Medovniky or Perniky Spice Mix (simple and elaborate versions)

Spice mix for making Slovak medovniky or perniky, simple and elaborate versions - Almost Bananas

Medovniky (recipe) are Slovak spiced honey cookies eaten year round but made especially during Christmas and the winter season. Perniky are soft cookie ‘sandwiches’ with plum butter and uses the same spice mix as medovniky. Available to buy prepackaged in Slovakia, this spice mix is for those who don’t have medovniky spice mix in their store, or for those who just want to experiment and make their own.

One of the adjustments of moving to a new country is getting used to different packaging and availability of foods, including spice mixes. You would never find pumpkin spice mix in Slovakia, for example, even though all the spices are common here.

I’ll never forget the time I first made chilli here. It was within the first few months of coming to Slovakia and I bought a package of ‘chili’ and liberally dumped the contents into the pot. But it was pure chili pepper, not chilli powder like I assumed. It was a spicy mistake (although I think I realized my mistake before it was too late and managed to scoop out a good amount of the pepper). 

Chilli powder is easy to mix up, and so is the spice mix for medovniky. The problem is, every brand and advice found on the internet had a different number of spices. The most simple consists of cinnamon, cloves, and anise. The most complex lists can get pretty long.

Here is what was pretty universal: cinnamon, cloves, anise, star anise, cardamom, coriander, fennel, nutmeg, allspice.

There were also a number of spices that weren’t always included but fairly common: vanilla bean, lemon peel, ginger, orange peel, mace, black pepper.

And of course, rarely did a list include amounts. I’d read some advice on what to include and whine “But how much?? More cinnamon? Or lots of anise? How much clove is too much?”

Considering that everyone and every brand has their own mix, I figured I could wing it, measuring as I went for repeatable results. It turned out pretty great, if I do say so myself.

I’ve made two versions, a simple one for when you can’t get the long list of spices and a more elaborate version for more complex flavours.  Feel free to add some of the less common ingredients. One of the licorice flavoured spices (anise, star anise, fennel) is necessary, although it doesn’t make the cookies taste like licorice at all.

Medovniky (or Perniky) Spice Mix (simple and elaborate versions)
  • Simple Version
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp anise
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • Elaborate Version
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp anise
  • ½ tsp star anise
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • pinch black pepper
  1. Mix spices and use in recipe as directed. Fresh spices will have more flavour (you can grind them in a little coffee grinder or mortar and pestle) but already ground spices work as well.
And here is the recipe for medovníky, Slovak spiced honey cookies.

Spice mix for making Slovak medovniky or perniky, simple and elaborate versions - Almost Bananas