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Honey Cookies

by on May 19, 2008 · 50 comments

We have a lot of end-of-the-school-year events coming up. One of which is Track & Field Day, where kids spend most of the day outside competing in various sports events. Fuzz, who is turning out to be more of an art & music kind of girl, isn’t that excited about it, so to make her feel better about playing sports all day, I’m going to help out a little in the concession stand. The way I understand it is the kids get little credit cards for purchasing snacks during track & field day. It sounds a little strange to me, but I guess it’s a system that works. At any rate, I have an excuse to bake treats.

The first treat recipe, which took less than 10 minutes to pull together, was from Janet. She sent me the recipe yesterday with a note saying it was given to her 30 years ago by a lady in Santa Maria, California. Since then it’s been her family’s favorite cookie. Who can say no to an intro like that?

End result was, as Janice promised, a cookie with the texture of a good crispy/chewy molasses cookie but with the flavor of honey. I am not a huge honey fan and was worried the kids might not like honey cookies either, but I loved how it tasted and am pretty sure the kids will too.

The full recipe makes about 7 dozen, but it’s very easy to halve. And bonus. No mixer required! All you need is a bowl and a spoon.

Honey Cookies

Honey Cookies

1 1/3 cups oil
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup honey
4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups flour (Janet uses half AP and half white whole wheat)
Sparkly sugar or Turbinado sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, stir together oil, sugar, eggs, honey, baking soda, salt and vanilla. Mix well, then stir in the flour, stirring just until it is mixed in.

Shape the cookies into balls about ¾ to 1 inch in diameter and roll them in sparkly sugar (or Turbinado). Place 2 ½ inches apart on ungreased or parchment lined cookie sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes. They should be nicely browned around the edges, crackly and golden.

Makes 7 dozen.

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Published on May 19, 2008

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

VeggieGirl May 19, 2008 at 12:04 pm

Oooh, Track & Field Day sounds fun!! Enjoy working the concession stands!!

Those cookies would be great with agave nectar, I bet.

Megan May 19, 2008 at 12:25 pm

Must be an end-of-the-year event, my kids have Field Day next week!! These look so interesting, I’ll have to try them! I have a huge container of honey from Costco so what better reason? Thanks!!

giz May 19, 2008 at 12:35 pm

Whever I hear anything where the main ingredient is honey or honey is the name on the food – it just swings me to my childhood when my mother made everything honey. Such a great cookie.

Brenda May 19, 2008 at 1:01 pm

My Great-Grandmother made honey cookies. I remember making them with my Grandmother when I was about 10. The recipe I have is similar but has more spices and buttermilk. I have the recipe written in my Great-Grandmother’s handwriting.


1 c honey
1 c sugar
1 heaping cup shortening
2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
5 c flour

Mix all ingredients until dough forms a ball. Roll dough out and cut into circles. Sprinkle the top of each cookie with a little sugar and bake at 350 degrees until done. Can also add 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1 cup of nuts if desired. This recipe is an old one and doesn’t have the time to cook the cookies. You just have to keep and eye on them and judge for yourself when they are done. I would say anywhere from 8-13 minutes.

Patricia Scarpin May 19, 2008 at 1:11 pm

YUM, Anna! I love baking with honey.

Emiline May 19, 2008 at 1:13 pm

The cookies are handsome. Really, really good looking.

We used to have a day called “Skills Day” where I reigned in jump roping for years.

Sue May 19, 2008 at 1:16 pm

I’m sure the kids will love these. They look “sweet”. And I mean that the way the kids say it. :-)

This won’t make Fuzz feel any better, but my kids were never big fans of track and field day either. It’s nice she has a good Mom like you to be there with her.

kate May 19, 2008 at 1:45 pm

Oh boy, do I feel for Fuzz. Track and field day. Yuck.

But cookies with honey–YUM! Hailing from Santa Maria myself (or Orcutt, to be more exact), I loved seeing the shout-out to my (adopted) humble little burg.

I have some honey and I’m gonna make some cookies and thank the stars I am not being forced to participate in the high hurdles any more!

Thanks for another great recipe.

Marie May 19, 2008 at 1:50 pm

Hi Anna. I wanted to let you know that I made the easy oatmeal cookies you had listed in your top ten and they were awesome. I’m going to make the Levain copycats tonight for a birthday party.

I also read the book, Cook-Off, that you recommended and it was a fun read. I can’t believe how hard these women work at contesting. Thanks for the recommendation.

Heidi May 19, 2008 at 2:20 pm

Anna-the frosting for your DP cake-is it stiff enough to pipe?

Clumbsy Cookie May 19, 2008 at 2:28 pm

Those cookies seam to have such a great texture, they look great! I’m blessed to have “homemade” honey from my oncle’s bees. Glad Janet shared with you ans you shared with us.

stacey May 19, 2008 at 2:36 pm

ever since hearing that honey from your area actually helps reduce allergies, I’m all for honey. so these will be good for more reasons than one for the kids

Anna May 19, 2008 at 3:02 pm

Hmmmmmmm. I still haven’t bough agave nectar and am not sure what the flavor is like, but if it has a good flavor, it would be good in these cookies. Thanks, VG!

Megan, I hope it’s not a gazillion degrees where you are.

Giz, my mom hardly used honey at all. In fact, I grew up not liking it much. Now I can eat it in things, but I still won’t eat it on a sandwich or biscuit.

Patricia, I wonder if honey tastes different in Brazil. I’m guessing it does since flowers are different. I guess honey is like wine….kind of different wherever it comes from.

Emiline, were you like those champion double dutch girls on TV? Now I’m always going to visualize you that way, so it doesn’t even matter.

Sue, she seems a little more positive about Track & Field Day this afternoon. We have to find a hat, though.

Kate, shout out to Santa Maria! I just read all about it on Wikipedia.,_California

Must be nice living there!

Marie, glad you liked Cook-Off. The lady who wrote it (I’m blanking out on her name…if only there were a place to look it up) is funny. She wrote another book about animals or something. I think they’re making it into a movie.

Heidi, yes. You should be able to pipe it.

Rita, the texture is awesome!

Stacey, I wonder if that is really true. If not, the cookies are still tasty!

Megan May 19, 2008 at 3:07 pm

BTW – it’s 106 here today. UV Index – 10. Oh, but it’s a dry heat – hahahahaha.

Shannon May 19, 2008 at 4:14 pm

YUMMY! I wonder what this recipe would taste like with our local sweet honey around my way! I have never had a honey cookie before, but I am anxious to try this recipe out!

bakingblonde May 19, 2008 at 3:37 pm

I love honey! Those look great, and I bet they would be great with some honey roasted peanuts tossed in or even a some PB. But then again, I LOVE peanut butter and honey together!

Janet May 19, 2008 at 3:42 pm

Wow, interesting how this thread is going…I had not looked up Santa Maria, thank you for all the neat information. I lived there for almost 20 years and loved it! I would move back in a heart beat if we could afford a house there. Hello to Kate who probably enjoys lots of SM BBQ….I sure miss the tri tip and BBQ chicken that you could buy every weekend! I lived in Foxenwoods for 10 years and it might be considered Orcutt now? Sorry everyone for taking up this thread but I don’t often run across a SM person;-) Anna, thank you for trying those cookies….and super glad you liked them.

kate May 20, 2008 at 8:42 am

Janet (pardon me Anna and everyone)–

Hi. We have been in Orcutt for 1.5 years…out in Lake Marie. Time warp.
I love the smell of the SM BBQs, but I have been a vegetarian for 23 years. Foxenwood still looks super nice and tidy, by the way, and puts the new developments to shame.

OK—back to cookies!


Meg May 24, 2008 at 11:06 am

Yum! Honey Cookies. They looked and sounded delightful, and they were! Great with a cup of tea – iced or hot! Mine really spread and came out very flat, in fact flatter with each batch in the oven. Why would that be?

Stacey May 25, 2008 at 10:28 pm

mine too. they definitely weren’t puffy. but a nice chewy texture.

Jen May 28, 2008 at 8:33 am

Huge hit. We loved them. Definitely had the chewy molasses cookie-type consistency, but with the taste of almost a slightly burnt honey. They seriously might be my new favorites (or at least one of many!). I am going to add them to my Christmas baking list (especially since they make so many – I did a half batch and easily got 3 1/2 dozen). Thank you so much for sharing!

Anna May 28, 2008 at 9:10 am

Jen, thanks for the review!

I’m glad you found a new cookie for your Christmas list.

Sarena May 29, 2008 at 4:11 pm

Great recipe! We all loved it here. I have made two batches in the past week and they are gone! They are exactly as you described and absolutely perfect! Thank you for sharing it!

Better Recipes June 12, 2008 at 2:02 pm

I am so excited to make these cookies for my boyfriend. I just hope my cookies will look as good and puffy as these do. This recipe looks and sounds fantastic!!

Anna June 12, 2008 at 2:39 pm

Good Luck with them, Better Recipes ;).

I think they’ll work for you. Mine were a good thickness. Others found them a little thin. Maybe err on the side of too much flour (scoop) than too little? Although when I made them, I didn’t make it a point to pack the flour.

Hannah August 20, 2008 at 8:30 pm

These do look good! I love the clear sprinkles on top, its a great touch!

Rachel March 5, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Well I’m making these cookies right now, I taste tested the dough and its pretty good. I used whole wheat flour and I’m thinking of putting some crushed almonds on them.

Kelly July 10, 2009 at 8:56 pm

These cookies are always a big hit whenever I make them. I started selling cookies at a farmer’s market and these are typically the first to go and I have repeat customers! I definitely recommend also making ice cream sandwiches with these cookies! They’re pretty much my most favorite dessert.

Anna July 11, 2009 at 6:41 am

I usually make ice cream sandwiches with softer cookies, so I’m glad to hear these work well too. Will try.

katerina October 6, 2009 at 2:42 pm

these cookies turned out just like the picture!! i halfed the recipe and mixed the egg and sugar first! this is why the cookies dont turn out flat. mix the eggs and sugar till it turns white and creamy.. about 8 to ten minutes. then add the other ingredients. i also used baking powder instead of baking soda and mixed it with flour before adding. then i baked it on wax paper at 375 and they turned out picture perfect.

dara October 12, 2009 at 9:49 pm

I had some extra honey from making honey cake, so i decided to try this recipe. except i used 1 cup of honey and 1 cup of sugar because I was afraid the honey flavor would be too subtle. the batter was really wet, so i added more flour, and tried baking even though they were too wet. the result was hard, overcooked graham cracker like cookies. i added another cup of flour or so, and a little baking soda and baked them at 350 for 8-10 minutes and they came out perfect! my roommates called them heaven :)

Lily December 30, 2009 at 11:25 am

This recipe looks identical to one that I have for molasses cookies, except that white sugar replaces brown sugar and honey replaces molasses. Also, the molasses cookie recipe calls for 1/2 cup butter : 2 1/3 cups flour whereas this recipe calls for 1/2 + 1/6 cups oil : 2 cups flour. I wonder how replacing the oil with butter in this recipe would affect the outcome. Any ideas?

Also, did you chill your dough before baking?

Anna December 30, 2009 at 11:48 am

I didn’t need to chill the dough before baking.

angie February 12, 2010 at 6:47 pm

what kind of oil did u use????

Toni April 19, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Wow. I just made these and they are absolutely delicious! Very quick to make too. Thank you for sharing!

Elma August 20, 2010 at 5:37 pm

I am looking for a honey cookie recipe that my great grandmother had and I am in my 80’s so it
goes way back. You mixed the eggs, sugar, shortening, honey ginger, soda and maybe cimmamon and a small amount of flour making a sponge. This was left to set out over night and then more flour was added. The dough was rolled and cut into cookies. and baked. The cookies were medium tan in color and chewy and delicious. Any have a recipe like this? Thanks

Karen Franscioni December 9, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Isn’t life amazing!! This recipe is my Great Aunt Thelma’s I am sure of it! Thelma Hunt lived in Santa Maria about 30 years ago. (She has since passed on.) I was searching for a Honey Cookie recipe because I was having a problem with Aunt Thelma’s. I’ve been making these cookies for well over 30 years. When I saw the recipe, it’s exactly the same, and then the comment on where it came from I knew it was Aunt Thelmas’.
What had changed over the years is we now have a wonderful kitchen aide mixer. I was over-mixing the cookies and they were coming out flat!
I’m thrilled the problem of flat cookies has been solved, and I love that Aunt Thelma’s Honey Cookies live on beyond our own family. Thank you!

Anonymous December 19, 2010 at 11:54 am

came out very thin and flat. Nothing like the picture. Too sweet with the sugar and honey and then rolled in sugar

Whitney January 4, 2011 at 8:04 pm

I just made these and am enjoying one now with a glass of milk. They are so easy and are absolutely delicious! The honey makes them so chewy! My new favorite kind of cookie.

Ginger July 13, 2011 at 4:02 am

Very sweet, but sprinkled a little bit of cinnamon on top and it improved them!

DH July 21, 2011 at 3:10 pm

I was disappointed by these cookies because although I love honey… the cookies had a faint smell and taste of aniseed before and after they were cooked. It was really weird. I followed the recipe exactly, using half plain flour and half wholewheat (pastry) flour. Has anyone else noticed this?

Piyali October 13, 2011 at 6:03 am

Those cookies were awesome. My son could not stop eating. Thanks a lot for sharing the recipe.

Brittani November 13, 2011 at 12:32 am

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I was a little worried about the lack of butter, but they are AMAZING! I used all wheat flour, and added an extra tsp of vanilla. I also rolled them in a mixture of white and brown sugar. They are so good and satisfying!

Sugarbetty March 21, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Do you think I could make the dough and then freeze it? I would love to make a few kinds of cookies for a gathering on Sunday, but I don’t have much time to bake on Saturday. Thanks, I love your site.

joani April 1, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Great recipe! I rolled mine in sugar and chopped almonds.

joani April 1, 2012 at 4:45 pm

@DH, because honey comes from different flowers it will pick up different flavors. the bees who made your honey may have been around licoricey flowers…..

jamie November 28, 2012 at 11:50 am

my husband really likes these – and he doesnt even like honey. as for me i love honey but these are not what i was looking for in a honey cookie. my daughter thinks that with a fow ingredient changes these could be made to taste like honey teddy grahams. we’ll see…

Anna November 28, 2012 at 11:56 am

Love Teddy Grahams! They are little works of art. Good luck with your experiment.

Beekeeperlinda February 5, 2013 at 9:30 pm

As a beekeeper I’m always looking for recipes with honey. I used two sticks of butter and 1/3 cup oil and mine came out flatter than the picture but still delicious. I wondered why there was no baking powder in the recipe? Other than the butter substitution, I followed the recipe and stuck to the baking soda but wondered if the lack of baking powder is why they did end up flat. Anyway, delicious and I’m taking them to my grandson’s class for Thursday when I am the “mystery reader.”

munchy October 7, 2013 at 3:10 pm

i made these cookies with butter and they’re very nice, chewy in middle crunchy outside, the honey isnt strong but overall the cookie was sweet, it would be tasty with little less sugar too

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