For my first Christmas season in Denmark, I have decided to embrace Danish Christmas biscuit culture. In Ireland, a tin of Danish butter cookies is standard at Christmas, but here the supermarkets fills with a myriad of miscellaneous brown and cream coloured biscuits with names I can’t pronounce by mid-November. I first tried Honninghjerter during an interlude in the Great Copenhagen Snegle Binge of 2011. They are a traditional aged Danish honey cookie covered with chocolate and icing. Ageing seems to be the key to Danish baked goods, and there don’t seem to be any biscuits that you just mix, roll and throw in an oven. I guess it gives people something to do during the long, dark winters. Some of the recipes involve ageing the dough, some involve ageing the cookies, and some involve potash which I only recently discovered is not just an industrial fertiliser. This recipe is from Trina Hahnemann’s feature in the Guardian last year. This recipe makes about 25 or so big hearts (about 1 kilo bags worth).
- 500g honey
- 3 egg yolks
- 500g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 300g dark chocolate
- Melt the honey in a saucepan and leave to cool.
- Add the egg yolks and stir well to combine.
- Add all the dry ingredients, except the chocolate and stir well to combine.
- Remove and knead on a floured surface (add a little extra flour to the mixture if it is too sticky).
- Wrap in clingfilm and leave to chill for at least 24 hours.
- Roll out between two pieces of greaseproof paper, cut into heart shapes with a cookie cutter.
- Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and bake at 170C for 12 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack before storing in an airtight container for a week.
- Melt the chocolate over a bain marie and cover the hearts with it, smoothing out if possible.
- The biscuits can keep for around 3 weeks before serving.