I like to call these rye flour cookies healthy snacks. Because they are made with more nutritious rye flour and are sweetenned with brown sugar and honey. They are also not too sweet because that is actually how I prefer my desserts. But they are really full of flavour – there is cinnamon, orange zest, brown sugar and honey which give you this rich, caramelised flavor… And rye flour, of course. Use whichever you like – whole wheat flour, plain white flour, the combination of those… Rye flour, apart from being much healthier than white, gives these cookies rich taste, just a little tiny bit bitter, but different, interesting… darker and heartier if you will.
I think it is a great alternative to white butter cookies (although I will never say anything against classic yummy cookiedough) when you are in search for a healthy(ier) snack. I love to take them to work and have a few whenever I feel my energy is low. They are roll-and-cut kind of cookies, crunchy and crispy and the dough also makes great pie crust and cheesecake base. I like to add chopped nuts once in a while to give them more of a crunch. As you can see, rather than making a tiny portion, I made a big batch of those because they store so well. I put them in a tin or a cookie jar and snack on them every time I go by them.
preparation time: about 2 hours, includes minimum time for cooling the dough and shaping the cookies
baking time: 10 minutes, 190°C (375 F) for roasting nuts
12 – 15 minutes, 170°C (340 F)
Ingredients for the dough:
50 g nuts of your choice (I used almonds and hazelnuts)
400 g rye flour
60 g light brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
orange zest (use organic oranges only)
200 g butter
3-4 Tbsp honey
1-2 Tbsp cold milk or cream, if necessary
1. Start by toasting the nuts. Layer the nuts in a baking pan and put them in the oven preheated at 190°C for just around 10 minutes.
If you are buying already toasted nuts, ommit this step, but if not, I recommend toasting them because it enhances the flavour, helps you peel of the skin and the nuts become even crunchier.
2. Let them cool for a bit, then roll them between your hands to peel the skin off (this is mostly useful with hazelnuts because their skin might get a bit bitter so I like to peel it off, but I don’t find it necessary with almonds). Chop them into tiny chunks using a knife or food prosessor, but don’t grind them because the chunks give cookies their crispy texture.
3. Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and orange zest (I zested half of a medium sized orange) in a large bowl. Add really cold butter cut into small pieces and work it into the flour using your fingertips or food processor.
4. When the butter is well distributed throughut the flour mixture, add honey, whole egg and chopped toasted nuts and mix everything together shortly, just until the dough forms into a ball. If you find it necessary, add a tablespoon of milk or flour, but this was perfect amount for me.
5. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour so that the butter can harden again which will make the cookies crispier and help them hold their shape better.
6. Take the cold cookie dough, divide in half and start rolling and cutting cookies. The thinner you roll them, the crispier they will be, but make sure you don’t overbake them. I roll them to around 5-6 mm (0,2 in) thick. What’s important is that they are all the same thickness so they bake evenly.
7. Put them on a baking pan covered with parchment paper. They don’t spread so you don’t have to leave much space around them, but don’t overcrowd the pan either because they need to have air to become crispy.
8. Bake them in a preheated oven at 170°C for 12-15 minutes.
They are already darker in color because of brown sugar, honey, cinnamon and rye flour, so be careful not to overbake them – they should’t change in color too much, except on the bottom, where they will be nicely caramelised.
9. After they are baked, let them cool a bit to harden, but go ahead and eat them while they are still warm. Dunk them in a cup of milk or tea and enjoy.