Tag Archives: czech

Czech Crescent Cookies

My Czech grandma made these Crescent Cookies for Christmas every year. Many other neighboring countries seem to use a similar recipe. Today, I have seen them rolled into balls and named “snowballs” or “pecan snowball” cookies. Either way, these are a very traditional Christmas cookie.  Besides tasting absolutely delicious – they are so easy and require only 5 ingredients!

Traditional Crescent Cookies

Czech Crescent Cookies

1 cup butter

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup pecans – finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla.  Reduce mixer speed and gradually add flour and pecans.

Shape into 1 1/4 inch balls (using a cookie scoop helps keep them uniform!).  Then shape into crescents and roll in a small bowl of confectioners’ sugar.

Bake for approximately 15 minutes until the bottoms turn golden brown.  Once cooled, roll again in confectioners’ sugar.

 

Pecan Snowball Cookies

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Cookie Assortment Cookie Risers

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Czech Chicken Paprika

Old world recipes can be very difficult to pass on from generation to generation.  Back in the day, recipes were not written down and made from memory.  Since they weren’t written down, you just add a little of this and a little of that until you get the “right consistency” and if not you add a little more of this and that.

As I grew older and took interest in cooking, I wanted to learn from my Grandmas how to cook their traditional meals.  I didn’t want to see these recipes lost forever.  Funny thing, as I look back it seemed like some recipes were a big family secret.

Today I made one of my favorite main Czech dishes and transcribed the recipe with measurements.  Measurements are a bonus because some of the old cook books that my Grandma owned listed ingredients without measurements.  I think you were just supposed to know what to do!

This recipe is so easy and the gravy is absolutely delicious!  Gravy always seemed to be so daunting to make from scratch…but really it is easy!

Traditional Czech Paprika

Czech Chicken Paprika

  • 2 TB cooking oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 8 pieces of chicken (breast & thighs with skin on)
  • 8 cups of water
  • 2 TB paprika
  • S & P

Chicken Paprika Gravy

  • 1 cup flour
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 TB paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt

In a large dutch oven or stock pot, add cooking oil and onions over high heat.  Cook until the onion softens.  In the meanwhile, salt and pepper chicken pieces.  Place in the pot, skin side down.  Cook until the skin is browned scraping the bottom of the pot, then flip and brown the other side.  Add 8 cups of water to cover the chicken and bring to a boil.  Cook chicken in boiling water for one hour.  Reduce the heat, transfer chicken to a platter and strain the juice. (I use a slotted spoon to get little pieces out)

For the gravy, whisk flour and water in a small mixing bowl, getting all of the lumps out.  This will create a paste.  Whisk the paste into the large pot of chicken juices, constantly whisking until the gravy comes to a boil and it will slightly thicken.  Add sour cream, continuing to whisk to get any lumps out.  Then season with paprika and salt.  Let gravy simmer for approximately 10 minutes.  Place the chicken back in the pot to heat through.

Serve chicken pieces on a large platter with a gravy boat filled with hot gravy.  Traditionally this would be served with dumpling.  But it is also delicious with egg noodles.

 

 

 

Kolacky – Czech Cookies

The holidays are among us and let the baking begin!

According to Wikipedia:  “Kolache (also spelled kolace, kolach, or kolacky, from the Czech and Slovak plural koláče, sg. koláč) is a type of pastry that holds a dollop of fruit rimmed by a puffy pillow of supple dough.”

Kolacky are my favorite baked treat because the filling comes in so many fruit flavors, poppy seed and even cheese.  My Mom makes them for any holiday and I am carrying on the tradition.   They are really the perfect dessert after a huge dinner because they are tiny like a cookie.  I made these for a Christmas event at my church and I will be making another batch for Christmas.

Kolaches

Raspberry and Apricot Kolacky

This recipe can be made ahead of time and they freeze well, but because of the jelled filling they can not be stacked on top of each other.  That lead me to design a new product called Sweet Stackers – Stackable Food Storage System.  Sweet Stackers are stackable trays that fit inside a typical 3″ deep container.  They will separate your food items in two or three layers depending on the size of your food.  Perfect for Kolacky or any food that you can not stack!

Kolacky Recipe

1 1/2 C sifted all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 C butter, softened

1 – 8 ounce cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon milk

1 tablespoon sugar

1 egg yolk, beaten

various pie and pastry fillings (I used Solo brand, apricot and raspberry pie and pastry filling for this batch)

Sift the flour and baking powder together.  With an electric mixer, cream butter, cream cheese, milk and sugar.  Add the egg yolk, then gradually add the flour mixture.  Once the dough comes together, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for several hours in the refrigerator.  I usually chill the dough overnight.

Preheat oven to 400°.  Divide the dough in half and leave the remaining half in the refrigerator until you are ready to work with it.  (note: work with this dough quickly and keep any dough that you are not using chilled).  Flour your rolling pin and work surface extremely good and keep it well floured once you are working the dough.  Roll the dough until about 1/8″ – 1/4″ thick.  Cut round pieces with a floured 2″ round cookie cutter or edge of a juice glass.

kolaches dough

Dough is chilled, rolled and ready to cut

Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Make a depression with your thumb gently in the center of each piece and place a dollop of filling into the center.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned.

kolaches cut and filled

Kolacky are ready to bake!

Hope you enjoy them!