Complex recipes are a fun challenge for me, so I have a tendency to go a little over the top. That said, these Honey Cookies are proof that I can still appreciate the simple things!
These Honey Cookies are barely crisp, chewy, and sweet. The honey in these babies lends a floral, well-rounded flavor that's irresistible! They're perfectly amazing all on their own, or fancy them up with a drizzle of honey-vanilla bean glaze!
Since these cookies are so simple, you likely have everything you need to make them in your pantry right now! Measurements for each of the ingredients are included in the recipe card, below.
Honey Cookie Ingredients
- Unsalted butter - For moisture and richness; unsalted so that you control the amount of salt. You want your butter to be at room temperature.
- Sugar - For sweetness.
- Honey - For sweetness and flavor.
- Vanilla bean paste - You know me, it's in everything! Delicious and more economical than whole vanilla beans, this ingredient is my go-to for an extra punch of flavor. You can find it online here. If you prefer to substitute, you can use an equal measure of vanilla extract.
- Salt - Helps to balance and enhance the flavors in the cookies.
- Flour - Provides structure for the cookies. All-purpose flour is what you want to reach for!
Honey Vanilla Bean Glaze Ingredients
- Powdered sugar - For sweetness. Powdered sugar because it will blend smoothly with the milk and honey.
- Honey - For sweetness and flavor.
- Milk - For creaminess and to make the glaze a pourable consistency.
- Vanilla Bean Paste - For flavor (at those gorgeous black flecks)!
Like most cookies, these are made by the creaming method. Whipping up the dough is quick (with the exception of a little chill time!) and easy! More detailed instructions are included in the recipe card, below.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the honey, vanilla bean paste, and salt. Mix to combine.
- Gradually add the flour, but mix only until the dough just starts to come together. Form the dough into a disc and refrigerate.
- Roll out the dough and cut out desired shapes. Chill cut-outs before baking, then bake until just barely golden.
- For the glaze, just combine all the glaze ingredients and stir until smooth! Let the glaze set before serving.
How to Make Patterned Honey Cookies
I'm not big on using food coloring, but the holidays are definitely an exception. One day I had the idea to make some heart patterned cookies for Valentine's Day, and then I started making patterns for many holidays/seasons!
- First, you want to split the dough into portions, the number depending on how many colors you want. For the heart cookies I dyed half pink and left the other half alone. For the peeps cookies, I left half undyed, and split the other half into four different colors.
- Add a few drops of food coloring to dye the dough the colors you want. I wear gloves and use an old cutting board to save my counters and hands from getting stained. Try to only work the dough as much as you have to to incorporate the color, so the cookies don't get tough.
- Next roll out all your dough. It helps if you make sure all the colors colors are rolled out to the same thickness!
- After rolling out all the colors, top the dyed dough with sanding sugar, if desired. I like this step because it adds more color and some texture/sparkle to the dyed dough. Place a piece of parchment or waxed paper on top, then run the rolling pin over it to push the sugar into the dough a bit. (The sugar will stick to your rolling pin if you don't use the paper.)
- Now you can make cut-outs to your heart's desire, swapping the colors as you'd like. Placing some parchment or waxed paper on top, then lightly rolling with the rolling pin, helps to meld the two colors of dough together.
- Finally, just chill and bake as directed in the recipe!
Once the dough is prepared, you can wrap it well and it will keep in the freezer for up to three months, just thaw in the refrigerator and then proceed with rolling out/baking.
Baked cookies will stay fresh up to five days in an airtight container on your counter. If you'd like to freeze them, they'll last up to three months in an airtight container in the freezer. I don't suggest glazing them until after they're thawed.
Frequently Asked Questions
The glaze isn't necessary, and I didn't glaze any of my patterned cookies and they were still delicious! Not necessary, but I do kind of love it. The delicate drizzle across the tops of the plain cookies just makes me smile. I know, I'm weird. *shrugs and eats another cookie*
These cookies are fabulous with some cinnamon added! Simply add ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the flour.
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That's it. Simple and delicious! 😀 You can dress these babies up or just leave them as-is--the choice is yours! Either way, they're totally delicious!
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- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add honey, vanilla bean paste (see note), and salt. Mix to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Gradually add the flour, mixing just until the mixture starts to come together. Gently form dough into a disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least one hour.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line baking sheets with silpats (see note) or parchment. Set aside.
- After chilling, roll the dough out to about ¼" thickness on a well floured surface. Cut out desired shapes and place them on the prepared baking sheets.
- Chill the cut shapes in the refrigerator for 10 minutes prior to baking, to help them to retain their shape. Bake 7-10 minutes, or until bottoms are slightly golden. Allow to cool on the pan for at least 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- In a small bowl, combine all glaze ingredients and stir until smooth. Spread the glaze on the cookies, or drizzle over the top using a spoon or piping bag (I put mine in a zip-top bag and snipped the corner). Allow glaze to set before serving.
- Once the dough is prepared, you can wrap it well and it will keep in the freezer for up to three months, just thaw in the refrigerator and then proceed with rolling out/baking. Baked cookies will stay fresh up to five days in an airtight container on your counter. If you'd like to freeze them, they'll last up to three months in an airtight container in the freezer. I don't suggest glazing them until after they're thawed.Enjoy!
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is only an estimate.