuts on Fat Tuesday, pork sausages at harvest time, and Honey Kisses at Christmas. The original recipe is in German, hence the metric measurements. And like many German baked goods, these cookies can be made weeks in advance and stored in a tightly-covered cookie tin, to allow the flavors to meld. —Windischgirl
- Makes over 5 dozen
Honey; the darker the honey, the more flavorful the cookies
Ground cinnamon, or to taste
- In a large saucepan, warm the honey over low heat until it is runny and just starting to bubble. Remove from the heat and add half the flour (250 grams), stirring until well- blended. Cover the pot and let the mixture stand at room temperature for 24 hours.
- Combine the baking powder, cinnamon, and lemon zest with the remaining flour and set aside. Scrape the honey mixture into the work bowl of a stand mixer. With the mixer on low, beat in the three eggs one at a time, until well-blended and smooth, starting at low speed and gradually increasing the speed to level 4. Anyu would use a wooden spoon, but I use my stand mixer with the beater blade. Add in the remaining flour mixture and combine on low speed until smooth. The mixture will be stiff. Let the dough rest at room temperature for two hours, covered.
- Preheat the oven to 350f. On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough to approximately 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch thick. The dough will be sticky and fragile. The dough is easier to work with if thicker.
- Using your favorite cookie cutters, dipped in flour, cut the dough into desired shapes. Anyu liked diamonds, hearts, and stars. On parchment-lined cookie sheets, space the cookies about an inch apart.
- Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, until the start to firm up; they will harden as they cool. Transfer the cookies to racks to cool completely.
- If desired ,the cookies can be glazed once cool. To 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, add lemon juice drop by drop until it is moistened and spreadable; make it thicker than you think it should be. Brush the glaze on the cookies and let them rest on racks until the glaze is dry.
- Store the cookies in a tightly covered container in a cool, dark place. The cookies need at least a week to meld before eating, to allow the flavors to blend. They keep several months.