Haniela's: Honey Cookies - History

Friday, March 5, 2010

Honey Cookies - History

HONEY COOKIES - Perniky (pronounced: per-neeky)
My Honey Cookies Gallery




What is a Honey cookie??


It is a form of art, a tasteful decoration. It is the oldest and most popular cookie in Central Europe. It is very well known by Slovak, Czech, Polish, Ukrainian, Hungarian and Croatian people.

* The History of Medovník has a long tradition, goes back as far as the history of honey.
* Honey is known to have a great natural preservative qualities. * Prehistoric people came up with the idea of mixing flour and honey together to bake a sweet bread.
* Honey was considered to be a food of gods, so at ceremonies requiring sacrifice, honeybreads were also offered.
* Ancient Greeks gave out honeybreads in many shapes and forms at their ceremonies.
* In one Egyptian grave, pieces of honeybread were found among the other artefacts.
* At that time they were using rye flour and cooked honey. The dough had a unique feature in that its quality improved over time. Daughters of the honeybread bakers were given big barrels of dough as their wedding gift. They were able to keep the dough for as long as 30 years. These recipes were family secrets that were passed on only to their children.
* Honey cookie making spread to the whole Europe from Ancient Rome. 

* Cookie can be plain - undecorated, or with a simple decoration as a piece of walnut, raisin, almond can be pressed into the cookie before they are baked, or the most sought are those decorated with white or colored icing; designs many times so delicate requiring skill and patience that takes sometimes years to acquire.
*These cookies are wonderful with tea, coffee or alone.

4 comments:

  1. Hi Haniela, I would like to try these cookies but I have found several receipes on the web. I need one that allow cookies to stay flat (as yours) to allow the decoration. Do you have the receipe?
    I'm one of your contacts on Flickr as cristallodizucchero

    Thanks,
    ciao Sofia

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  2. Just joined the blogging world and landed here. What a treat. I absolutely love your decorated cookies.The honey cookies sound wonderful too since I love honey. I enjoy the history you gave about them too. Everyone I know makes the same cookie and it would wonderful to try this recipe. I will let you know how it comes out. I look forward to looking at the rest you have on here. I have gone from cake decorating, cookie decorating to gumpaste flowers which is my passion. I do love to decorate cookies but I use fondant with royal accents at times. Nice to meet you..

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  3. Wow :) So beautiful cookies :) I live in the Czech Republic (central Europe) and these honey cookies aren't called Medovniky but Perničky (pair-neech-ky). Medovnik (medovniky in plural) is a big honey cake with milk cream but little cookies with honey are called perničky :) They need some time to soften but they're very tasty and easy to prepare. Their time comes in winter during Christmas and then during Easter. I think they are the same tradition for Czechs as sugar cookies are for Americans :)
    Cheers,
    Catalina

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you everyone.

    Catalina, I'm from Slovakia and we call honey cookies - medovniky, I know they are called Pernicky in Czech Republic, but they are the same thing. :-)
    It appears over the years they been called several names.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Happy Baking

    ReplyDelete

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