Croatia. Honey and Black Pepper.

Paprenjak are traditional biscuits made in Croatia. They are created with walnuts or hazelnuts, various spices such as clove, cinnamon and nutmeg and a unique mix of honey and black pepper.

Dating back to the 16th century, the origin of these traditional treats is unclear. Aside from the unusual ingredients, the special wooden moulds are what make these biscuits uniquely Croatian.

You can find these delicious treats around Christmas time in various shapes sizes and designs.

Paprenjak wooden moulds (

Paprenjak moulds (



Here’s a recipe from

Makes 40


450g flour
180g butter
150g ground walnuts
150g sugar
3 egg yolks
1 egg
2 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp white pepper


In a large bowl combine flour and butter. With the tips of your fingers, rub butter into flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add walnuts and sugar and stir to combine.

Add egg yolks and one egg, honey and spices. Combine ingredients using your hands and gather into a ball. Knead the dough for 10 minutes or until you get a firm ball. The dough will still be a bit sticky but don’t add any more flour. Divide in half, flatten into discs and wrap each disc in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until firm.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

On a well-floured surface, roll dough until it’s 5-7 mm thick. Using a special wooden mould, make imprints on the dough and cut them out with a sharp knife. Carefully transfer to prepared baking sheets. If you don’t have special moulds, use cookie cutters of desired shape and size.

Bake cookies for 10 minutes. Remove from oven as soon as they start to get colour on the edges. The baking time will vary depending on the size of cookies. Cool completely on wire rack and transfer to airtight container. Let them sit for two days to soften before you serve them. They can be kept in airtight container for up to 6 weeks.