Bee’s Sneeze Nuggets
These were inspired by a drink served at Booker and Dax, a cocktail bar in New York City. When my friend Rebekah ordered the Bee’s Sneeze, I looked at the ingredient list, took a sip and immediately wanted to turn it into a cookie. While the gin wasn’t obvious cookie material, everything else in the drink was: lemon, ginger, honey and black pepper. The cocktail was ferociously tart—like the best icy lemonade on a scorcher of a day—and, under the citrus, pleasantly spicy. These sturdy, flaky nuggets capture all of that. They’re good with a gin and tonic. They’re surprisingly good with slices of Parmesan. And they’re particularly good dipped in a little honey. Just put a bowl of honey next to the Sneezes and let everyone dip and sip.
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (zest the lemons before you juice them)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons gin
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ⅛ teaspoon pure lemon oil or pure lemon extract
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
- ½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- Honey, for dipping (optional)
- Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat it to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Whisk the flour, baking powder and pepper together. Whisk the lemon juice, oil, gin, honey and lemon oil or extract together in a large measuring cup. Toss the sugar and salt into a large bowl and add the lemon zest. With your fingertips, rub and press the ingredients together until the sugar and salt are moist and aromatic. Add the grated ginger and rub to incorporate. Add the flour and stir with a fork to mix well.
- Make a well in the center and pour in the liquid ingredients. Working with a fork and starting in the middle of the bowl, stir the dry ingredients into the wet. Within a couple of minutes, you’ll have a soft, perhaps pockmarked, dough that will seem spongy. Reach into the bowl and fold and knead the dough gently just to pull it together—don’t overdo it.
- Flour a work surface and turn the dough out onto it. Lightly flour the top of the dough and use your palms to pat it into a squarish shape that's ¾- to 1-inch thick. Neatness doesn't count. Using a bench scraper or a knife, cut the dough into small pieces. You can really make these any size you want, but I usually cut them about 1-inch square because their flavor is so big.
- Place the nuggets about an inch apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the baking sheets top to bottom and front to back at the midway mark, or until the nuggets are golden on the bottom. Transfer the baking sheets to racks and let the nuggets cool completely. Serve the nuggets on their own or with a bowl of honey for dipping.
- STORING: These are good the day they are made and better a day later, when they are drier and crisper. In a tightly covered container, the nuggets will keep for about 2 weeks at room temperature. They can be frozen for up to 2 months.
- From DORIE’S COOKIES by Dorie Greenspan. Copyright © 2016 by Dorie Greenspan. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. Photo © Davide Luciano and Claudia Ficca.