Thursday, 21 April 2011

Peaches Cookies ( Praskovki )

These cookies are very traditional in Bulgaria. We make them for holidays and especially on Easter.  From when i remember myself , tree or four days before Easter my grandmother will prepare them, so they will have time to rest and become soft. Actually, that is the first time I'll bake these cookies on my own. When I was a kid I used to help my grandmother around the holidays. She was baking all different kinds of cookies, cakes and traditional breads and she was baking 2 to 3 batches of each. I have very good memories from the so called "praskovki" and I hope one day when we have kids to be able to create for them the same sense of tradition and long lasting sweet childhood memories.


Recipe 
( makes around 80 assembled cookies) 

I'm giving you the ingredients for the original recipe, but for this post I baked half of it, which gave me 40 cookies .

Ingredients : 

For the cookies

4 eggs
2 cups icing sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup yogurt
10 g bakers' ammonia (ammonium carbonate)*
1 teaspoon baking soda
6 cups flour

* You can read more about ammonium carbonate. In Bulgaria they sell it even in the smallest grocery store, but here in Canada you can find it only in some Greek or Bulgarian stores. I have made a research and they say it can be substituted with equal amount of baking powder.

For the filling:

1 cup ground walnuts 
125 g unsalted butter
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
crumbs from the cookies
rose hip jam

This is the original filling recipe. But because it is very difficult to find Rose hip jam here in Canada (I've seen it before in Bulgarian, Greek and Arab grocery stores, but I don't have one near me, so no time to go only for a jar of jam ).So, i have totally changed the recipe.The mix I've created contained the walnuts, the crumbs from the cookies plus one small jar of hazelnut chocolate spread and some milk.

Directions :

Using a mixer beat well the eggs and the sugar. Pour your baker's ammonia and the baking soda in the yogurt.
Add the the oil  and the yogurt in the egg mixture and gradually add only 5 cups of flour. Mix it until uniform and let it rest for an hour. 
Preheat the oven on 350º Fahrenheit, 180º Celsius. Add the remaining cup of flour in to the batter and knead it. Prepare baking pan lined with parchment paper and with your fingers start forming balls with the size of a small sized walnut. Arrange them on the baking sheet ( 1/2 inch apart from each other ) and bake for 11 - 18 min or until the bottoms become golden. Very important : the cookies have to stay white ! ( I wasn't careful and burned some of mine ! )

Cool each batch and with a small knife start coring the cookies on the bottom part, so you have where to place the filling. Keep the crumbs for the filling.
Mix the ingredients for the filling you choose, fill the cored cookies and glue together.
For coloring you will need two separate bowls filled with around one cup of milk or water, and food coloring - red and yellow. Depending on how many drops you put, color of the peaches will be different.
Then you take a cookie and dip half of it in the red color and the other half in the yellow and roll it in sugar. And there you go - you have a peach. 
Put the cookies in air tight container or a zip-lock bag and let them stay there at least 12 hours.  

I hope the directions are clear, sorry for the long and heavy sentences ! It is still difficult for me to explain cooking staff in English, I'm doing my best. If you don't understand something feel free to ask me.
May be from my long post it looks like the peaches are difficult to make, but in real it is easy and definitely it is worth !






24 comments:

  1. can I use butter in stead of oil?
    10x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi,I've never tried using butter instead of oil, but I made a quick research on Google and found a few recipes where they say you can use oil or butter. So, I suppose it will work. If you decide to try them with butter, please come back and write if is working or not.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you:) I used olive oil and it worked fine.It was my first time trying this recipe.the only problem I had was the small quantity cookies.I had to make them smaller and it was lots of work :)))and they get burn easy.Instead of peaches I made them looks like a Christmas cookies using red and green sugar.well,they looks nice,but the sugar leaves rich color on our tongs :),so for next time will be better if I use mix of milk and color :)
    Wish u Merry Christmas :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi, I'm very happy that the recipe worked out for you. What a good idea to turn the peaches into Christmas balls, never thought of that. And it is true they are time consuming, but at the end they taste and look great! Happy holidays to you and your family!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hey!
    Awesome blog! For someone who just moved to Canada your english is excellent.
    Looking forward to trying those cookies out. I can hardly remember those being made back in the day in Bulgaria!?!
    Anyway Have a wonderful Easter!

    ReplyDelete
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