Almond Baskets

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islske

Yet another Czech Christmas cookie, I got this recipe from our neighbour, when I was like 10 yrs old and lived in a small village in Prague, she lived on the other side of the street, she was an older lady with amazing baking and cooking skills, I have spent so much time at her house, helping her out with baking and tasting everything….

She had a cherry tree in the garden and in the summer I helped her pick the cherries from it, I climbed up in the tree just with a basket and a hook for it, and cleared branch by branch ….easy when you are a kid!

I also got a puppy from her when I was 8 yrs old, the best dog I ever had! My love, my companion, my best friend! Never forget her….her name was Tapinka.

Almond Baskets

Ingredients:
200g flour
100g butter
60 grams grated peeled almonds
50g icing sugar
2 egg yolks

Filling:
120g butter
100g icing sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp. rum

50g dark chocolate 70%

Preparation method:
1. Mix all the ingredients for the dough and form it into a ball, place in a plastic bag and let it cool down in the fridge for 1.
2. Use aluminum forms, butter each of them so that the dough does not stick to it.
3. Make small balls of the rested dough and put in each form, press it out to fill the whole basket evenly.
4. Bake in the oven at 200 degrees for about 10 minutes, when the edges start to look golden.
5. Let it cool down and take it of the forms .
6. In the meantime prepare the filling, mix together butter and icing sugar carefully without curdling it.
7. Add the egg and rum and carefully continue mixing until it has become a smooth cream.
8. When the baskets have cooled down fill them with the butter cream filling and dip in chocolate while it is as cold as possible, and place half an almond on each of them before it hardens.
9. Store in the fridge until serving.

Raspberry Chocolate Truffles

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rasperyy truffles

I like to make these at Christmas as well, and the raspberry makes them bit sour, not so sweet, perfect combination. Instead of raspberries you can alaways add mint…super good alternative in truffles!

Raspberry Chocolate Truffles (25pc)

Ingredients:
1dl Raspberry puree (defrosted or fresh raspberries)
2 tbsp. honey
0,5 pc vanilla stick
230g chocolate (70%)
60g butter (soft)
1 tbsp. Marsal wine, Port wine or raspberry liqueur (optional)
1dl cocoa

Preparation Method:
1. Mix the raspberries in a mixer to a puree and sieve away all the seeds.
2. Finally chopped the chocolate, melt it in a water bath and stir.
3. Warm up in a saucepan together the raspberry puree, scraped out vanilla seeds from the vanilla stick and the vanilla stick, and honey (plus liqueur of your choice if you want to)
4. Remove the vanilla stick and pour the warmed up raspberry puree over the chocolate and stir all together.
5. Add the soft butter pc by pc, possible the wine/liqueur and whisk again until it is all combined.
6. Pour the truffle mixture into a long form and let it cool down.
7. Shape small balls out of the cold mixture and roll each of them in cocoa.

Czech Quark (Cottage Cheese) Dumplings filled with Apricots

quark 3

Cottage Cheese Dumplings
(Tvarohové ovocné knedlíky)

Ingredients:
250 g soft cottage cheese (kvarg)
1 egg
1 pinch of slat
50 g butter
About 170 g-200g coarser flour (half and half)
Fruit (strawberries, peaches, apricots, plums, cherries etc.)

Preparation Method:
1. Crumble the cottage cheese into a bowl, add egg and melted butter and mix into a smooth mixture.
2. Into this mixture add flour little by little, until it is still little bit sticky but not too thick dough. Amount of flour depends on the size of the egg you use.
3. In the end you can use your hands to form the dough on a floured surface.
4. From this dough you make a long sausage from which you cut portion sizes big enough to coat your fruit in.
quark

5. In each piece of dough you cover 1 fruit of your choice.
6. Make sure the fruit is well coated in the dough so that it does not come out during cooking.
quark 2

7. Filled dumplings are then either steamed or boiled in boiling water for about 5-7minutes.
8. When they have swam up to the surface they are ready and can be taken out.
9. Ready dumplings are sprinkled with either ground poppy seeds mixed with icing sugar and poured over melted butter or grated cottage cheese, lots of icing sugar and melted butter.
10. Or as my mum used to make 1 tbsp. of butter in a frying pan add 3dl of breadcrumbs and roast a little bit, then add 3 tbsps. Icing sugar (or more if you want it sweeter) and put the dumplings into this mixture as soon as they come out of the boiling water and coat them in it for serving just pour melted butter and sprinkle of icing sugar over.

Vanilla Horseshoes

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vanilla

240 g plain flour
160 g butter
50 g sugar
100 g walnuts
1 egg yolk

Preparation Method:

Grate the walnuts in a mixture, add sugar, butter and slowly the egg yolk, and lastly the flour.

Put the dough in the fridge to rest for couple of hours.

Shape into little rolls and shape into little horseshoes.

Place them on a baking tray covered with a baking paper and bake in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius until they start to get little bit of colour, not too much.

As soon as you take them out hot from the oven put them on a plate with vanilla sugar and rolled them in it so that they get all covered.

Swedish Potato Gratin – Janssons Temptation ”Frestelse”

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jonssons frestelse
Ok, this one is important here in Sweden, if you don’t have it on your Christmas table, Christamas will not even happen.
It is a very tasty addition to the Swedesh Christmas Table.

Janssons Frestelse
(Swedish traditional Christmas Potato Gratin)

Ingredients:
1 jar anchovies (125g) (if you really don’t feel like it, skip them)
2 onions
8 potatoes
3 dl whipping cream (cooking cream)
Juice from the anchovies
0,5 dl breadcrumbs
2 tbsps. Butter

Preparation Method:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 225° C.
2. Peel and slice the onions into thin slices.
3. Peel and cut potatoes into match size slices.
4. Fry the onions in some butter until they are translucent and soft.
5. Layer potatoes, anchovies (to taste) and these fried onions in a well-buttered baking form. Last layer should be potatoes.
6. Pour over the cream and little bit of the juice from anchovies .
7. Sprinkle over the bread crumbs and crumble small clicks of butter all over the top.
8. Bake for about 45-50 mins until potatoes are soft and have gotten a nice golden color on top.

Candied Nuts

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nuts

As you may have noticed I love sweet things, and I love nuts! When you combine the two…it’s ,y heaven.

This is perfect to have on the Christmas table, I can snack on it forever ….yummy…

Ingredients:
80g caster sugar
50g walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts (chopped)

Preparation Method:
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or oil one baking sheet with sunflower oil.
2. Put all the sugar in a saucepan on medium-medium high heat.
3. As the sugar melts, use a wooden spoon to move the mixture around in the saucepan.
4. When all has melted add the chopped nuts making sure that all of them get coated and none of the sugar stays in one place long enough to burn.
5. Cook for about 5 minutes at the most, until all of the sugar has melted and all of the nuts are coated (or immediately if you smell anything burning). Then, remove from heat and quickly spread the nuts out on the lined baking sheet to prevent them from drying in a clump.

Swedish ”Cat” Buns – Lussebullar

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lussebullar

These are a typical Swedish thing, always made for all the Advents in December. They are so much fun to make with my kids, any shape will do, and are possible to put in the freezer and enjoy whenever you feel like it again.

Lussebullar (20-30pc)

Ingredients:
175g Butter
5dl Milk/yoghurt/kesela
50g yeast
1 2/3 -2dl sugar
½ tsp salt
1g saffron
1 egg
Raisins
1,5l flour

Preparation Method:
1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and pour into a large bowl, add milk and sprinkle in the yeast and sugar. Mix it until it is dissolved.
2. Add salt, saffron, egg, raisins and all the flour.
3. Work into soft dough and let it rise on a warm place under a kitchen towel for about 1h.
4. Pre-heat the oven to 225degrees.
5. Roll the dough into lussebullar shapes of your choice, and let them rise for further 15min under a towel.
6. Brush each lussebulle with whipped egg, and insert more raisins in them if needed.
7. Place in the middle of the over for about 10min.

Potato Gratin

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potato gratin

Ingredients:
10 larger potatoes
3dl cream (10%)
2 dl milk
½ pressed clove of garlic (optional)
2 dl grated cheese
Salt and pepper

Preparation Method:
1. Slice the potatoes in 1cm wide slices.
2. In a pot put milk, cream and garlic and bring to boil. Add sliced potatoes and season with salt and pepper.
3. Cook it on low heat and mix every now and then for about 15 minutes until the potatoes are almost cooked.
4. Pour the potatoes with all the milk mixture into a baking form.
5. (this is as far you can prepare it even day before, and then cool down and put in the fridge until it is time for serving)
6. Pre-heat the oven to 250 °C with the grill option.
7. Sprinkle on the grated cheese and bake it in the oven until it is nice and golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Blueberry Pie

20160827_201431

3dl flour

1dl sugar

125g butter

1tsp potato flour

1 tbsp jelly sugar

Mix flour, sugar and butter into a crumble. Spread half of it in a baking form.

Cover with your blueberries (can be substituted with raspberries, black berries etc.)

Sprinkle over the berries potato flour and jelly sugar and crumble over the remaining crumble.

Bake in the middle of the oven at 225 degrees Celsius for about 15-20 min until you get a nice golden crunch on the top.

I served it with Vanilla ice cream while it was still a bit warm.