Pain d’Épice Cookies: Sweet & Spicy, Just Like Me!!

To Commemorate the onset of fall, I am officially starting my Holiday Baking with Pain d’Épice Cookies.  A bit of both sugar and spice, brings the crisp temperatures of fall right in my kitchen.

Pain d’Épice is the traditional Christmas bread of Dijon, France. It needs to be planned in advance as the dough needs to be chilled to allow the flavors to develop. Now if you like a bit of spice in your life; this one is the perfect cookie!!

For the Cookies:

  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice*
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg*
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mild honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Glaze:

  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

For the Decoration:

  • Candied Orange Peel, cut into 1/4-inch dice



Make the pain d’ épice cookies

  1. Whisk together the flours, spices, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together the butter, sugars, honey, and vanilla with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Reduce the speed to low and mix in the flour mixture until just combined. The dough will be sticky.
  2. Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper into a 10″ square and refrigerate for 8-12 hours.
  3. Pre heat the oven to 350°F (176° C), adjust the oven rack to the middle position.
  4. Trim the ragged edges of the dough. Cut the dough into 1/2 inch strips. Cut each strip twice or thrice depending on the size of cookie you wish. Realistically you will make around 40-50 cookies.
  5. Bake until the edges are darker, 13 to 15 minutes. Cool completely.

 Make the glaze

  1. Whisk together all of the glaze ingredients until smooth..
  2. Dip half the cookie into the glaze diagonally and clean excess drip. Transfer the cookie to a baking sheet and immediately top with a piece of candied orange.
  3. Repeat with the remaining cookies, glaze, and candied orange peel.
  4. Let the cookies stand until set, around 1 hour.

Note: I chose to make my own candied orange peel. One can always buy your choice of candied fruit to make the process easier. Happy Baking!!


The recipe has been adapted from Leite’s Culinaria.

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