Belgardin Brod is one of several traditional European “cookies” featured in Christmas Convoys. In practice it looks and feels more like a cracker than a cookie, and tastes kind of like a cross between a ginger snap and a snickerdoodle with strong citrus overtones. It’s kind of like the old fashioned grandma candy equivalent of a Christmas cookie.
The original recipe presented in Christmas Convoys yields something like 200 cookies, so I’ve cut it in half for the recipe below (except for the citrus rind, but only because I prefer the stronger citrus flavor). I also prefer a citrus glaze to the simple cream glaze recommended.
Christmas Convoys was probably printed in a very limited edition. A few copies exist in academic libraries, but this is not a book you’ll be able to find readily on Amazon or really anywhere. Since the booklet was printed without copyright notice I’ve presumed it is in the public domain and reproduced it in its entirety here.
For the cookie
- 3/4 cup good quality honey
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
- grated rind of one lemon
- grated rind of one orange (reserve 1/2 tsp for the glaze)
- 1 cup coarsely chopped almonds
- 5 cups cake flour
- 1 cup sugar (superfine sugar will improve results)
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp flaked sea salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
For the glaze
- Melt butter and honey over low heat, stirring frequently to prevent overheating. (The original recipe calls for a double boiler, but I find them to be a pain in the neck). Remove from heat and stir in orange juice, citrus rinds, and almonds.
- Stir together dry ingredients, then add a little bit at a time to the butter/honey mixture until completely combined. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, roll out the dough to approximately 1/8 inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut into 2 inch by 2 inch squares (about the size of a Saltine) or 1 1/2 by 2 1/2 inch rectangles (about the size of a butter cracker). Bake for 10 minutes at 325 degrees.
- Make the glaze by mixing together the powdered sugar, orange juice, and reserved orange zest. Glaze lightly while the cookies are still warm.
Unlike most cookies these treats get better with age, if kept tightly sealed.