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  • Nut Free
  • Vegetarian

Vanilla Cookies with an Easy Glaze (Pryaniki)

How long do pyraniki last for?

Store either in a Ziploc bag, an airtight container, or in a covered dish. For up to a week at room temperature.

Where did Russian pryaniki cookies come from?

Pryaniki are a traditional pastry in Russia, Ukraine and can also be found in Belarus, Poland and neighboring countries. You can learn all about the history of pryaniki.

What cookies go best with tea?

These tasty vanilla pryaniki or a recipe of Farmer’s Cheese Cookies are perfect to enjoy with tea.

a bowl on a wooden board filled with glazed vanilla cookies.

Moist, delicious vanilla cookies. Doused in an easy-to-make, easier-to-devour glaze. These are the perfect addition to your holiday spread.

two vanilla cookies on a wooden board.

Oh boy, am I excited to share this special recipe with you. Pryaniki. They’re delicious. Nostalgic. Festive. And oh so versatile. They are Russian spice cookies, sometimes known as honey bread, that are traditionally served during special occasions. You may have seen them around the internet, but everyone has their own take on them depending where you are from. I love this recipe the most, just like my mom used to make. Soft cookies, with a sweet glaze almost like dense cake.It makes a wonderful tea cookie or go great with milk.They’re one of my favorites, and soon they’ll be yours too. Yup. They’re that good.

These Russian cookies have a special ingredient!

You’ll find that many of my traditional Russian dough recipes include sour cream since it adds an additional level of moisture. Like these irresistible crumbled jam bars. And this cookie dough is no different. You may have tried butter cookies, so get ready for these sour cream cookies.

When you combine the sour cream with egg yolks, flour, sugar, butter, lemon, and the perfect amount of vanilla, you’ll have a slightly sticky, slightly wet dough. Don’t panic. It’s supposed to be like that. Freeze it for an hour. Grab a drink. Stretch. And

imagine yourself savoring one, or twelve, of these cookies. No judgment here. Never ever for cookies.

These glazed cookies are a uniquely Russian treat.

Occasionally these are made with spices or other rich flavors, occasionally being called Russian gingerbread cookies or honey spice cookies. These tasty cookies can take on so many names and so much flavor. No other cookie recipes can compare to these Russian pryaniki! The most famous type would probably be this vanilla version of these glazed cookies.

In ancient Russia, these cookies were made with honey, berry juice, and rye flour but the recipe has evolved over time to include so many unique options, such as a mint glaze.

cookies in a bowl resting on a towel.

On your mark, get set, Bake!

Skip the cookie scooper for these. We’re going old school and making these bad boys with our hands. Wet your hands and form the dough into even balls. Into the oven, these pretty cookies go. No cookie cutters needed, no stand mixer needed!

Bake for about 20 minutes. The cookies will bake to light golden perfection.

In the meantime, make your glaze. Two ingredients. Super easy. Super yummy.

Oh, look. The cookies have baked. Now comes the magic. You brush the glaze on all sides of the soft cookies. They should be entirely covered. Drenched.

My mouth is watering.

These Christmas cookies and this glaze are absolutely divine together. Whether you’re hosting a holiday party or bringing a dessert to a potluck, you can’t go wrong with them. Want to kick it up a notch? Serve these with tea. Samovar and everything. Uh-mazing.

Here’s what you’ll need to make these yummy pryaniki:

Just 3 Dry ingredients: white sugar (don’t use brown sugar, it won’t work), baking soda and all purpose flour.

Wet ingredients: egg yolks, sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla extract for flavor (just a tiny splash goes a long way).

Here’s what you’ll need for the pryaniki glaze:

The glaze requires just two ingredients, but makes all the difference, so don’t skip out on it. You will need egg whites from large eggs and powdered sugar. You’ll be whisking these two ingredients in a small bowl for a creamy, sweet glaze.

vanilla cookies pryaniki ingredients- lemon, sour cream, baking soda, sugar, vanilla extract, egg, and flour.


  • You do not need to use a dough hook to mix the dough together, a large mixer whisk works well.
  • Make sure to let the cookie batter sit in the freezer before forming into cookies and baking.
  • Use a wire rack to cool off the cookies after baking.

Enjoy these sweet recipes you can make at home:

Russian Bird’s Milk Cake Recipe with Chocolate Glaze is a classic Slavic dessert you can make right at home!

Granola Breakfast Yogurt Parfait with Fresh Fruit is a great breakfast that gives you energy for your day!

a wire rack with glazed vanilla cookies on it.

Vanilla Cookies with an Easy Glaze (Pryaniki)

Moist, delicious vanilla cookies. Doused in an easy-to-make, easier-to-devour glaze. These are the perfect addition to your holiday spread.
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Course: Desserts
Cuisine: Russian
Allergy: Nut Free, Vegetarian
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Calories: 83kcal


  • bowl
  • Stand mixer
  • citrus squeezer
  • Cooling rack
  • hand mixer


  • 2 egg yolks, from large eggs
  • cups sugar
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour, unbleached
  • 2 egg whites
  • cups powdered sugar


  • Separate egg yolks from egg whites from 2 large eggs.
  • Beat 2 egg yolks with 1 3/4 cups of sugar.
    2 egg yolks,, 1¾ cups sugar
    a glass bowl with an egg sugar mixture and hand mixers.
  • In a little bowl, squeeze out juice from 1/2 a lemon, and mix it with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. It will foam, add to the eggs and sugar.
    ½ lemon,, ½ tsp baking soda
    a used lemon wedge on the side of a glass bowl with combined lemon juice and baking soda in it bubbling.
  • Add 2 cups of sour cream and vanilla to the mix. Beat all together.
    2 cups sour cream, 1 tsp vanilla extract
    batter starter in a glass bowl.
  • On low speed, mix in 3 cups of flour.
    3 cups flour,
    vanilla cookie batter in a glass bowl with hand mixers on the side.
  • The dough will be a bit sticky. Transfer into a bowl, cover, and put in the freezer for 1 hour.
    raw dough in a glass bowl.
  • After an hour take the dough out. Preheat your oven to 350F. Prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (you can also just spray with oil).
  • Wet your hands, this will help you roll the batter into balls easily. Make balls and place on cookie sheets. Leave room between each ball.
    measured raw cookie dough separated on parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the the bottom of the cookies start to get a brownish color.
    baked cookies on a baking sheet.
  • While the cookies are baking, make the glaze: With a hand mixer beat together 2 egg whites for 1 minute. Then add 2 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and beat until well incorporated.
    2 egg whites, 2½ cups powdered sugar
    glaze prepared in a glass bowl.
  • When you take out pryaniki from the oven, let them cool down for a few minutes. Brush the glaze all around each cookie. (The glaze will dry fast on the cookies, so brush the tops, let dry, then flip over and glaze the bottoms.)
    glazed cookies on a baking tray.
  • Store either in a ziploc bag or in a covered dish.


Calories: 83kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 14mg | Potassium: 20mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 57IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.3mg
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