In February we kicked off the project with Cuba; and last month, we posted our culinary nods to Diwali by posting Indian recipes. Every month's challenge has been a blast. When Evelyne announced that we were heading back to Europe, specifically Poland, I knew that I wanted to research if Poland has any gingerbread traditions.
Gingerbread is a family favorite and we love exploring different kinds of gingerbread cookies. We've made Honningkagehjerter from Denmark and Puerquitos (Gingerbread Pigs) from Mexico; I just created a Speculaas recipe that's similar to what I remember from the Netherlands...it's not perfect, but it'll do! And just last week I posted some Sherlock-inspired Gingernuts. And those are just the cookies. I've posted a slew of other gingerbread baked goods.
For this event, I wanted to bake some Polish gingerbread cookies. And I found one: Pierniczki. But, it seems that every Polish grandmother has her own recipe. I tried three different versions that were all terrible. In fact, what they all were missing was butter. How can you make a good cookie without butter or oil?!?
But, first, here are the other Polish offerings from the group...
- Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Pierniczki (Polish Gingerbread Cookies)
- Amy of Amy's Cooking Adventures: Baked Polish Chrusciki (Angel Wing Cookies)
- Juli of Pandemonium Noshery: Zupa Orgorkowa
- Evelyne of CulturEatz: Polish White Borscht Soup Recipe
- Margaret of Kitchen Frau: Polish Honey Cake
- Syama of Oven Tales: One Pot Bigos - The Hunter’s Stew
- Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm: Piernik (Polish Gingerbread)
(Polish Gingerbread Cookies)
- 1 C butter
- 1 C organic dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 C unsulphured molasses
- 6 C flour + more as needed
- 1 C ground almond meal (or almond flour)
- 2 T baking powder
- 1 T ground ginger
- 2 t ground cinnamon
- 1 t ground nutmeg
- 1 t ground cloves
- 1/2 t ground allspice
- 1/2 t ground white pepper
- 1/2 t ground cardamom
- Also needed: cookie cutters (I used a snowflake), parchment paper, rolling pin
- 3 egg whites, or more to thin icing
- 6 C organic powdered sugar, or more to thicken icing
- juice from 1 to 2 organic lemons (I used a Meyer lemon)
Melt the butter and whisk in the molasses, sugar, and eggs. Add dry ingredients and blend till you have a stiff dough. Split dough into quarters and roll into a ball. Wrap tightly with plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out dough between two pieces of parchment paper to about 1/4" thick.
Use cookie cutters and place the cookies on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Place the trays in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes before baking.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on thickness. They should be firm and nicely browned.
Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for a minute or so before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining dough.
Beat the whites until stiff but not dry. Add sugar and lemon juice. Beat for another minute. If the icing is too thick, add more egg whites; if it's too thin, add more sugar. This icing may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Pipe designs onto your cookies and let set completely before serving.
That's 'Merry Christmas!' in Polish...at least that's what Google Translate says. Looking forward to a new year of new culinary adventures with the #EattheWorld crew.