Plan ahead! Once mixed, the dough needs to rest and develop flavor for 1 to 2 days before it's baked.
Reprinted with permission from Dorie's Cookies (Houghton Mifflin, 2016). —Dorie Greenspan
about 60 cookies
For the cookies
candied orange peel, homemade or store-bought, finely chopped
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
plus 2 tablespoons (287g) all-purpose flour
freshly grated nutmeg
freshly ground black pepper
sliced almonds, unblanched or blanched
kirsch, Grand Marnier, or dark rum (optional)
For the glaze
(60g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tablespoons
kirsch, Grand Marnier, dark rum, or water
In This Recipe
To make the cookies: Pour the honey and sugar into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring just until the sugar dissolves. Stay close—once the honey boils, it can easily bubble over. Remove the pan from the heat; stir in the candied peel and lemon zest and scrape into a large bowl. Set aside to cool to lukewarm, about 30 minutes.
While the honey is cooling, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and spices.
Using a sturdy flexible spatula or a wooden spoon, stir the almonds and the kirsch (or other alcohol), if you're using it, into the honey mixture, then gradually add the dry ingredients. You're going to end up with a very heavy dough, so be prepared to put some muscle into the mixing.
Scrape the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper dusted with flour and shape it into a square. dust the top with flour, sandwich it with another piece of parchment, and roll it into a 12-inch square. Don't worry about precision, but do try to get the dough a scant 1/2 inch thick (I actually aim for 1/3 inch, but I don't always make it). Slide the sandwiched dough onto a baking sheet, wrap the setup in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for 2 days or keep it at room temperature for 1 day.
Getting ready to bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Peel the parchment away from the top and bottom of the dough and place the dough on the lined baking sheet. Bake the leckerli for 13 to 15 minutes, or until it is golden and puffy; it may crack, but that's fine. Press on the dough lightly, and it will be soft. Slide the leckerli, still on its parchment, onto a cooling rack.
Meanwhile, to make the glaze: Put all the ingredients in a bowl and stir until smooth.
Using a pastry brush, brush the glaze evenly over the entire surface of the warm leckerli. If some drips dow the sides, that's fine. Allow the leckerli to cool to room temperature.
Carefully slide the leckerli off the parchment and onto a cutting board. Working with a chef's knife or other long knife, trim the edges and cut the leckerli into 3-inch-wide bands. Cut each band into 3/4-inch-wide cookies.
Called a “culinary guru” by the New York Times and inducted into the James Beard Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America, Dorie Greenspan is the author of 13 cookbooks, her latest is Everyday Dorie. Some of her other bestselling cookbooks include Dorie's Cookies, Baking Chez Moi, Around My French Table and Baking From My Home to Yours.