Pryaniki (Russian Spice Cookies)
Makes 3 dozen cookies. Recipe by Barbara Rolek, Eastern European food expert for about.com.
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
1/2 teaspoon allspice (optional)
1?8 teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks
1 large whole egg
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup honey or agave syrup
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons water
1. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves (be careful with the cloves — too much can produce a bitter taste), nutmeg and allspice, if using, and salt.
2. In a separate large bowl, beat together 2 egg yolks, 1 whole egg, melted butter and honey or agave syrup. Mix in the dry ingredients until well incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.
3. Heat oven to 350 F (or 325 F if using agave). Place parchment paper the size of your cookie sheets on a clean surface. Using a cookie scoop, portion out mounds of dough and roll them in your hands until they are completely smooth. Place on the prepared cookie sheets leaving 2 inches between each cookie. They will flatten out somewhat but still retain a domed shape.
4. Bake 10-20 minutes, or until just golden, rotating the sheets halfway through for even baking. Cool on the sheets until the cookies firm slightly. Transfer to racks to finish cooling.
5. To frost, in a bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and enough water (1 to 2 tablespoons) to form a thin icing. Spread on cooled cookies with a pastry brush and allow to dry.