[Sca-cooks] Russian food-honey cookies and cake

Stephanie Ross hlaislinn at earthlink.net
Thu Jul 20 12:22:29 PDT 2006

Medoviya Prianiki (honey cookies)

2 c dark honey
1 c sifted rye flour
1c sifted flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp gin or whiskey
2 drops anise flavoring (optional)

Heat the honey in a pan until it is thin. Dark buckwheat honey gives the
best flavor for these cookies. Let the honey come to a boil. Keep it very
hot. Sift together the rye and wheat flour and heat it in a skillet,
stirring constantly. Keep the heat low. Be sure the flour doesn't brown.
Add the baking powder, cloves and ginger. Mix quickly and add part of the
flour to the hot honey. Remember, the honey must be very hot. Quickly add
the gin or whiskey, the anise flavoring if desired, and the rest of the
flour. Beat the mixture as hard as you can with a wooden spoon. Go on
beating until the dough comes off the spoon easily. Shape the dough into a
long roll. Flatten the roll slightly and cut into slices about 1/2 an inch
thick. Put these on a cookie sheet, lightly greased and floured. Bake at
325 til light brown - about 30 minutes. The cookies should come out quite
dry. In Russia when village people visit friends or relatives in the city,
they always bring along a batch of these honey cookies as a gift.

>From _The Best of Russian Cooking_ by Alexandra Kropotkin, 1964

BTW, this book was first published in 1947 as _How to Cook and Eat in

Natasha Varenka's Honey Cake

Natasha mundanely is Polish from Wisconsin, and this was her grandmother's
recipe I believe. As she says, it is not a pretty cake (it comes out
lumpy-looking on top and is very heavy), but it is good. It was scarfed
quickly for breakfast. It also really helps if you have an industrial
Hobart on site if doing this in big batches, because the longer you beat it
to bring in air, the more it will rise.

1/3 c sugar
pinch of salt
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 c vegetable oil
1 1/2 c eggs (usually 8 large)
3/4 c plus 2 tbsp honey
1 1/2 c warm water

Add all ingredients into one bowl. Beat for 15 minutes, let batter rest for
10 minutes before putting into pans (two 8" square or one 13" X 9").
Beating it for longer, about 20 minutes works better. Bake at 275 until
golden brown, about an hour. It can be frosted with powdered sugar, or
split and spread with raspberry jam filling.

Et si omnes ego non.

"The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the
first and only legitimate object of good government." --Thomas Jefferson to
Maryland Republicans, 1809.

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