Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Russian Desserts

I was going through some stuff and found my Russian recipes. I actually tried a few way back, but haven't done much with them. But I'm inspired by the coming of Orthodox Christmas (which actually isn't here yet) to post a few.

Russian Tea Cakes (which I have made for my Russian class, but must admit I didn't like that much, but then I don't like nuts)

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cups finely chopped nuts

Heat oven to 400. Thoroughly mix butter, sugar and vanilla. Work in flour, salt and nuts until dough holds. Shape dough into one inch balls or finger shapes and place 1 inch apart on ungreased pan or cookie sheet.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until set, but not brown. While warm, roll in powdered sugar (about 1 cup). Cook, then roll again.

Makes about 4 dozen.

Honey Gingerbread (медовые лряники) [I haven't tried this one yet, but it sounds good and I think I might give it a go in the next week or so...I'll report back on it.]
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 kg (2.2 lbs) flour [NOTE: 1 lb is about 4 cups]
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
powdered sugar and cinnamon

Beat eggs and sugar until thick. Add honey and vanilla and mix well. Sift flour, soda, cinnamon and nutmeg and fold into mixture. Set aside for 24 hours. Dough should be stiff.

Roll out on a flat sheet. Either cut into shapes or roll up tightly and cut into 1/4 inch thick widths.

Bake on greased cookie sheet at 375 for 15 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar and cinnamon.

Pat and I were discussing recipes and desserts a few days ago. I (she doesn't either) don't like scones. I want to like scones, but I don't. Scones are very dry to me and I like moist things. I like soft cookies and cakes...just the way I am. Ray tends to like harder stuff - he likes hard cookies. He'd probably like scones. He LOVES shortbread, which I find bland and boring (but I do make it for the boy). I think my problem with Russian dessert recipes is often that I find them too dry. This one (the gingerbread) sounded good, but then I got to thinking about all the flour...and I'm going to admit, I probably won't like it as much as I first thought I would because it will be dry to me. Just a thought for everyone to ponder and consider if you want to experiment. If you like things like scones and shortbread, you'll probably like these recipes.

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