Swapped at the 2012 SE cookie swap by Hally Wolhandler.
Adapted from the Washington Post.
- 2 cups vegetable oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup cognac or brandy
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 6 to 7 cups flour, or as needed
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch ground cloves
- 2 cups honey
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups finely crushed walnuts
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 350°F. Line 2 or 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine the oil, sugar, cognac, orange juice and citrus zests in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer; beat on medium speed to dissolve the sugar.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and cloves on a large piece of wax paper. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture to the bowl until a very soft dough forms.
Remove the bowl from the mixer. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix in flour as needed until the dough is quite stiff.
Roll pieces of the dough into ovals about 2 inches long. Place them 1 inch apart on the baking sheets.
Bake 2 sheets at a time for a total of 20 minutes; about halfway through the baking, rotate the sheets top to bottom and front to back. The cookies shall barely be browned. Keep them on their baking sheets.
Combine the honey, sugar and water in a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, then cook for 5 minutes, using a slotted spoon to skim off and discard the foam that forms on the top. Cook for a few minutes; the syrup will thicken slightly and deepen in color. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting to keep the syrup warm.
Spread the crushed walnuts on a large shallow plate and sprinkle with the cinnamon, stirring to combine.
Place 6 or 7 of the cookies at a time in the saucepan; allow them to sit long enough (2 to 3 minutes) to absorb some of the syrup, turning them as needed to coat evenly. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cookies, and let them sit for a minute or so before rolling them in the walnut mixture. Let cool and eat at room temperature.