I’ve got very old book in my collection. It has got 30 years and it is textbook for trade schools titled „Making cookies”. I’s written by Czesław Dojutrek and Andrzej Pietrzyk. Besides some theoretical informations for beginning confectioners there are many great and very easy recipes – just like that one for those adorable little piano-keys. The taste of those cookies I remember from high school – they always were in nearby confectionery.
340 g flour
185 g margarine
45 g icing sugar
2 egg yolks
few drops of vanilla essence
Mix margarine with sugar until it’s homogeneous. Then add yolks, vanilla essention and flour. After mixing it all together it comes to loose crumbs. Lay crumbs on the table and knead quickly. Roll out into about 1 cm thick rectangle and then put it into the fridge for an hour.
Mix egg white with icing sugar until it’s like very thick icing. Take the knife and spread the icing on cooled douch with it. Now leave it for 30 minutes and let the icing get dry.
The Easter is coming so I’ve baked a basket from yeast-cake. I’ve made it from recipe for Challah. Well made and grown dough is elastic, not stick to hands and it’s perfect for making a basket.
25 g fresh yeast
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup oil
4 cup flour
when the dough stick to your hands you can use more flour (but not more than 1/2 cup)
1 egg for greasing the dough
Mix milk with water. Pour two spoons of that mixture into a glass, add yeast and leave for a few minutes. Mix egg, water with milk, olive oil, salt and sugar in the bowl. Slowly add flour. After adding flour make the dough until it’s soft and elastic. Leave it until it doubles its size. After that make for a while and form rollers.
For making a basket you will need a bowl (glass and ovenproof). Oil or wrap with foil the outside of the bowl (when you use foil it comes off easier). Turn the bowl upside down and form the basket. Make it the same way the baskets are made.
After forming your basket grease it with egg yolk and bake until its gold. Leave it and let the basked get cold.
Now form the brim of your basket. Draw the bowl on a graseproof paper. Make three long rollers of the dough and make a plait. Lay the plait on the drawn circle, grease with egg yolk and bake until gold.
Now form three rollers more and make another plait. It’ll be the handle of your basket. Lay this plait over the diameter of your bowl, grease with yolk and bake like another pieces.
After baking stick it all together (I use pieces of toothpicks for better stability).
And now your basket is ready. Sounds complicated but the devil is not so black as he is painted.
2 cups flour
280 g butter
3 big egg yolks
2 tbs sour cream
3 egg whites
Sift the flour and pour it out on the table. Add cold butter to the flour and chop it with knife. Now add yolks and cream and quickly knead it, wrap it with foil and put it into the fridge for at least one hour. It’s best to do the batter in the evening, let it stay in the fridge for a night and then do cookies next day.
Before rolling batter make an icing by beating egg whites with as many icing sugar as we need it to make icing to decorate gingerbreads. Roll cold butter until it is 4 mm thick and cut out small circles – the smallest they are the cuter ;).
Lay cookies on the baking tray with graseproof paper, put the icing on them and remember to not let the icing flow down!
Bake it for about 15 minutes in the oven heated to 180 degrees. Time of baking can be different – it depends on the size of cookies.
People bring various souvenirs from abroad. Last week I was on Christmas Fair in Prague and I bought there a bag with cookie-gingerbread molds. First I’ve tried molds of gingerbread christmas tree ball. Made them from two hemispheres sticked with icing. It is important to not let them grow too much during baking and they should be very thin – then it is very easy to stick them. I use the recipe for domino
Gingerbreads balls can be decorated with icing like traditional gingerbreads or dipped in loose icing and coated in sugar.
Cut off stars or any shapes you want from gingery dough. It is important to cut different sizes. In smalles star cut off (using round form or small glass) a hole which will be 2-3 mm larger than tealight. Bake like in the recipe.
After baking decorate with icing, stick when it’s decorated by putting smaller star on the bigger one.