Monday, June 7, 2010


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.

Walnut Filling

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.


  1. This sounds like a great recipe!!! It's interesting how your mom was so precise about her baking! Now, my grandma used to bake a lot, but the recipes were in her head, and she used a pinch of this and a scoash of that - never any teaspoon or tablespoon, or even a cup of anything! Her cookies and pies were wonderful, each and every time she made them!

  2. Wow, now that is dedication. Personally, I use the little packages. Add an egg and some butter...I'm good to go. But of course I'm not known for my cooking. ha ha.

  3. Wow she not only had a passion she wanted them perfect! Me I'm a good enough girl when it comes to baking! That recipe sounds fabulous.

  4. Wow- sounds like an intense baking experience!! I recently learned that in west Texas there is a czech town that has bakeries famous for their Czech goodies. Next time you come up, we'll have to go visit!

  5. Thanks for including the recipe! It's funny how everyone has their cooking or baking "quirks"...My Grandma made the best donuts, eclairs, and cream puffs. My Mom..well, don't get me started.. She's Greek and that lady can cook! I enjoy cooking and baking. I often wonder if having a Bed and Breakfast would be fun...until I realize how much cleaning, entertaining, etc goes along with that!

  6. Hi Rose! Mmmm, those cookies sound heavenly! However I can't bake to save my life! I am going to save this recipe and pass it along to my aunt who is a wonderful baker. Maybe she will bake them and bring them over on Christmas!!

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  8. ROSE I loved your story. I have been to those countries and so I know how good the baking is. My GM had a big wood board that also was 1/2 the size of the table and she used it for pasta making and baking too. That board was in the family for 50 plus years. It was kept behind my BR door (lived with my GM). When we were selling the house I wanted to take the board and my husband thought I was totally nuts. I have no idea who has that board now? If that board could talk! Where is your TS on HH island? Will you be here in June or July?

  9. Recipe sounds awesome....but I probably won't be baking them! I do make a dynamite chocolate chip cookie though! They just don't women like your mother anymore!!!!

  10. What a lovely post, Rose! Our moms and grandmas sure knew how to bake and cook and made the house smell so wonderful, didn't they? I'm not much of a cook, either. I'm like you...give me a simple recipe and I'll be okay! I've eaten those wonderful cookies your mom made, but I could never MAKE them! Too hard for me! :)

  11. My Mama was a great cook too, but they were Mexican goodies mostly, though she did know some of my Grandma's German cookie recipes. She taught me how to cook pretty well... at least that's what I'm told, but I don't think I'm anywhere close to as good as my little 4'9" Mama!

    Your recipe sounds wonderful. I plan to copy it, but don't know if I'll ever get the chance to make them (time wise). Might con my sister or Brother-in-law (both gourmet cooks) into making them only with pecans since I'm allergic to walnuts. Linda

  12. What a great story! I liked the part where your mama would inspect the cookies and remove ones that are not perfect. I do that too :-)
    Thank you for the recipe. It sounds great, and I just love the name - Viennese Walnut Crescents, it sounds so romantic. I'm going to print out the recipe and try it sometime.

  13. Sounds like your Mama Millie really loved to bake! I wish I had the time to do more of it myself. It's the clean up that I don't care for!

    Thanks for sharing her recipe! I will print it out and try to make them once schools starts back up. I don't like to be disturbed when I'm baking!


  14. Mmmmm they sound delicious! I love to bake! I would rather bake then cook anyday!
    Thanks for sharing the recipe and I will definitely try those!

  15. Traditions, baking, sweets and stories to pass down....what an awesome combination!

  16. You had me at Mom's Baking!! Also, Monday I posted an Award on my Blog thats got your name on it ;)

  17. These are one of my all time favorite cookies...EVER! LOL My Aunt makes them (very similar recipe)every year for Christmas and gives me a big batch of them. And I don't share!!! LOL

  18. Well....YUM! I have pecan trees so I might try the cookies with pecans. Will let you know how it turns out. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Nice to meet you.

  19. OOOOOOoooo.. new recipes! Thanks!

  20. Hi! Thanks for coming to visit me! Following along and looking forward to checking out more of your site ... :)

  21. Yum! I can't wait to try this recipe. My husband is Hungarian and I think he will ADORE these! :)