Several years ago, I had several friends who took up beekeeping. Not sure why that suddenly became a big hobby, but I was all for it, as they would bring me jars of honey. Most of them seemed to have moved on from the bees, or at least from leaving jars on my doorstep. And the truth is, I miss it. It always made me exercise my recipe development muscles to find ways to use it. Fortunately, there are many sources of local honey at my farmers markets and small groceries. I love honey – and I mean the flavor of honey, not just that it’s a lovely way to sweeten. So I want honey to stand out when I bake or cook with it. I work to create very honey forward recipes, as you can see with my Salted Honey Chess Pie and Cheesecake. And these little gems fit the bill, a deep honey cookie with an extra hit of honeyed sweetness in the dimple.
Use a darker honey, from a local apiary if you can, not the pale blonde grocery store variety for the richest flavor. Press the center of the dough with a larger rounded spoon or the pad of your thumb before baking, then again with a smaller spoon or your index finger right when they come from the oven. They will bake evenly, but still have the indentation for the delicious frosting. These cookies are best the day they are baked, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container.
- For the Cookie
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup dark honey
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- For the Frosting
1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
2 Tablespoon dark honey
2 – 3 Tablespoons water
- For the Cookie
- Beat the butter, brown and granulated sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer to combine. Add the honey and beat until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the egg and beat until thoroughly combined, scraping the bowl. Beat in the flour, baking powder and salt until completely combined and no streaks of flour are visible. Scrape the dough from the sides of the bowl to create a ball, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, but longer, even overnight, is fine.
- When ready to bake, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the dough from the fridge and let it soften slightly. Roll it into smooth balls about the size of a ping-pong ball – I use a medium cookie scoop not completely full. Place the balls about an inch apart on the baking sheets. Press an indention in the top of each cookie. I find the best tool for this is the back of a rounded ½ teaspoon measuring spoon. Slightly dampen the spoon to keep the dough from sticking. Bake the cookies for 10 – 12 minutes, until just beginning to brown on the bottom. Remove from the oven and immediately press the top indentions again as they will puff up slightly during cooking – I use a 1 teaspoon measuring spoon this time. Leave the cookies to cool completely.
- For the Frosting
- While the cookies are cooling, sift the confectioners’ sugar into a medium bowl and add the honey. Whisk to start the mixing process, then slowly drizzle in the water. You may not need it all, just whisk until you have a spoonable glaze – not as thick as spreadable cake icing, but thicker than a thin Bundt cake drizzle. Fill the indentations with glaze. I spoon the glaze into a plastic sandwich bag and snip off the corner to pipe it in, but you can also spoon it in carefully. Let the icing set up for several hours, then your honey drops are ready.