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Something for a Sweet Tooth at Christmas

Christmas is time of experiencing beautiful moments with our family and friends. Most of us prepare gifts, traditional dishes for Christmas Eve or Christmas dinner and something for a sweet tooth. The aroma of Christmas is vanilla, cinnamon, chocolate, nuts, raisins and the other ingredients in Czech biscuits and sweets.

The tradition of baking Christmas biscuits and sweets goes back to the 19th century, when the first families in Prague started to have decorated Christmas trees in their homes. Back then the only decorations were freshly baked gingerbreads and small apples. It is no wonder that the entire home smelled heavenly.

Even in our hurried times, most Prague families make the time to bake their own vanilla crescents, Linzer cookies and many other treats.

Christmas biscuit dough is usually prepared from flour, sugar, eggs, butter, cocoa or coconut, nuts and the occasional splash of rum.

By following these recipes, you can bake the most typical Czech Christmas sweets and remember your visit to Prague.

 

Vanilla Crescents

Ingredients:

240 grams all-purpose flour

20 grams mixture of powdered sugar + vanilla sugar

70-100 grams finely ground mixture of hazelnuts, almonds and walnuts

1 yolk

160 grams butter

+ powdered sugar for coating

Instructions:

Form the dough from the flour, sugar, butter, yolk and nuts. Let it rest for at least 2 hours. Roll bits of the dough into balls. Make crescents from the balls and bake them in a pre-heated oven at 170 °C for approximately 10 minutes. Coat them in powdered sugar when they are still hot.

 

Linzer Cookies

Ingredients:

250 grams all-purpose flour

120 grams powdered sugar

130 grams butter

1 egg

+sour cherry jam

 

Instructions:

Form the dough from the flour, sugar, butter and egg. Roll out and cut out various shapes. From half of these shapes cut out the centres. Bake for about 15 minutes and let cool. Spread the jam on the biscuits and top them with the biscuits that have not centres.

 

Nut Tartlets

Ingredients:

320 grams all-purpose flour

70 grams of finely ground mixture of hazelnuts, almonds and walnuts

100 grams powdered sugar

180 grams butter

3 tablespoons of cocoa

3 yolks

 

Filling:

Chocolate cream and walnuts

Or whipped cream and cranberry compote

 

Instructions:

Form the dough from the flour, sugar, cocoa, butter, yolks and nuts. Let it rest for at least 2 hours. Put bits of the dough into forms. Bake for approximately 10 minutes. Remove forms and let cool. Fill them with whipped cream and cranberry compote or chocolate cream and walnuts.

 

Bee Hives - Wasps' Nests

Ingredients:

250 grams finely ground walnuts

200 grams powdered sugar

20 grams vanilla sugar

juice of a 1/2 lemon

1 egg

 

Filling:

150 grams butter

100 grams powdered sugar

2 egg yolks

2 tablespoons of rum

 

Instructions:

Make the dough from the walnuts, sugar, lemon juice and egg. Dust the inside of a bee hive form with powdered sugar, then press in a small ball of the dough. Make a hole in the dough with the end of a wooden spoon. Remove the dough from the form. Let them rest for a day.

Next day, prepare the filling –  just mix all the ingredients together. Stuff the holes with filling and cover with biscuits.