Coconut Macaroons

  • I think coconut is a relatively new ingredient in Polish cookery.
  • I am sure my mother did not use it.
  • Most Polish recipes that I that I have seen are for cakes that are similar to sweets called  Raffaello  – introduced by Ferrero in 1990.
  • This recipe is the same  as Makaroniki  –  Almond Macaroons with coconut instead of almonds.
  • They are so easy to make and a good use for spare egg whites.
  • Did you know that botanically coconuts are not a nut but a drupe (stone fruit) similar to a plum or a peach?

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 egg whites
  • 170g caster sugar
  • 170g desiccated coconut

METHOD

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM 3 – 160°C
  • Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper
  • Mix the sugar and coconut together.
  • Whisk the egg white till they form stiff peaks.
  • Fold in the coconut mixture carefully until well mixed.
  • Place tablespoons of the mixture on the baking sheets.
  • Flatten them down with the back of a spoon.
  • Bake for 20- 25 minutes.
  • Leave to cool slightly before removing them onto a wire rack.

Vintage Glass Dish

Ciasteczka

  • This recipe is based on an English recipe 19th century recipe for Rout Biscuits.
  • A rout is a large gathering or party and was often used to describe a card party.
  • They are intended to be eaten in one or two bites.
  • The original recipe was for around four times this amount as the baking was to cater for a large number of people.

INGREDIENTS

  • 225g plain flour
  • 110g butter
  • 90g granulated sugar
  • 110g currants
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • Grated rind of 1 orange
  • 2-3 tablespoons of brandy

METHOD

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM6 – 220°C
  • Flour several baking trays.
  • Rub the butter into the flour.
  • Stir in the sugar, currants and the orange rind.
  • Stir in the egg and enough brandy to make a stiff dough.
  • With your hands make small balls from the dough and place them on the baking sheets.
  • Flatten then slightly.
  • They do not spread when cooking so they can be fairly close together.
  • Bake for 14 – 15 minutes.

Bay Biscuits

  • I came across this recipe for rich buttery biscuits flavoured with bay leaves, which sounded interesting.
  • You use dried bay leaves.
  • I think they are super.

Ingredients

  • 200g plain flour
  • 100g butter
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons of water (approx.)
  • 2 dried bay leaves

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180ºC.
  • Grease some baking trays.
  • Take a tablespoon of sugar out of the 100g.
  • Grind with the bay leaves.
  • *
  • Rub the butter into the flour to get breadcrumbs.
  • Mix in the sugar and the bay leaves and sugar.
  • Slowly add the egg yolks and enough water to make a stiff dough.
  • Roll out thinly on a floured board.
  • Cut out circles using a 7.5cm round cutter.
  • Bake for around 12 minutes.
  • Leave to cool on a wired rack.

Makaroniki

Makaroniki are Almond Macaroons

  • Did you know that wild almonds contain large amounts of hydrogen cyanide?
  • A mutation produced the sweet almond trees, which became domesticated.
  • These sweet almonds only contain a very small amount of hydrogen cyanide.
  • Macaroons have been made in Italy from the end of the 8th century.
  • By the 16th century they were being made in France.
  • The word macaroon comes from the Italian ammaccare – to crush and these biscuits are called amaretti in Italy.
  • In my Kuchnia Polska (classic recipe book from the 1950s) the recipe includes how to prepare and grind the almonds!

INGREDIENTS

  • 175g ground almonds
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 to 3 drops of almond essence
  • Handful of flaked almonds or almond halves

METHOD

  • Line 2 baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM2 – 150°C.
  • Mix the ground almonds with the sugar.
  • Add the drops of almond essence.
  • Whisk the egg whites till stiff.
  • Fold in the almond mixture with a metal spoon.
  • Place tablespoons of the mixture on the baking sheets.
  • Flatten them with the back of a spoon.
  • Add some flaked almonds on the centre.
  • Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Leave to cool on a wire rack.

 

Pampuchy – 1

  • The word pampuchy is another of those many items of food translated as dumplings.
  • These are steamed yeast buns also known as  bułeczki naparze  or kluski drożdżowe.
  • The  puch part  in the word mean down as in duck or goose down and signifies lightness and fluffiness. (Though I have also read the word may come from a German word for pancake).
  • In olden times these were steamed using a cloth over a wide pan of water with a domed lid.
  • I use my 2 tier steamer and can do 2 layers of 4 at a time.
  • I think they are similar to Chinese steamed buns but doubt they would have had butter in them as that is not used much there.
  • Maybe no egg yolks either as the Chinese buns do not look as cream coloured.

Ingredients

  • 350g plain flour
  • 250 warm milk
  • 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar
  • ½ tablespoon of dried yeast
  • Large pinch of salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter

Method

  • To the milk add the sugar, yeast and 1 tablespoon of the flour.
  • Leave to froth up for around 20 minutes.
  • Add the yeast mixture to the flour and salt and add the egg yolks.
  • Mix together to make a rough ball.
  • Add the melted butter and mix it in until you have a ball again.
  • Knead for about 5 minutes.
  • Cover and leave to rise for about 1 hour.
  • Bring the dough together and gently knead for about 2 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into 16 equal parts.
  • Roll them gently into smooth balls.
  • Place on a tray or board, cover and leave for about 30 minutes.
  • Steam them for 10 minutes.
  • *
  • Best served immediately.
  • *
  • They go well with a dish with a lot of sauce such as gulasz or mushroom sauce.

Here they were served with beef pulpety in a gulasz style pepper & tomato sauce.

Jagodówki – Whinberry Yeast Buns

  • These  drożdżówki – sweet yeast buns – with whinberries(bilberries) get their own name.
  • Jagodówki or Jagodzianki– Jagody being whinberries.
  • These grew in abundance in the woods near where both my mother and father used to live in the North East of the then Poland.
  • I imagine both my grandmothers baking these when the fruit was ripe in summer.
  • Some also grew in the area of Lancashire where I was brought up and we often picked these.
  • If you are lucky enough to have these growing near you – go and pick them and bake.
  • Otherwise use imported blueberries – their big American cousins.

Filling

There are 3 ways to make the filling:

  • Berries sprinkled with granulated sugar and left for a while.
  • Berries sprinkled with granulated sugar and cooked in a pan for a few minutes.
  • Use blueberry jam.

Ingredients – Buns

  • 200g & 50g plain flour
  • 150 ml warm milk
  • 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
  • ½ tablespoon of dried yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 60g granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • *
  • Egg white for brushing – beaten

Ingredients – crumble topping – kruszonka

  • 30g plain flour
  • 20g butter
  • 20g granulated sugar

Method crumble topping – kruszonka

  • Rub the butter into the flour to get breadcrumbs.
  • Stir in the sugar.

Method – Buns

  • Mix the milk, yeast, sugar and 50g of plain flour.
  • Leave for 20 minutes.
  • Put the 200g  of plain flour, sugar, salt, yolks and yeast mixture in a bowl.
  • Mix together to form a soft dough.
  • Add a little extra milk if this is too dry.
  • Knead for 10 minutes – set a timer – till you get a smooth ball.
  • Cover and leave for 1½ – 2 hours.
  • Line baking tray with baking paper.
  • *
  • Lightly knead the dough for a few minutes.
  • Divide the dough into 6.
  • Roll each one to make a ball and then flatten it.
  • Place a tablespoon of the filling in the centre.
  • Take the edges of the dough and bring together and seal.
  • Place the balls, sealed side down, on the baking tray.
  • Brush with beaten egg white.
  • Sprinkle the kruszonkacrumble mixture over the top 
  • *
  • Cover and leave for 30 minutes.
  • *
  • Pre-heat the oven  to GM6 – 200°C.
  • Bake for 12-14 minutes.
  • Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Chocolate Macaroons

  • This is an English recipe, which is over a hundred years old.
  • These macarons were very popular in Edwardian England (1901 – 1910).

Ingredients

  • 2 egg whites
  • 85g ground almonds
  • 85g caster sugar
  • 85g grated dark chocolate
  • 30g ground rice

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C.
  • Line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment.
  • Mix all the dry ingredients together.
  • Whisk eggs whites until stiff.
  • Gently fold in the dry ingredients until well mixed.
  • Roll tablespoon sized balls in your hands.
  • Place well apart on the baking sheets to allow for spreading.
  • Bake for around 20 minutes.
  • Do not over bake them.

Cake Plate – Dubarry – Crown Devon from the 1930s

Caraway Biscuits 2

This is an old English recipe for caraway biscuits.

Compared to my first recipe for caraway biscuits it has a higher butter content and fewer caraway seeds. (you can always add more).

Ingredients

  • 270g plain flour
  • 225g butter
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of caraway seeds
  • 1 egg – beaten

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM2 – 150°C.
  • Flour two baking trays.
  • Rub the butter into the flour so you get fine breadcrumbs.
  • Stir in the sugar and caraway seeds.
  • Mix in enough of the egg to form a soft dough.
  • Roll the dough out to 1cm thickness.
  • Use an 8cm cutter to cut out the biscuits.
  • Re-roll the cast of dough and make more biscuits.
  • Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until light golden brown.
  • Leave on the tray on a wire rack.

Ciasteczka with currants & peel

Ciasteczka is the nearest Polish word for biscuits. It can describe small soft cakes or crisper style biscuits or cookies.

At home we always spoke about biskwity and it was only when I first went to Poland that I realised this was NOT A POLISH WORD!

The word nearest to descripting English biscuits is herbatniki – these are biscuits to have with a cup of tea (herbata).

These are often petit beurre, morning coffee or rich tea type biscuits – plain thin biscuits.

These ciasteczka are quite a bit richer – variations of these I would have enjoyed cutting out with my mother.

Ingredients

  • 240g plain flour
  • 120 butter
  • 120g granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 50g currants
  • 30g mixed peel
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • 1 tablespoon of milk – optional

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C.
  • Grease 2 to 3 baking trays.
  • Rub the butter into the flour till it resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Stir in the rest of the dry ingredients.
  • Add enough of the egg to make a soft dough.
  • You might need some of the milk.
  • Roll out the dough to 1cm thickness.
  • Cut out circles using a 7cm circular cutter.
  • Place on the baking trays.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes till lightly golden.
  • Leave to cool on a wire baking rack.

Date Slices

Mama often made these.  She used to buy dried dates in a block which was just the right amount and a lot cheaper than whole dates.  However  I have not seen these for sale for ages.

Ingredients

  • Filling
  • 225g stoned dates
  • Juice & rind of 1 lemon
  • Water – to add to juice to make 250ml
  • *
  • Crumble Mixture
  • 110g plain flour
  • 110g semolina
  • 110g butter
  • 80g granulated sugar

Method

  • Chop the dates.
  • Add water to the lemon juice to make up to 250ml of liquid.
  • In a small saucepan gently heat the dates and the rind with the lemon liquid.
  • Stir and heat until you have a soft pulp and all the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Leave to go completely cold before using.
  • *
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM5 – 190°C.
  • Grease a 21 x 26cm shallow baking tin.
  • Use a piece of grease-proof paper to line the two long sides and base  of the tin.
  • Mix the flour and the semolina.
  • Rub the butter into the flour mixture until you get breadcrumbs.
  • Stir in the sugar.
  • Put half of the crumble mixture into base of the tin.
  • Pat down with a spoon.
  • Place spoonfuls of the date pulp evenly across the crumble mixture.
  • Spread the rest of the crumble mixture over the top.
  • Pat this down with a spoon.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • Leave to cool in the tin.
  • Cut into squares or fingers to serve.

Johnson Brothers Ironstone Snowflake – Green Pear – 1960 – 1979

Note

Do not store these in an airtight box or they will go soggy.  Use a mesh cover or a cotton or linen tea towel.