Thursday, January 23, 2014

Honningkagehjerter {Spice it Up!}


I am apologizing, in advance, to my favorite Danes because I have taken my usual culinary liberties with this traditional Danish Christmas gingerbread cookie. Undskyld på forhånd! Sorry in advance, Rikke, Mette, Ulla, Danya, and Stella. But I wanted to make these for my Spice it Up! class because it uses many of the spices we're discussing this week and because, well, it's one of my favorites.

Honningkagehjerter = Honning (honey) + kage (cake) + hjerter (hearts)

If you plan to make this, please read through completely. The dough must sit, refrigerated, for two days before it can be rolled and baked. So, don't plan on making and baking these on the same day.

There is something magical about making Honningkagehjerter dough. The texture. The scent. It's magnificent. It's hard to wait the two days to bake them...



Part I. 
One thing that posed challenging - the original recipe calls for hjorthornssalt which is baker's ammonia; hjorthornssalt was originally made from the ground antlers of reindeer. I substituted baking powder and hoped for the best.

1-1/2 C organic coconut sugar
1/2 C honey
1/2 C blackstrap molasses
1-1/4 C butter
4 eggs
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cardamom
8 C white whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder

Place sugar, honey, molasses, and butter in a saucepan and cook until the butter is melted. Whisk the eggs and spices into the mix. Sift flour with baking powder and knead the dough thoroughly. Wrap and place in the refrigerator for two days.

Part II.
So after the dough has been in the fridge for two days, pull the dough out and let it come to room temperature to make it easier to roll. Roll the dough out between pieces of parchment paper.


Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter. Place them on a baking stone. Bake at 370 degrees for 15-17 minutes.

Let cool completely then melt semisweet chocolate in a double-boiler. Paint the tops of the cookies with a layer of chocolate.

For a more traditional look, press decorative bits of paper into the chocolate before it cools completely.















Here's what Honningkagehjerter look like when they are made by a real Dane...


And here's what they look like when they are made by an American of Filipino descent who learned to cook in Italy...

















This is the version I made for my Spice it Up! kiddos.

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