Recipe: Medenki – festive Bulgarian honey and spice cookies!

Posted: December 15, 2010 in Baking, Cookies, Recipes

Medenki seem ever-present when I look back on my childhood – like I always had one in hand! They’re soft, chewy, flavourful, and assuming that you use substitutes for refined, processed and bleached ingredients as outlined below, you don’t have to feel particularly terrible about what you’re eating!

Bulgarian honey and spice cookies

Recipe adapted from: http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/bulgariandesserts/r/Honey-Spice-Cookies-Recipe.html

“This Bulgarian recipe for honey-spice cookies or medenki are typically rolled and cut into fanciful shapes. The warm cookies can be brushed with stiffly beaten egg whites and then sprinkled with colored sugar or decorations of choice. When the dough is shaped into ovals or pushed into walnut-shaped molds, and then sandwiched together with rosehip jam and one end is dipped in melted chocolate and nuts, they become Bulgarian acorn cookies.”

Makes: 2-4 dozen Honey-Spice Cookies, depending on desired size.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour (preferably whole grain, unbleached flour – try kamut or spelt)
  • 7 ounces succanat or brown cane sugar (just under 1 cup or 14 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (to learn about types of cinnamon: http://www.ceylon-cinnamon.com/Identify-Cinnamon.htm)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs (free range and organic make a a tastier, happier cookie!)
  • 3 1/2 ounces raw, organic honey (7 tablespoons)
  • 1 3/4 ounces coconut oil (3.5 tablespoons)
  • 1 stiffly beaten large egg white

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, ground cloves, cinnamon and salt.
  2. In a separate, large bowl, beat together eggs, honey and oil. Add sugar.
  3. Add to flour mixture bit by bit, stopping to blend in thoroughly each time. Form into a smooth dough. If dough is too soft, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour or so. Don’t be afraid to use your hands to fully incorporate everything together once the dough gets too thick for blending (if you don’t have a heavy duty mixer, anyway!).
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. For cookie cutter cookies, roll dough 1/4 inch thick between sheets of parchment paper. Cut into desired shapes, leaving 1 inch of space between. If you just want round, soft, chewy cookies, roll bits of dough into balls with the palms of your hands to desired size and press them flat to desired thickness.
  6. Bake 1-14 minutes or until slightly golden around the edges.
  7. If you wish to decorate, brush with beaten egg white and sprinkle with coloured sugars or decorations of choice while cookies are still hot. Let cool completely and store tightly covered.
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