|"Mézes Puszi"/ Honey Scone made by me|
I am reading this amazing archive, Transylvania Gingerbread by Karoly Tar (in Hungarian "Honey-bread/scones") Karoly Tar is the son of the last gingerbread craftsman in Transylvania. Initially I was looking for some background information but what I found was much more. The book not only gives a historical glance at honeybee keeping and a use of honey in ancient times, but it is also a good source book of recipes for various kinds of "honey breads" that were around for hundreds of years. The author looks at all aspects of the making, and he goes through all its components as in the history of flour manufacture, the import of spices and the development of wooden molds and popular shapes.
The first gingerbread is thought to have been made by Catholic monks in Europe for special holidays and festivals. England, France, and especially Germany were known to eat and celebrate with gingerbread treats. Gingerbread was not baked in homes in the fifteenth century, but rather was made by government-recognized guilds.
It is clear that as time goes gingerbread or ("honey breads") looses its sacral qualities and becomes gift item which the food manufacturing revolution turns into a packet of glazed cookies to go.
|dough being pressed into a mold|
|gingerbread cookies, original box from 1987|
This recipe makes about 50 cookies
25g bicarbonate of soda
spices (ginger, cloves, cardamon, cinnamon)
Cream the butter with the sugar and honey. Mix the dry ingredients in another bowl then add the dry to the butter mix and combine. Chill it in fridge fro 15min. Roll the dough to 5-7mm thick, then cut it with a round cookie cutter. You can decorate it with a piece of almond on each if you like. I brushed them with some milk for shine. Bake them for about 10 min. while it 's still warm spread some royal icing on it. (1 egg white and 200-250g icing sugar) Let it cool an the tray. After cooling store them in a jar. It keeps for long and it's nice with a cup of tea!