Let’s start the sabbat with a confession, shall we? I had no idea what these cookies were for when the need to make them popped into my head. I asked, “What are we doing for summer solstice?” and my brain answered “Honey cookies, obviously.”
Baking has always been something that tended to be fairly instinctive and intuitive for me. But this recipe was interesting. When I finally sat down to start writing it out, when it came to me what the ingredients were, I finally realized what the cookies wanted to be. Getting that right amount of dry to wet, egg to bind the almond flour, baking powder to stabilize the honey…it became abundantly clear that this was going to be a focus on balance.
The cookies themselves are almost savory, while the icing is near horribly sweet. But the two components work so well together as a whole. There appears to be a crispness, while in truth they are surprisingly dense and chewy in texture.
This recipe comes together very quickly, everything is stirred or whisked together by hand, with no need to drag out the heavy mixer. There is a wonderful simplicity in that, making the bake even more meditative than usual. I can definitely see this recipe becoming one of our favorites, and maybe it’s something that you’ll enjoy, too.
Blessed Litha, and Happy Summer Solstice!
2 c. almond flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tbs. unsalted butter, softened
2 tbs. honey
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 large egg
Honeyed Icing (recipe follows)
fresh or dried edible flowers
In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl, using a fork, beat together the butter and honey. Add almond extract and egg, beat until well combined.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until all of the ingredients are combined into a cohesive dough. At this point the mixture should be quite thick and just a bit sticky.
Form cookie dough into a ball, transfer to plastic wrap, cover and press into a disc. Refrigerate at least three hours.
After chilling the dough, heat oven to 325° and grease a cookie sheet (we like coconut oil for this).
Word of warning, the dough is somewhat fragile and becomes harder to form and more prone to cracking/crumbling as it warms up. You want to work as quickly as you can.
Place the dough between two sheets of parchment or wax paper, and roll out to ¼ inch thickness. Cut with a 2 ¼ inch hexagonal cutter. Carefully transfer to cookie sheet, placing cookies one inch apart. Quickly ball up and re-roll scraps, continuing until you run out of dough.
Bake 6-8 minutes or just until the bottom edges begin to brown. Let set 3 minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Honeyed Icing:
1 oz. warm water
1 1/2 tsp. honey
1/8 tsp. almond extract
2 c. confectioners sugar
In a small bowl or cup, whisk together the first three ingredients—until the honey is completely dissolved into the water.
Transfer the liquid into a medium sized mixing bowl, add the sugar and whisk until smooth. The mixture will be thin, similar to royal icing or glaze.
Using an offset spatula or spoon, ice the cooled cookies sparingly. Decorate with flowers (we used dried red hibiscus and lavender) and let sit undisturbed for an hour or so to allow the icing to firm up.
Yield: approximately 22 small cookies