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Ooh that's one of Ruby's zinnias!
After poring over the cookbooks I tried shortbread, because I have all the ingredients- butter, powdered sugar, flour. DH watched and got an intro to Creaming the Butter. (Things that result in food have become more of an interest lately...Yesterday he asked me what kind of cookie mix I buy for my oatmeal cookies. "What? I make them from scratch", (you didn't realize that??)) I use mixes for muffins and cakes these days but scratch for cookies. Then he pointed out my 'jellyroll' pan was too big so I had to spread the dough into a less than the whole pan rectangle. And I overbrowned it. Rats. But can't feel too bad , they are edible to us, just not nice enough to share. Guess I'll pick up a few ingredients tomorrow and do Chocolate Crinkles.
The nice part is the gathering with some ladies I hardly ever see these days. The awesome part is bringing home eight dozen different kinds of cookies.
I WILL be baking tomorrow or Wednesday, but NOT cookies. I never bake any cookies nor cakes...And--you can imagine why!
I will be doing the all day annual marathon (from scratch too) making my Latvian "Pirags".
I do a massive amount--as every get-together I go to, mostly asst. family ones, I HAVE TO bring lots of these.
These are truly for a special event Christmas being the most common.
The dough is made by hand--and it is this lovely, fragrant yeast dough rich with milk and butter
and shortening (Crisco) and a bit of sugar and salt and some cardamon, etc...Hand-kneading is a given
as no mixer can handle the thick dough at the end. So--I have to finish by hand.
When done--the bowl gets covered with a thick terry towel and put on the TOP of the stove with the oven on just to 100*.
Just enough warmth to help the dough rise---that takes about 2 hours.
I make it in the largest of the SS bowls that come in the set of four.
Then--pounds and pounds of good ham and thick Applewod bacon and onions have already been diced in
no bigger than 1/4" dice and mixed together with generous sprinkling of black pepper.
That will be the filling--one tsp per one "Pirags"...Oh--I could guess that I make close to 300 of these.
They are delicious warm--the ultimate Hors-deur...and finger-food.
I have photos from last year----YES! You may gawk--and drool...
1--The bowl-full of the risen dough. Now--this bowl is 16" in diameter.
2--This is just part of the 4+ lbs. total of the diced meat mixture
3--This is the process. One at a time...Cut a small chunk of dough--flatten it a bit-
put a tsp. of meat mixture-pinch it closed--and shape it into a crescent. One down!
4--Here is one cookie sheet full. Now just to ssmear some egg on each-- and in the oven they go.
5--A pile of the finished Pirags. Now you may drool...
Since I make these ahead of time--I have to bag them up and freeze them.
Now--most of you know that I do not have room in my freezer...I may ask to use my neighbor's (Olga's).
Her freezer is mostly empty.
OK! Now I know some of you will ask for the recipe. Believe me--you will NOT want to go through all this,
and if you take shortcuts--then it is not the real thing. That would bug me to no end...So--don't ask, please.
Paul--You are lucky--as you will get some on Friday to eat as you drive to NJ. I will fix you a "doggie bag"...
They look amazing, Gita. Hey, Paul, if you are going over the Delaware Memorial bridge throw one out the passenger window. Throw pretty hard though, cuz I'm about 2 miles from the bridge. Heehee
I made some macaroons for a cookie swap last Saturday. Jeff loves them and they are sooo easy. Came home with 3 dozen cookies about 15 varieties. I didn't have the heart to tell Jeff he couldn't have any. Needless to say there won't be any left by the time DS and family arrive this weekend. That reminds me I need to make pumpkin cake for him. He loves it. Better get my act in gear, but not tonight.
I saw some kits on sale to make these cookies that look like melting snow men. There is a baked cookie and a baked small ball of dough. After baking, you place the ball on top of the cookie and ice the whole thing which "glues" the ball to the cookie. Then you paint on colored muffler, mittens, stuff that would be left when the snow man melts. you can paint the face onto the ball which appears not to have melted yet. I also saw the recipe in the mag, every day with Rachel Ray for these same cookies.
I just Googled "Latvian Bacon Rolls"----aka--"Piragi". Interesting that they are called that--
but I totally "get it"...The shape does not matter...Just that ours are always in a crescent.
There are many, many recipes offered in the link below. They are not all THAT different from than the ones I make.
But--I do not add sour cream nor eggs to my dough. I think I have eaten something similar made with
this kind of dough and sour cream makes a very tasty dough. I once had some delectable tiny Pirags
made with cream cheese and sour cream dough but stuffer with mushrooms. Yummmmy!
I only use the egg to smear the tops before baking. Gives them a nice shine.
Re the filling--I believe in the "olden days" bacon alone was used, as ham, as we know it today, did not exist.
There is a lot of lean meat in country bacon--so it would make outstanding Pirags. The fat would just melt into
the dough surrounding the meat. Yumm...
I can tell you that, in a pinch, you can use "Crescent Rolls" with good success. You can get 16 Pirags out of one tube.
Just cut each dough-triangle in half, shape it into a round patty and put the meat in--and pinch shut
That is enough to wrap the meat into. I tried "Pillsbury Grands" once and found that dough to be way too salty.
Get a Ham slice--and about 1lb of thick sliced DRY (as in bulk) bacon and one small onion.
Dice everything in tiny dice and mix together sprinkling Black Pepper as you do.
You may use up 3 or 4 tubes of Crescent Rolls to do this. That will do.
Making this dough from scratch is not all that hard.
As with many things we bake--everyone has their "real" recipe.
Check out this link below--I never knew that these were on "Cooks.com"...
Bec--It is funny that, when anyone talks about "Pierogis" it is assumed that they are the Polish type--filled
with mashed potatoes and cheese, cooked and fried.
The Estonians usually fill their "Pirukad" with meat. Think a leftover Pot Roast shredded and ground with some of the
veggies left in there. Sometimes veal is added, adding a bit of boiled egg on top of the meat before pinching it shut.
Then they deep fry them.
That is the way they made them until I came along and taught them the Latvian way. My hubby and I were involved for 25 years in the whole Estonian life here. FUN! FUN!!! FUN!!! Two decades of partying...
They have a club in Baltimore and we used to hold annual Festivals downtown. We baked hundreds of "pirags" under my supervision--
in the commercial-sized kitchen at the Estonian House. Now--that is the only way they make them.
We would grind up a couple Mashes hams and use all the fat on it as well.
Cut up 10lbs of Onions and make enough dough to fill a commercial mixer. About 6 women would work all day making these.
"Rejects" would be our lunch...:o)
I just wet to the Estonian Christmas bazaar--and they were selling these for $1.50 each. OUCH!
A bit pricey--besides--they do not fill them with a good amount of meat--so the first bite may be just dough.
Can't be stingy here...The filling is what makes these!
Sorry to be so long-winder again. I just cannot write anything short...Me and Ruby...we always have a lot to say...
OOps---That link did not work. Please just Google "Latvian Bacon Rolls" and there will be
many versions to look at. Pick the one you like the best...
yummy! all around!
I bet Terp will like those Gita!
stadycam- the melting snowmen sounds very cute. I'll have to look that up- maybe make some just for us though (not eight dozen)
I found some recipes for pumpkin cookies and will try sometime- but wanted something that seemed more Christmassy. I have a baking book by Shirley Corriher and she explains all the technical side of baking- I'm learning as I go.
There is a "Cabbage Pirags" the Estonians make as well. It is baked on a jelly roll pan.
There is dough on the bottom and a mixture of cabbage, maybe egg(??) --I do not have the recipe...on top.
I believe there was also boiled eggs sprinkled on top.
But it was delicious. I think it is in my Estonian Cookbook--but iti s all in Estonian.
Need an interpreter----even though--I think I could muddle through it.
I could easily get it from some Estonian lady...just have to call...
You will have to tutor me on the Rosettes. I picked up a cast-aluminum (?) set of these cookie makers
in a Thrift shop. Read all the directions--seemed a bit complicated.
I just had to have it--it was just $3. Looked old--and interesting...now to try it...
I very seldom bake sweets--as I would eat them all...:o[ Gita
I had no intention of baking this year. We aren't home for the Christmas Holidays which are spent a 3 different family locations for the Eve, Christmas morning brunch, and Christmas dinner. My responsibility is for Garlic Bread, Shrimp Scampi, and Coconut Shrimp. Our very helpful neighbor, Jim, who loves sweets, expressed his sadness that his wife no longer bakes cookies for Christmas. Today is the day that we decided to bake together, 2 guys in upstairs kitchen, 2 women in downstairs kitchen.
Our list consists of, Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip, Linzer, Pistachio Cream Cheese Fingers, Spritz, Italian Knot, Double Chocolate, Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti, Pecan Meltaways,
Cream Cheese Kolacky, Gluten Free Peanut Butter cookies topped with a chocolate kiss.
It will be interesting to see how far we get with these. I'm sure we'll need to stop for some lunch, wine and a nap!!!
I have 2 cookie exchanges 1 this Monday(woman's group at church) and then 1 on Tuesday(farmer's market down the road does 1 to pack up for Christmas baskets for a food bank) then I'm in charge of community time at church next Saturday we are having a cookie and coffee month...so I'll be baking like crazy over the weekend ( I love to bake!)
Those Pirags look good
I'm going to try making homemade Pierogis this year, I'm going to do a Polish/Russian Christmas dinner this year pierogis, galumpkis, kruschiki
It's a good thing that you like to bake, Jen!! My family is coming for the New Year Weekend and I'm going to try those Rosettes and some type of Gita's Pirags. The holiday rush will be mostly over and I'll have the week after Christmas to mess with these (hope "mess" won't be the result). Some of my grandsons will probably spending their days off with us, and they usually are interested in doing stuff in the kitchen with me. We'll see. Anyway, it's great to get some new ideas from people with good "tastes".
So far we baked triple batches of Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal, Pecan Meltaways, Pistachio Cranberry Biscotti, Double Chocolate (surprisingly delicious) and Chocolate Kiss Peanut Butter Cookies.
We have the dough made for all the others, which we will bake on Friday. It was such fun doing it with other people. We were at it from 9 til 3 and enjoyed our Bailey's Irish Creme and Christmas Music!!
Please Google "Latvian Bacon rolls" and read through all the Pirags recipes and choose the one you like best.
For the meat mixture--make sure you get a good ham steak, or real smoked ham, and DRY (deli type) bacon.
NOT packaged bacon. It has that liquid slime on everything...preservatives...Dice these and the onion as finely as you can.
Well--I spent over 6 hours yesterday making my annual batch of "Pirags". Made just over 300.
The meat mixture was already done--so not adding that to the time.
I hate the clean up--but tried to keep up with it as i went...hate washing dishes!!!!
Whenever The meat and dough does not come out even--and I have dough left over--
I make "Poppy Seed Roses".
Take the dough but you try to stretch it out in a thin rectangle--keep sides straight. Keep work surface slightly floured.
Spread softened butter all over. Then sprinkle sugar all over. Then sprinkle Poppy Seeds (can use Cinnamon as well)
all over-- and then carefully roll it up lengthwise--like a Jelly Roll.
When you get to the opposite edge--pinch it to the roll tightly so there are no leaks.
Now--stretch it a bit by rolling it around and then do this:
Using a knife--cut about 1 1/2" sections off the roll and, using your fingers--pinch one end of each slice shut.
This will open up the other side in a rosette. Place these on a cookie sheet, about 2"apart, and
spread them open a bit more.
When cookie sheet is full--smear generously with egg wash. Bake at 350* until nicely brown.
Best eaten warmed up with coffee or whatever...
I had a bit of dough left over and made 2 pans-full of these.
1--The amount of dough I had to start with--all nicely risen.
2--These are 2 cookie sheets full--just out of the oven--spread to cool.
3--ALL the finished "Pirags"--a stack 3-deep--300+ count. Did this just for you all to see...
Bagged them all up later for "distribution"...or freezing.
4--Here are the Poppy Seed Roses-- all finished.
9 dozen Chocolate Crinkles and 2 dozen peanut butter
Peanut Butter Cookies- Shirley Corriher's Bakewise
One cup of crunchy peanut butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
Beat egg, stir in the peanut butter and brown sugar, scoop with slightly rounded cookie scoop or make 1 1/2 or 2 inch balls. press with fork (buttered or sprayed with Pam, sugared) and bake 350 degrees 9 min till slightly browned on edges. Makes 2 dozen
Shirley adds some toffee bits to batter. I used half crunchy and half smooth so I added a quarter cup or so finely chopped salted peanuts'
Wish I had thought of those toffee bits when we made our peanut butter cookies, Sally. All our cookies are made, but the lemon bars were a disaster. I think a used a too thin roasting pan that was the exact size that the recipe called for, but didn't take the place of a cookie sheet. Today, the couple that baked with us on Wed and Fri will come back to arrange the cookies into the cookie tins. We think we might use cupcake liners to help with displaying them. Hope I remember to take some pictures. Should have taken some of the guys doing the baking in the upstairs kitchen. Too funny!!
I am known for making the Pecan Confectioner's Sugar Balls. I will not share the recipe, as you can get that on the Net in many forms, BUT, and this is a HUGE BUT (and yours will be if you make these-LOL), the SECRET is this: No matter what form of Pecan you use, you MUST roast the nuts in the oven and let them cool a bit before adding them to the dough. (Do this for any recipe that used nuts.)
To whatever temperature my oven is set to, I put them on Aluminum Foil on a baking sheet, and spread them about, giving them air between surfaces. Then, I set the timer to 5 minutes for a "look-see" guestimate of time. You can always go by the scent as you are doing other things in the kitchen - the very MINUTE you smell them, take a good look at them! They should be a light golden brown. Remember that they will cook a bit when you get them out of the oven.
I've found that the ultimate size of the Pecan needed is what I put in the oven, because the more surface is roasted, the more FLAVOR develops.
The result is a cookie that, when it goes into your mouth, is tender, falls away without any chewing into nothingness, leaving that little bit of nut and wonderful mix of real butter and sugar. AHHHH! Need to bake some this weekend for the cookie exchange at work...
As for all of these posts, do you know how happy I am to be reading them with a full tummy of hot oatmeal?!
what a description of cookie nirvana!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Shirley Corriher also recommends roasting all nuts. And she likes to use the Release foil thats non stick. I used it for the first time this year and it is nice. Slide foil off sheet, cool sheet with water. Cookies off sheet after two min. Sheet ready for next batch.
Pecan balls sound like a shortbread with pecans, essentially. And sound delicious!
Someone in my workplace always makes some cookie in a ball which she brings in a container, all submerged in a bed of powdered sugar. I think it might be those.
I wanted to read this again:
"...a cookie that, when it goes into your mouth, is tender, falls away without any chewing into nothingness, leaving that little bit of nut and wonderful mix of real butter and sugar. AHHHH! ..."
One year Terry Fracarro brought "Rum Balls" to share at our grade school Christmas party. They were very potent!
Sally thanks for my intro to Shirley and Bakewise cool stuff. I agree on the toasting roasting nuts pre addition, much more to my liking. Those peanut butter balls work well with almond butter or if there are nut allergies, sunflower butter.
Gita, laughed and cried just reading thru the bumped up thread of ethnic recipies so many are familiar and though we had different names, the tastes and prep and cooking/baking amidst aunties and moms and grandmas is a never to be forgotten experience. My mom always baked by feel and sight and not measured ingredients. Our oven had one hot spot, so we always rotated cookie sheets halfway through baking or left a particular part of the sheet empty. I actually have an aquired taste for slightly burned peanut butter cookies!
Thanks for reading the bumped up Thread. I am glad someone did...
As you could see--I was all over the place on it. Such a treasure!
Maybe you can help me track down a recipe that I have eaten, but have no record of.
Today, i went to a "Cousins" X-mas get-together in VA and my cousin, so fondly remembered, my Aunt Elma
(her MIL) making this. She said it was so delicious. I also have eaten it at the Estonian parties we held.
I am now on a mission to find this recipe. YES, I AM!
I know the Latvians and the Estonians both make it. I could call around and, probably, get it--but i am picking YOU to
see if anyone in your background also made it.
We called it "Cabbage Pirags". This was NOT the kind of Pirags I just made 300of.
It was something like this:
--Done on a Jelly Roll pan. Dough on the bottom--one layer only! Not on top.
--Contents were cooked cabbage, lots of sliced onion, (maybe) some beaten egg to hold it all together (not sure)
--Possibly some cream or milk incorporated--and then baked.
--When serving--I think there was chopped, boiled egg sprinkled on top. It was cut up in squares to serve. --
--Also--I believe it was common practice to serve a cup of hot Bullion with it.
This seems to be an Eastern European "thing'.
I have an Estonian cook book--and i think it may have this recipe--but it is all in Estonian.
I "get it" half way. I could just call around and find it--I know. Might be easier...
I have misplaced my Latvian Recipes book--I bet it was in there too.
JR had to go before we got to the cookies so yesterday I did some myself, not as much fun by tasty all the same. I made oatmeal raisin, molasses, and sugar cookies with special dark kisses, 8-9 dozen in all. I still want to make peanut butter, chocolate chip, chocolate with toffee chips, and a pastry cookie with dates, nuts, and honey. The pastry cookie was made by an old friend, Helen Majeski, so I guess it would be Polish or something geographically close. Ric
I baked Wedding Cookies (Pecan balls with Confectioner's Sugar), and "Woodlawn Plantation Ginger Cakes" (Ginger cookies with that crackly-coarse sugar top). I have to admit, I was sorely disappointed in the Ginger Cakes when I made them, thought that my ginger was too old and not flavorful, but JEESE. The longer they sit, the more they flavor up! I've had rave reviews for them! You can get this recipe on the Net.
And, due to hubby request, I am making :Snickerdoodles" this afternoon. His favorite. Maybe I'll sneak in some oatmeal with golden raisin cookies, too...I LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR!
Our 2 extended family Christmas eve was tonight instead of Christmas eve, with people traveling midweek and all. Since I was going to be in the kitchen prepping for the evening anyway I decided to make cookies too. I made Oatmeal/crasin, peanut butter, chocolate chip/walnut, molasses, and Eagle brand cookie bars about 12 dozen in all. Since our youngest daughter goes to her in-laws for Thanksgiving she misses pumpkin pie (it's just not part of their menu), I made her one for her to take home. Since my recipe makes 2, I have a pie too. I hope I can fit out of the kitchen by the time the holidays are over. LOL Ric
Sounds great and I am imagining all the good smells wafting from all your kitchens. The only cookies I made this y,ear were macaroons. DH brought some goodies home from school. I am missing the variety we always had.
Yowza Ric- YUMMMMM
Ran out of things to buy so we made Shirley Corriher Bakewise cinnamon oatmeal walnut, and since the ultra simple peanut butter are so ultra simple, only PB-egg-sugar-, and a small batch, we decided its our new thing to do a batch of those after any other cookie making. Then we received some cookies from gifts. We're awash in cookies again!.
So many new little unfamiliar creatures! Last time I baby sat, I needed to move the "Elf on a Shelf" to a new high spot every night after I put the kids to bed. Some nights I was so exhausted that I nearly forgot to do it:! Don't need any more stuff added to my baby sitting chores.
From this morning'; 8 or 9 here 12 or more around us here' Not as bad as some blizzards we have had but no body is use to it , lots of cars traveling sideways , over 4;000 closings ,dozens of accidents , Been a while since conditions were like this.. Might warm up and rain before it freezes , i could pass on that!!
Good thing it fell flat, hope it wasn't on the floor!!!lol
The pics are added one at time from the preview button, just below where I type this.
The preview opens my pictures or documents, I have to choose, from my computer prompts ,right hand side then bottom 'open" , prompt.
This is an old computer , you can choose all five ,and post them all at once from ipods apods or newer systems. That of course I do not know how to do. Lots of rain , warm, or any bad weather , your way? I hear the entire planet is in general turmoil...
ginger, 37*C is pretty darn warm, isn't that about body temperature? LOL Ric
to upload more than pic, after the one you just choose completes loading, just select (choose a file) again. You can load up to 5 pics. The photo below was taken Christmas morning. By days end it was mostly gone. Now we're getting a "wintery mix" snow, sleet, and rain, a real mess. Ric
Whoops!!, it was the "choose a file" button!!! Go senility !!lol Great thing I am not teaching or instructing these days, isn't it.. preview for proof reading Choose a file button for uploading..
Thank you Ric,,,
By the way all these cookies make me hungry,, I am not a baker either,, Makes ya wonder what might happen to my kitchen ..doesn't it? BOOOOOMMMM!!!!