Introduction: Polish Gingerbread (Pierniczki)

I was given this recipe by a Polish friend a few years back and have been enjoying these biscuits since. I hope you like them as much as I do and please feel free to contact me with any comments or suggestions. To the recipe, Boy Wonder!

To make 80 - 100 biscuits (yield depends on size of cookie cutter), you will need:

1200g plain flour, sieved
400g caster sugar
250g set honey
500g cooking margarine
4 eggs, whisked thoroughly
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
3 teaspoons freeze-dried coffee
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons mixed spice
50g cocoa powder

1 large mixing bowl
1 medium-sized saucepan
2-4 greased (with cooking margarine) baking trays
2-4 cooling racks
1 rolling pin
1 cookie cutter

Step 1: Melting

In the saucepan mix together the honey, cooking margarine, freeze-dried coffee, cinnamon, mixed spice and cocoa powder. Heat on a hob until melted into a deep brown liquid and remove from the heat to cool.

Step 2: Mixing

In the mixing bowl combine the plain flour, caster sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Whisk the eggs and add to the mixture, stirring in thoroughly.

Step 3: Making the Dough

Add the cooled liquid to the mixture in the bowl and stir thoroughly. You should get a nice dough like in the second picture. At this stage put the oven on at 180 degrees Celsius to preheat.

Step 4: Rolling

Cover a clean worksurface with flour and roll the dough to about 10mm thick with a rolling pin, ensuring that the dough is liberally coated with flour to prevent sticking. Using a floured cookie cutter, cut out the biscuits, re-rolling the spare dough until all is used. Spread the biscuits out evenly on the greased baking trays and put in the preheated oven for 6-7 mins. Rotate the trays to ensure even cooking and put back in the oven for another 6-7 mins.

Step 5: Finishing

Once cooked, you can do as you please to finish the biscuits. Some may find them a bit dry so icing (or 'frosting'...:P) tends to help. For kids you can use sprinkles and other such sugary delights to make them bright and colourful. Enjoy!