Cardamom Honey Cut Out Cookies

Cardamom Honey Cut Out Cookies red royal icing

This Cardamom Honey Cut Out Cookies recipe is inspired by the holiday honey bread cookies of Croatia known as Licitars. Since the 16th century, these brilliant red cookies have been displayed as ornaments and edible gifts during the Christmas season. Our warmly spiced adaptation pairs mellow honey with bold cardamom and swaps the traditional gelatin glaze with an easier-to-maneuver and tastier Vanilla-Almond Royal Icing.

Cardamom Honey Cut Out Cookies
Makes about 36 cookies
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • ⅓ cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk (19 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons (42 grams) honey
  • ¾ teaspoon (3 grams) vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon (1.5 grams) ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 grams) baking soda
  • Vanilla-Almond Royal Icing (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: nonpareils
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add egg yolk, honey, and vanilla, beating until well combined.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cardamom, salt, and baking soda. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating until combined. Divide dough in half, and shape into disks. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Working with one disk at a time, roll dough to ¼-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using desired 2½-inch holiday cutters, cut dough, rerolling scraps as necessary. Place on prepared pans. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  5. Bake until lightly golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on pans for 3 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Decorate as desired with Vanilla-Almond Royal Icing. Garnish with nonpareils, if desired. Let dry completely. Store in airtight containers for up to 1 week.

Vanilla-Almond Royal Icing
  • 4½ cups (540 grams) confectioners’ sugar, divided
  • 2 large egg whites (60 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) almond extract
  • 1½ teaspoons (6 grams) clear vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon (2.25 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) cream of tartar
  • 3 tablespoons (45 grams) heavy whipping cream
  • Gel food coloring
  1. In the top of a double boiler, stir together 4 cups (480 grams) confectioners’ sugar, egg whites, extracts, salt, and cream of tartar. Cook over simmering water, stirring occasionally, until mixture registers 140°F (60°C) on a candy thermometer. Pour mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  2. With mixer on low speed, add remaining ½ cup (60 grams) confectioners’ sugar, beating until well combined and cooled to room temperature. Add cream, 1 tablespoon (15 grams) at a time, beating until desired consistency is reached. To test consistency, dip a spoon in frosting and lift, moving it in a figure-8 pattern over bowl as icing drizzles down. The figure-8 shape should disappear in 8 seconds for a cookie glaze and in 10 seconds for a thicker icing used for detail work. Color as desired with food coloring. Use immediately, or refrigerate with a piece of plastic wrap pressed directly onto surface for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature, and stir before using.



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