Russian Pryaniki

Toys galore… trips to the park… permanent residence at the local zoo…  Those are all great parenting tricks to earn love of the little ones.  Want to speed up the process?  Add some sweets and TV to the list, and their love and admiration are guaranteed!  I did just that today by introducing the kiddos to some of my favorite childhood sweets.

These are ancient Russian honey cookies that  were there before refined sugar…  I suspect honey didn’t cost the equivalent of a small country’s economy back then.  It does now, so some honey is substituted with sugar in my recipe.  These spicy guys are crunchy outside and soft inside, spread marvelous aroma all over the house, and they are at their best the next day after baking, so it’s an excellent make-ahead cookie!

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  • 113 g butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 cup rye flour
  • 1.5 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground anise
  • 1/4 tsp ground all-spice
  • 1/4 tsp finely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg


  • 5 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs milk


Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Melt the butter in a heavy sauce pan on low heat.  Once the butter is melted, add sugar, honey, and baking soda, steering with a wooden spoon, so the sugar and the honey dissolve.  Make sure the mixture doesn’t start boiling.

Combine all spices, and rye and all-purpose flour, and whisk together.

Take the liquid mixture from the heat and beat in the eggs.  Add flour in 3 batches constantly steering. After 3rd batch was added, I had to employ my KitchenAid mixer to completely incorporate the flour.

The dough will be sticky.  Make a ball out of it, and place on parchment paper.  Cover with a plastic wrap and roll into a 1/2 -inch thick pancake.  Cut out the cookies.

Bake for 20 min until golden brown.

Make the glaze by combining sugar and milk in a small sauce pan and letting the mixture boil.  As soon as the mixture starts bubbling, apply it to the hot pryaniki with a brush.

For another delicious, but much more delicate honey dessert, check out my personal favorite, Honey Torte “Medovik”.


  1. Millionaire Missionary says:

    These look so good. I spent the summer of 1992 in Moscow and Moldova and loved the people and the food. Maybe my wife will make them for our boys! (including her big boy, me). Also, appreciate the ‘like’ on my blog post about the snow plow! I’m still laughing about that experience! Mark

  2. Laura says:

    Thank you for posting this recipe. My husband’s grandfather was from Vilna, so my husband is particularly interested in trying Russian foods. I’m definitely going to bake this for him.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I followed your recipe exactly, I’m pretty sure, and I got something delicious but more like cake batter. Was the recipe looking for spun honey, or what do you think might have happened?

    • Anastasia says:

      Hi, Rachel! I’m yet to master that recipe. Will keep you posted though if i’m ever a success!

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