Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Recipe: Czech Carnival Cookies {Boží Milosti na Masopust}

Spending the weekend in the village has resulted in a slew of photos to sort through. Pig-sticking images and stories will be up in the next few days! In the meantime, I'd like to share with you a treat my mother-in-law made the following morning.

We, or at least I, woke up late after enjoying a masquerade ball the previous evening. On the table lay a stack of fresh pastries. I asked the name of these delights which I've never seen in any bakery, and my brother-in-law giggled and replied 'God's Amnesties.' They'd never really thought about the unusual name until I asked for the translation. After some googling, I've also seen them called 'God's Grace', but in Czech, it's Boží Milosti.
They are not found in bakeries because they are a special treat only during Masopust, the time of year before Lent. The term Masopust literally translates to 'Meat Fasting', which seems a bit odd to me. I mean, why not call it Předmasopust (Before Meat Fasting) since it more accurately describes the prevalence of pig-sticking (zabijačka), and therefor pork-eating, events found during these few pre-Lenten weeks. More on the Czech carnival season here at the Czechmate Diary blog.

Both Boží Milosti and Koblihy (doughnuts) are typical treats during this pre-Lenten season. Another recipe was posted on a Czech blog (although, only in Czech language) and she's got the doughnuts up as well.

Unlike many other fried dough treats, these are so light that I couldn't believe they had ever been swimming in oil. That was the first thought that flew out of my mouth post-swallow. My mother-in-law chalked this up to the absence of fat within the dough. The dough just absorbed the oil it was fried in and so none stuck on the outside. I like the logic.

They look like they'd be crispy little critters, but in fact they are more like soft and pie-crustesque pillows with a muted sweetness to them. I easily gobbled them up over my late morning tea like nothing, which always pleases a Czech (or really any other) mother-in-law.

Continue for Recipe...

Recipe - Czech Carnival Cookies: (Boží Milosti na masopust)
Serves a large platter full
Eat with coffee or tea
Translated and adapted from my mother-in-law

4 egg yolks
1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
1/2 cup (120ml) white wine
1/3 cup (40g) powdered sugar
4 1/2 c (500g) flour
a big pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients together (she is not too particular about the order, just get it all mixed well.) Form into a ball and set under a towel for 30 minutes. Roll the dough out and either use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes, or a knife to cut strips and fold in a triangular knotted shape. Fry in oil until lightly golden. Let drain on paper towel. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Dobrou Chut'/ Enjoy.
-- Jo

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