It's MAMA MILLIE MOMENTS#3, for this week. Let's talk baking. First of all, let's get this straight, I'm not the best baker of cookies, cakes, pies. Give me a short, simple recipe and I'm happy. I'm not opposed to using a mix as part of a recipe. Now, my Mama Millie, is the opposite of me. Use a box mix, NO WAY!!! I'm 60 years old, and I never saw my Mother every use a mix. Mother came from Europe. Years ago, my husband I traveled to France as well as Czechoslovakia, where my Mother had lived. You never tasted the best baked goods unless you go to these countries. This visit made me understand why my Mother was the way she was with baking. Mother, insisted not to do any shortcuts, everything was made from scratch and precisely measured. Mother was a stickler, she did exact measurements and never changed anything. Mother had this one particular cookie recipe that we all loved. I, too loved this cookie, but no way was I going to make this. It was a nut roll that was shaped into a crescent. Usually, before Xmas, Mother would pull out this gigantic board (which she had over 50 years) and place it on the kitchen table. This board was almost the half size of the table. I, bet if she didn't have her board, we wouldn't have any cookies . After gathering up her baking utensils and bowels, as well as her needed ingredients., she was good to go. Now, this particular recipe was involved. After making and rolling out the dough, Mother pulled out her trusty WOOD RULLER. Yes, she would individually use this ruler to make the exact same size squares to then fill them up with the nut filling. If the squares weren't the same size or she thought it looked weird, she refused to use these squares. Once the cookies were baked, she like an inspector on an assembly line, she would pull out the cookies she felt were not perfect. I, always asked my Mother why she did this"I, don't want anyone to see them(DEFORMED COOKIES)" and then she would eat them immediately. During Xmas, Mother would at least make 5 to 10 dozen of this recipe. It was an early morning to late night effort. Now, let me tell you, she also went nuts making a series of other cookie recipes, so much that we couldn't eat all of them, and gave them away. It, was obvious that baking was her passion. Truth be known, I never learned to bake like my Mother, and I'm OK with that. Boy! I do miss Mother's baking.
Viennese Walnut Crescents
Walnut filling, see recipe.
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 1/3 cups sifted flour 2tab.granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup or two 1/4- pound sticks butter
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
powdered confectioners sugar, if desired.
Prepare walnut filling.
in a cup dissolve the yeast in the water along with the 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar; set aside.
Into a large mixing bowl sift the flour, the 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and the salt. With a pastry blender cut in the butter until particles are small.
In a small mixing bowl beat egg yolks lightly; add the yeast mixture and the lemon rind; stir into flour mixture.
Divide dough into thirds. Roll each piece to a 12 by 9 inch rectangle. Cut each rectangle into 3 inch squares. Spread a generous half -tablespoon of the walnut filling on each square; roll corner wise to enclose filling.
Place on ungreased cookie sheets, a couple of inches apart, shaping ends slightly to resemble crescents.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until golden brown- about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool. If used, sprinkle with powdered confectioners sugar. Store between layers of wax paper, in a tightly covered tin box.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/3 cup apricot jam
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups walnuts, finely chopped
Into a small saucepan turn the sugar and water; heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves.
Remove from heat. Stir in the apricot jam and slat. Add the walnuts and mix well.
Use as directed in Viennese Walnut Crescents recipe.