Because we made this batch of Pierniczki yesterday late afternoon, we will probably be putting the frosting on Thursday in time for Wigilia-if they last that long.
The Bezy have been made twice thus far and, while I lack concrete evidence, I suspect the Krasnoludki ate them all. Nobody else is confessing to it.
A small explanation, these are not actually gingerbread cookies, as there is no ginger in them. This is a different version of the traditional Torun Gingerbread cookies. I will share that recipe another time.
3-3 1/2 cups Flour (I used 1 part whole wheat to 3 parts unbleached)
1/2 cup Honey
1 teaspoon Orange Zest (Optional)
1 tablespoon Cinnamon, ground
1/2 tablespoon Cloves, ground
1 teaspoon Nutmeg, ground
7 tablespoons Butter
1 cup Powdered Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Soda, diluted in 3 tablespoons Water
Sift Flour. While sifting, add in the spices to incorporate.
My Babcia's Flour Sifter...
Melt honey in small saucepan. Mix with orange zest.
Mix with Flour/Spice mixture.
Add Butter. Allow to cool.
Add eggs and sugar.
Add diluted baking soda and mix well.
On a lightly floured surface, knead dough until it has the same consistancy as pasta dough*. Roll to about 5 mm thickness (2/5" thickness).
Cut into shapes, such as circles, stars, Christmas trees, Sw. Mikolaj, church bells, etc.
At this point, if you want to hang them later on your Christmas tree, use a straw to cut a hole about 1/2"-1" from edge in the shape. You can later string ribbon through these to hang them.
Place on greased cookie sheets, leaving about 1" space between the cookies.
Bake 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown.
Allow to cool completely.
Remember: Gingerbread men and women and any other creatures made from this dough are very likely to run away if you turn your back on them while they are cooling. Have a child stand guard and keep an eye on them as they cool. And you clean up the mess from cooking or prepare the icing. Of course, the child will be very excited and at some point, turn to see what else is going on and a cookie will likely walk away.
Before icing, you can see the bits of Orange Zest in the cookies...
Ice right before serving.
* If you have never made pasta dough, the dough should be somewhat elastic and not too sticky or runny that you cannot roll it out and shape it.
The thinner the cookies, the better. I had my 6 year old help roll the dough and cut the shapes.
You could also make this recipe without Butter and with 1 cup of Honey instead of 1/2 a cup.