TRADITIONS / Christmas

  • 16. 12. 2020
  • Posts
  • 6 minute read

Czech food blogger The Olive has prepared some hard-to-resist Christmas sweets recipes.

You can find them below, don't forget to follow The Olive's page on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theolive.cz/!

Vanilla crescents



Ingredients:

  • 160 g plain flour
  • 50 g finely ground almonds (walnuts / hazelnuts)
  • 20 g powdered/icing sugar
  • 10 g vanilla sugar
  • 160 g unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ vanilla bean (seeds)

+ 20 – 30 g powdered sugar for covering the crescents after baking

This recipe will make around 40-45 bigger size crescents, but you can make them as small as you want.

Method:

  1. Finely grind/grate almonds (walnuts / hazelnuts) until they have the consistence of flour and mix with sieved flour, vanilla sugar and vanilla seeds.
  2. Add pieces of butter softened at room temperature and egg yolk into the dry mixture and knead a compact, smooth dough that doesn’t stick (it should be elastic as plasticine/Play-Doh). You can either prepare the dough in a food processor or by hand. If using your hands, place the dry mixture on a clean flour-dusted surface and pile it into a mound. Make a “well” in the centre, add the egg yolk and small pieces of the softened butter. Start kneading and carry on until the dough is smooth, compact and doesn’t stick.
  3. Wrap the kneaded dough into clingfilm and leave to sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours, ideally overnight.
  4. Take the dough from the fridge and divide it into pieces. By rolling the dough in your palms and fingers, form long rolls and divide them into smaller parts. Shape each one into a small crescent.
  5. Prepare your baking sheet/tin/pan and line it with baking/parchment/greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°C/gas 4. (Depending on the size of your sheet – the bigger, the better -, you might need to use two sheets or line another batch after.)
  6. When placing the crescents on the baking sheet, leave enough space for them (they will rise in the oven a little bit). Bake for around 7-8 minutes until the crescents are slightly pink.
  7. When baked, leave them on the sheet to cool for about 1-2 minutes. After, take each crescent and coat it in powdered sugar. (Be careful when covering the crescents with sugar, they are very fragile and tend to break easily).

Bon appétit.

Tip: If you roast the nuts on a frying pan before grinding, the scent of the dough will be more intense. Store the crescents in a closed box in a dry place, they have a long shelf life and will keep fresh for several weeks.

Medovníčky / Christmas Honey Cakes



Ingredients:

  • 250 g plain flour
  • 80 g powdered/icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 125 g unsalted softened butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons of runny honey

+ plum butter, plum jam (or similar) to stick the cakes together, chocolate (melted with a knob of butter) to garnish; nuts, coconut flakes or desiccated coconut to sprinkle on top {optional)

Method:

  1. Sieve the flour and mix in a bowl with the powdered sugar, add 1 tablespoon of baking soda, a pinch of salt and cinnamon.
  2. If you don’t use a food processor to knead the dough, place the dry mixture on a clean flour-dusted surface and pile it into a mound. Make a “well” in the centre, add the egg, small pieces of the softened butter and 2 tablespoons of runny honey.
  3. Start kneading and carry on until the dough is smooth, compact and doesn’t stick.
  4. Wrap the kneaded dough into clingfilm and leave to sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours, ideally overnight.
  5. Take out the chilled dough and roll it out on a flour-dusted surface. Use either a round cookie cutter or a glass/cup to cut circles out of the dough. When done, place them on a baking sheet lined with baking/parchment/greaseproof paper.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°C/gas 4 and bake for about 8 minutes.
  7. Once the cakes have cooled, take two pieces and stick them together with plum butter, plu, jam or similar. Garnish the cakes with chocolate (melted together with butter) and put nuts on top.

Tip: You can sprinkle coconut flakes or desiccated coconut on the top instead.

Czech Christmas Bread - sweet (Vánočka) 


This recipe will make 1 Braided Sweet Christmas Bread, just right in size (standardly they are made from for instance 500 g flour, but these are gigantic or make two normal size ones (laugh))  

Ingredients:   

  • 160 g plain flour  
  • 150 g coarse flour (strong bread flour) 
  • 60 g sugar  
  • 10 g vanilla sugar  
  • 15 g corn flour (BrE)/corn starch (AmE) 
  • 5 g dried yeast  
  • 65 g butter (melted, not hot!)  
  • 2 egg yolks  
  • 125 ml milk  
  • 1 tablespoon of rum  
  • lemon zest from 1 lemon  
  • 100 g dried fruit (raisins, plums, or candied fruit) depending on your taste (quantity also depends on your taste – some people add only 20 g of raisins / 500 g flour, for example)  
  • 1 pinch of salt  
  • 1 pinch of ground fennel and allspice 
  • A handful of sliced almonds to sprinkle on top 
  • 1 egg white to brush over the Christmas bread

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