Silesian Gingerbread Cookies

Every year on the 31st of October I have an important mission. This mission is to make make the dough for a special kind of cookies that has been made in my family for generations. These cookies are called Pfefferkuchen.

They are from Silesia, which is nowadays a part of Poland but which was German when my family used to live there. I call them Christmas cookies with a twist. They need a day to rest before being used. Once baked and taken them out of the oven these cookies turn hard as stone and soften just before Christmas.

The Pfefferkuchen are extremely tasty, containing honey, nuts and different spices and stay edible for a long time!

For my Pfefferkuchen I chose very sober cookie cutters, in the style that my grandmother used. A bell, a Christmas tree, a heart, a rectangle, a circle and a star.

Recipe Silesian Gingerbread Cookies

500g flour
20 g of chocolate powder
8 g of baking powder
375g sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
lemon zest
200g honey
2 eggs
5 tbsp milk
125g butter
125g grated hazelnuts

Melt the honey over low heat. Let cool a little and mix with all other ingredients. Let rest one day. Then cut out cookies. Possibly decorate with nuts. Brush with a mixture of egg and milk and bake at 180 ° C for about 12-15 minutes.

Decorate with different nuts and baste with an egg mixed with a little milk to give the biscuits a satin appearance.
On leaving the oven the cookies become very hard to soften in time to be enjoyed at Christmas.

Allow to cool and then keep in a cool place in a metal tin until Christmas. 2 weeks before Christmas add – on a piece of baking paper – apple slices and / or Clementine skin in the tan so that the biscuits are really soft until Christmas. Exchange the apple slices every 2 days so that they don’t spoil.

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A batch fills a big biscuit tin!

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