Simple Honey Cookies
Often, honey cookies are super soft and chewy. Not these – they are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. They hold their shape really well so you can use them with your favorite cookie cutters.
They are wonderful plain – the honey gives them an exceptional fruity and floral flavor! However, you can decorate them with sanding sugar (as I’ve done here) or ice them.
These cookies are made with just six ingredients and they are all basic pantry staples: all-purpose flour, butter, an egg, salt, vanilla extract, and honey.
The type of honey that you use doesn’t matter. When combined with other ingredients and baked, any special flavors that your honey has will be drowned out. See my post on baking with honey for more information.
Remember to always use unsalted butter so you can control how much salt is in the recipe.
Tip: Make sure that all ingredients are at room temperature for the dough to come together perfectly.
How It’s Made
This dough needs to chill for thirty minutes before baking. Plan ahead!
Start by adding room temperature butter and honey to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Mix using an electric mixer until well combined.
Tip: Be sure to measure the honey carefully and to get as much as possible out of your measuring cup.
Mix in the egg and vanilla completely, then mix in the flour and salt until just combined.
Divide the batter into two parts. Cover each in plastic wrap, flatten somewhat, and refrigerate for thirty minutes. It’s always much easier to roll out chilled cookie dough.
While the dough is chilling, preheat your oven to 325 F.
Next, roll out the chilled dough to about 1/4″ thick.
Tip: Flour the work surface well before rolling or roll between two pieces of parchment or two silicone mats to keep the cold dough from sticking.
Cut the dough out to any size that you like using cookie cutters or the rim of a glass.
Arrange the cut cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Since this recipe won’t rise much and the cookies hold their shape really well while baking, they can be placed close together.
Bake for thirteen minutes or until done. You’ll know they are done when the edges of the cookies just begin to brown.
Tip: If the dough has warmed up a lot during rolling, place the cookie sheet in the freezer to cool it back down before cutting out cookies and baking. This will help them hold their shape.
Remove them from the cookie sheet and cool on a cooling rack and then repeat the rolling, cutting, and baking with the second half of dough.
Expert Tips and FAQs
The easiest way to decorate these cookies is to dust them with a little sanding sugar just before baking. It makes them sparkly!
Above, I made these honey orange mascarpone sandwich cookies by using a mixture of honey, orange zest, and mascarpone as the filling. I want to use this filling everywhere – spread on a bagel, piped into cupcakes, or even dolloped on waffles. It has an in-your-face orange kick balanced by the blend of sweet honey and soft cheese.
Tip: If you want to try your hand at decorating the cookies with icing, try out the buttercream icing used on Jenny’s Cookies Christmas snowman cookies! You could use these cookies with the snowman decoration from that post.
There is no need to use fancy honey when baking – use whatever honey you have around. Be sure to measure it carefully and get as much as possible out of your measuring cup.
See my post on baking with honey for more details.
To keep any cookies crispy, store them in an airtight container with a piece of toasted bread. The toast will absorb any moisture so that the cookies stay nice and crispy. They keep for about one week.
You can also freeze them in an airtight container in layers separated by wax paper for several months.
Yes! It has to be in the refrigerator for three hours, but you can leave it there overnight if you need to. You can also tightly wrap and freeze the dough weeks before you need to use it. Defrost before using.
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- colored sanding sugar optional, to taste
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat butter and honey until thoroughly combined.
- Mix in egg and vanilla extract.
- Mix in flour and salt until just combined.
- Divide dough into two parts. Wrap each section in plastic wrap and refrigerate for thirty minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325 F.
- Remove first half of dough from the refrigerator and roll out on a floured surface to just over 1/4″ thick.
- Cut dough into shapes with cookie cutters and optionally sprinkle the tops of the raw cookies with colored sanding sugar.
- Arrange cut out cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat. The cookies will not rise very much so they can be placed close together on the sheet.
- Bake for 13 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to brown.
- Cool cookies on a cooling rack.
- Roll out, cut, and bake the second half of the dough.
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