Back in January 2012 I published my version of Pryaniki, traditional Russian gingerbread. That recipe was quite successful and I was thinking about making some more since then : ) So in April 2014 I searched for a recipe in Russian to make some authentic gingerbread and here’s what I found, baked and now finally posted after all these months!
Well, you see, winter is somehow a more suitable period for tea from samovar with some pryaniki. And yes, I do drink my tea from… an electric samovar (I took it home from our dacha where it was sadly disused for quite a lot of years)! The very word pryaniki has this spicy-cozy connotation in it (pryaniy means spicy) which makes me think about making this Russian gingerbread in winter more than in any other season. And then I have soooo many Soviet cookie cutters!
Anyway, back in April last year I had too much going on to post these cookies. So here they are, put your samovar (which means ‘boiling by itself’) on and take out all those cookie cutters!
A year ago: Caucasian Cheese Pie and Some Winter Reflections
Two years ago: Post in Which We Swap Sourdough Bread for Camera Lens and Finish with Apples! (oh, how lucky we were in 2013! It’s January and we still have apples from our dacha!)
Three years ago: 4 White Breads and Old New Year
Honey Pryaniki, Traditional Russian Honey Gingerbread (Пряники медовые) translated and adapted from www.trapeza.su will make a mountain of soft and chewy spicy cookies. ATTENTION: overnight rest! I made half of this recipe (see my remarks in italics).
- 1,5 kg flour – even making only half the recipe I used less flour
- 500 g honey
- 300 g sugar
- 4 eggs
- 200 g butter
- 1/2 glass of sour cream (smetana) – a Russian glass contains 250 ml water
- 2 tsp soda
- ground coriander
- ground cinnamon
- cloves – I prefer nutmeg
For the glaze:
- 1 egg white
- 150 g powdered sugar
- mint drops – nope
Heat the honey, mix with spices, add sugar, butter, eggs, soda and flour.
Knead the dough (it should be thick and dense) and leave in a cool place, covered, for 24 hours.
Roll out the dough, cut out the cookies, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 180’C for 25-30 minutes.
For the glaze: Work the egg white together with the powdered sugar and then add the mint drops. Brush the cookies with the glaze and return to the oven (at 150’C) for 2-3 minutes. You just need the glaze to set, so the oven shouldn’t be too hot!
The sugary crust:
Result: Lots of spicy delicatessen even from half the recipe! And they do keep well! I remember now I took some pryaniki with me when I went to Strasbourg in May 2014. I think they were perfect with the old town as the background and the memories of the spicy Christmas market! And also Alsace is a homeplace for everything gingerbread, like these traditional bredele.
This recipe came to my mind after I sent a parcel to my friend with some Tula pryaniki inside (with black currant jam and sweetened condensed milk). Hope she likes them! I did not dare to send anything made by myself (= without preservatives) as there’s this khm particularity of Post of Russia to deliver things veeery slowly…
A glimpse of St Pete these days? Here you are : )
This might need an explanation. People in Russia recently started decorating their yards – sometimes with toys or flowers or both. You see, before it was a very futile thing – anything you introduced to embellish the place was either vandalized or just stolen. Well, those were the days when people were less well off – and they also had nothing else to do, I guess. So, this is a big bowl turned upside-down and painted. Now it looks like a poisonous mushroom and is here to decorate the yard : ) Got it?
This recipe goes to my Russian/Soviet collection of recipes.