Shanah tovah, friends! Rosh Hashannah begins tonight at sundown, and I’m getting ready with some honey cookies. Although I grew up Catholic, I love the belief that our fates for the next year are written at Rosh Hashannah and sealed in the Book of Life on Yom Kippur. Honey and other sweet foods play a big part in Rosh Hashannah, as we wish friends and family shahah tovah, or a sweet new year.
My friend Inbal, who grew up in Israel, shared her mother-in-law’s honey cookie recipe with me, and it turned out incredibly well. I cut the original recipe – which called for five cups of flour – in half, but now I wish I’d made the whole version. These treats are absolutely delicious, and I can see why the original recipe included a line that read “this makes a lot of cookies, but they go fast.”
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil*
- 1/2 cup honey*
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon coffee
- zest of half a small lemon
*Note: I poured my vegetable oil into a glass measuring cup, then added it to the bowl for the liquids, so that I could use the same measuring cup for the honey and have it slide out easily. This is a great trick.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and cloves. In another bowl, stir together vegetable oil, honey, melted butter, eggs, coffee, and lemon zest; it works well if you use a fork instead of a spoon.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until completely combined and no dry streaks remain. The dough will be very soft, but that’s normal; don’t add more flour or the cookies will turn out hard. Chill dough for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 365 degrees. Remove dough from fridge and line three baking sheets with parchment paper.
Break off pieces of dough about the size of a walnut and roll into balls, then place on baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until cookies are just golden.
Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Makes about 3 dozen.