Paprenjaci – Croatian Spice Cookies

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Last Updated on January 12, 2020 by Chef Mireille

Paprenjaci – Croatian Spice Cookies are heavily spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and black pepper. They make the perfect edible holiday gift.

Paprenjaci - Croatian Spice Cookies

One of the most wonderful gifts that blogging brings is meeting new friends both virtually and in person. One of those friends is Usha who had it not been for blogging, we most likely would not have ever met despite us living in the same city. Now, I have a friend to go shopping with for backgrounds or visits to Chinatown for food supplies. These activities are always more fun when done with someone, rather than alone.

One thing I greatly admire about her is her skill at taking photos.  So I was thrilled when she agreed to help me learn my new camera at the time. I went to her apartment armed with these cookies to photograph for this post.

It was a great opportunity to learn some new photography skills and what’s better than sharing delicious cookies with friends!!!

C is for Croatia…

Paprenjaci are traditional Croatian cookies dating back to the 16th century. Nowadays they are most often made around Christmas.

In Croatia, they are made using wooden molds with imprints from nature like fruits and flowers on to rectangle shaped cookies. The wooden molds here are very expensive so the best alternative I found were moon cake presses so that I could at least get a nice imprint on the cookies.

Looking for some other cookies to give as edible holiday gifts – Try some of my other Cookie Recipes

Cookie Recipes


Enjoy with a cup of coffee, tea or milk.

In addition to the cookies I brought for photographing, I also packed some in a gift package for Usha and the next day she took some additional photos and sent me.

Photographer: Usha of My Spicy Kitchen

I liked these cookies a lot and my Mom who I shared them with was an instant fan. However, the spices used are the same in a Caribbean dessert we have called pone, which often also includes black pepper so we are used to the flavor profile. When Usha tried them, at first she thought the variety of spices were too intense, but then the more she ate them, she liked them better and at the end, she told me she couldn’t stop eating them they were so good! If you are not used to so many spices, it might take a little bit to get used to them, but I think you will enjoy them in the end.

Paprenjaci - Croatian Spice Cookies
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Paprenjaci – Croatian Spice Cookies

These heavily spiced cookies make awesome holiday gifts!
Prep Time2 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time2 hours 30 minutes
Course: Cookies
Cuisine: Croatian



  • In a bowl, combine flour, walnut meal, salt and spices.
  • In a small bowl, combine egg and egg yolks and beat well.
  • In a large bowl, combine sugar and butter. Mix until light and creamy.
  • Add eggs and honey and mix well.
  • Add dry ingredients in two parts, mixing well. Wrap in plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spray with non stick spray.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to about 1/4" thick. Using wooden stamp or moon cake stamp, stamp imprint next to each other on dough.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut out each cookie and place on prepared cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.
Did you try this recipe? Leave a comment below.Please follow me on Instagram @chefmireille or tag me #chefmireille with your pics! I'd love to share them!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Finally we get to see those prints you were talking's lovely to have friends to share and spend time learning things like nice that you guys can meet and chat..:)..all the pictures are looking amazing!

  2. Those cookies were indeed addictive, The first cookie, I was not sure I liked it or not. I was kind of neutral but as I started eating more, I loved them. I think it takes a while to acquire the taste of all the spices that went into it. Thanks for sharing the cookies with me.

    Thanks for the mention. It was my pleasure to help you out with the camera and was fun shooting those cookies. It is always fun doing things with friends.

  3. You guys are so lucky to stay so close to each other. All the photos look fabulous.
    Cookies look very beautiful — almost like a work of art. All those spices must have made the cookies taste so much exotic and delicious.

  4. Yes Mir, the joy of going out for shopping and discussing blog stuff with a friend who shares the same interests is a huge plus! The cookies looks great and so nice that you two could spend time together 🙂

  5. I am just admiring the pics and the imprint on the cookie .it is so gorgeous that its hard to believe that these are home made cookies..yo top it up Usha as always has shown her skills and highlighted the intricate details. Trust me I have not read the recipe I am so awestruck:))

  6. This is so interesting; I've never heard of these cookies before now. They look beautiful and sound delicious. Thank you so much for sharing at Inspire Me Wednesday. Featuring you in next week's issue.

  7. The photography session must have been so much fun! I live spiced cookies… This one looks so festive too with the imprint. In thinking I'll try these with my son's play doh imprints!

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