Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Tasty Hungarian Christmas cookies (Mazsolás Puszedli)

I've had a couple of requests for these cookies and they have such a Christmas taste so I thought it's a perfect blogging opportunity!

Enikő gave me some of these cookies 2 years ago (yikes!) so I asked her nicely for the recipe, cause they're addictive. They're quickly becoming a tradition!

Since I've made them a couple of times I managed to make some mistakes so I'll list them here for your entertainment and to stop you making the same mistakes. :-)

I'll give the ingredients in english and norwegian, and the rest in english. Hope it makes sense!

Notes: when it says 1 sachet/pakke, that is around 12 g or 2 tsp if measuring out.
English (norwegian) measurements:
tsp             ts
tbsp           ss

Pastry
Filling
Ingredients:
Pastry:
250 g honey (honning)
220 g sugar (sukker)
500 g white flour (hvetemel)
1 sachet baking powder (1 pakke bakepulver)
2 eggs
80 g butter (smør)
Spices (krydder)
- 1 sachet vanilla sugar (around 12 g or 2 tsp) (vaniljesukker)
- 1 tsp ground cloves (nellik)
- 3 tbsp cinnamon (3 ss kanel)

Filling:
120 g ground hazelnuts (malte hasselnøtter)
150 g raisins soaked in rum aroma (rosiner trukket i rom aroma)
120 g icing sugar (melis)

Icing/brushing:
1-2 eggs
~170 g glazing (glasur) - I would suggest making a little at a time so you don't have lots left.

Stage 1 - Making the dough.
First, assemble the ingredients. Nothing more annoying than getting halfway through and realising you forgot to get baking powder - not that I've done that of course.
Petike is supervising the baking
Heat the honey till it moves almost like water. Add the sugar and spices and leave to cool stir a bit once in a while to keep it from becoming a solid sugar-lump.
While it is cooling you can add water and rum aroma to the raisins and leave them to soak. The longer the better.
If you can't find pre-ground hazelnuts, now is a good time to get the grinder out. Remember that the volume will grow - use a slightly bigger bowl.
*Suggestion* - get the lumps out of the icing sugar before the next step - much easier that way, trust me. I tried both ways. Painful.
Petike decided that I'd gotten the hang of it and supervising was too tiring.
Add the icing sugar and hazelnuts together. Stir till they are evenly mixed. Leave to the side till the raisins are ready to party with them.
By now the honey/sugar/spice mix might be cool enough. You can test with a finger if it's around body temperature. If it's too hot it'll activate the baking powder now and the cakes will be flat later. They'll still taste nice but won't be as pretty. Yep, managed to do that too!

Next, add the flour and baking powder mixed together, alternating with the eggs and butter.
Stir it all together, the mixture should release reasonably easily from the pot. Leave in the fridge for 10 hours (or more).

Stage 2 - Making the cookies.
This is the part that takes the most time. In my wild and free single days (last year), I made a double batch and ended up spending about 3 evenings after work making cookies till late. I'm such a rebel.
Drain the raisins and combine the raisins and hazelnut/sugar mix. If you leave them for 1/2 hour or so the mixture becomes a bit sticky from the residual water, this makes it easier to use.
I usually leave the dough in the fridge till I need it as I find it easier to use when it's still cold, but it's your choice.
Roll out the dough to about 2 mm thickness. 
I use 2 different size cookie cutters, a 3 cm and a 4 cm one. Make smaller cut-outs for the bottom part, put as much stuffing as you can on it and cover with the larger cut outs.
Pretend you have an unlimited amount of stuffing and put as much as you can and still be able to tamp down the edges. I usually have lots of stuffing left. Actually this time I had to grind a tiny bit extra nuts (maybe 20 grams) and add a few more raisins, but it was a close thing. And really, it's worth it to have the cookies really filled!
I usually make a few shapes, then fill them and cover them. It's quicker for me anyway this way. If anyone has any ideas on how to make it more quickly please let me know!
When you fill a baking tray, brush with the roughly whipped egg, then put in a preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes on 170 C. It gets quite hard if you leave it too long so keep an eye on it the first time and take it out as soon as you can smell it and it doesn't taste raw. Make a note of the time for next time as you'll have the smell in the kitchen!
While it's still warm, cover with glazing. Leave to cool and enjoy!
These cookies last quite well as long as you store them in a cookie jar. The only problem is that they'll be eaten quickly :-)

Please let me know if you have any questions or if you have any tips on how to make the second stage go more quickly!

Lots of love, and Merry Christmas!

Eva

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