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Prep 24 hrs
Cook 6 mins
Entered for safe-keeping for ZWT. By Erzsébet Madzsar Györgyné, via http://www.jcu.edu/language/hunghemu/mezes-szalon.html. Ideal for decorated Christmas cookies; these are served at festivals year-round. Let the artist inside you emerge! Note that the dough needs to rest at least 1 day at room temperature. The number of cookies depends on the size of the cookie cutter. Small shapes do not work well, as the shape will distort during baking. This is also called Hungarian gingerbread.
- 4 cups flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2⁄3 cup honey
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter (4 TBSP or 2 ounces)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 lemon, rind of, grated
- 1 egg
BAKING AND PRE-BAKING DECORATION
- extra egg(s) for egg wash
- 3 drops red food coloring (optional)
- poppy seed (optional)
COLORED SUGAR ICING
- 1 egg white
- powdered sugar, sifted (as much as needed to make fairly stiff paste)
- 3 drops food coloring, of choice
- DAY BEFORE BAKING:.
- Sift together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, cloves and baking soda.
- Melt together the butter and the honey, pour over the flour combination and stir to mix.
- Add 1 egg and knead together. The dough should be soft (you can add a bit of lukewarm water if necessary), since it will harden a bit during its resting period.
- Cover the dough in a bowl and let it rest at least one day at room temperature.
- BAKING DAY:.
- Rolling out the dough is easiest between two pieces of waxed paper.
- Cut desired shapes out of the dough (of about 3/8 inches thickness on average).
- Before baking, brush with the yolk of an egg to which a few drops of red food coloring have been added. If you are decorating with seeds, brush dough with egg white to "paste" seeds on top of dough before baking.
- (Alternately, let the honey cakes rest a few days and then decorate with colored sugar icings.).
- Place cut out pieces of dough on a cold, greased cookie sheet, bake at 350 degrees F. (or less) for about 6-8 minutes. Thicker pieces may need a longer time (ovens temperatures also vary).
- If icing cookies, let the honey cakes rest a few days and then decorate with colored sugar icings.
- MAKE VARIOUS COLORED SUGAR ICINGS:.
- Colored sugar icing, one version: To one egg white, add as much sifted powdered sugar as needed to make fairly stiff paste. Add desired food colorings, separated by color. (Do not use a mixer!)
- Spoon this mixture into a small nylon baggie, cut a tiny hole in one corner, roll up and use like a pencil to draw and color.