Honey cookies also known as mézeskalács are a traditional Christmas treat in Hungary and are often sold at festivals and markets. Similar to gingerbread, these cookies are made with honey and spices and are decorated with white sugar icing. This recipe is an adaptation from Nora Papp’s recipe, who is the creator and editor of Wise Lady, a blog about Hungarian food.
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (115 grams) granulated sugar
3 1/2 cups (435 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa
5 tbsp honey
2 large eggs
1 egg white
1 1/4 cup (275 grams) confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
Sift together flour, baking soda, and spices into a large bowl. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer beat butter, sugar and eggs.
In a small pot over high heat, melt honey. Add to mixture and beat well, continue by adding the flour mixture gradually. If dough is too sticky, add more flour.
Gather into ball. Divide in half and flatten into discs. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until firm.
Preheat oven to 350 °F (180 °C) and line a standard baking sheet with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough until it’s 1/8-inch’s thick. Cut out desired shapes and place on baking sheet.
Bake cookies for about 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch.
For icing, beat egg whites until foamy. Add lemon juice and beat again for 2 minutes. Add sugar gradually and beat until completely incorporated. If icing is too runny, add more sugar until smooth and creamy.
Put icing in a pastry bag fitted with a small plain round tip. Pipe designs on cookies. Let icing set completely at room temperature, about 1 hour.