Polish Pierniki (Spice Cookies)
Pierniki are another of the broad range of sweet spice cookies / biscuits that start appearing all over Europe as the holiday period approaches. The general flavor of pierniki recalls that of gingerbread, but often there's no ginger in them at all. (Nonetheless, they seem to hold something of the same position in Polish life as decorated gingerbreads do in German tradition: you can see some decorated pierniki at their page in the Polish version of Wikipedia.) After baking, they can be dusted with confectioners' / icing sugar, glazed with a sugar glaze, or coated with chocolate.
Many commercially baked versions are available, but a lot of people prefer to do their own pierniki from recipes passed to them by family members or friends.
These cookies will keep very well for a couple of weeks sealed in a cake tin. (If anyone's able to stay away from them for that long!) They are also a favorite cookie for hanging, decorated, on the Christmas tree.
MMMMM----- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.05 Title: Pierniki (Polish Spice Cookies) Categories: Cookies, Biscuit, Ethnic, Poland, Polish Yield: 1 Servings 1 c Honey 4 c Flour -Pinch of black pepper 1/2 ts Cinnamon 1/2 ts Nutmeg 1/2 ts Cloves 1/2 ts Allspice 4 Eggs 1 c Sugar 1 ts Soda, dissolved in a little -water Heat the honey until it boils, then allow it to cool to lukewarm. Sift the flour with the spices. Beat the eggs with the sugar until thick. Add the soda, the honey, and the flour. Mix well. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured board to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut cookies in whatever shapes you like. Bake them on buttered sheets in a 350F oven for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until just lightly browned. The Pierniki may be decorated with a thin glaze made of confectioners' sugar, water, almond or vanilla extract, and a drop of food coloring. MMMMM