In spirit of simpleness, bake these Hungarian crescent cookies filled with poppy-seed cream and celebrate a cozy afternoon in your kitchen.
Falling leaves and the sunshines that come in a special low angle give us an unmistakable sign that autumn has arrived. In the countryside the way you perceive time is different, you notice the change of season through observing the cycles of the garden which is like a living calendar. It is almost unbelievable that already a year has passed by since we arrived with our boxes, hopes and enthusiasm to that time utterly empty little house in the countryside.
Since than this house became a home that we tried to fill up with as much happy memories, laughters and talks as possible during a year. We learnt a lot about the garden and the one most important is how much we still don’t know about it. I have filled up the air of the kitchen countless times with the scent of the meals I was preparing. I have lighted up the flame of the stove, opened the door of the oven hundreds of times in order to get my family and friends happy and well-fed around the dining table.
One of the most important thing I learnt during this one year is that what a treasure lies in simpleness and the return to simple life. I touch with love our old dining table, which has scratches, spots and even some cracks. I like the concrete floor in the pantry which became already shiny throughout the years. It is such a nice feeling to discover old glass coffee cups in the attic, or the wooden-handled knife which is surprisingly sharp although nobody sharpened it since decades. We are happy for every little step we take in order to preserve the house and the orchard for many many more years.
We could celebrate the past one year, but instead I would like to celebrate the actual day, the Today with all the beauties it will bring, if it is today a basket full of pears that I collected under the tree. In the spirit of simpleness I will bake “mákos kifli”, Hungarian crescent cookies filled with poppy-seed cream according to my mother’s recipe. It is so delicious that you would think you need to spend a lot of time preparing it. The dough doesn’t contain any sugar and it is fluffy like puff pastry but there is no need to fold the dough any times. I can prepare double portion and put one portion of dough and filling into the freezer. So when we suddenly feel a strong desire for freshly baked “kifli” we only need to wait until it defrosts and I can start rolling out the dough.
There are many things to do in the orchard: raking leaves, weeding out kitchen garden, it is time to plant strawberries and we have to collect fruits that have fallen down.
Fortunately we can always sneak to the kitchen for a crescent cookie…or for another one and another one…
- 300 g all-purpose flour
- 60 g cake and pastry flour
- 250 g butter or margarine
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 egg
- 200 ml sour cream
- 1 package of vanilla sugar
For the filling:
- 150 g grounded poppy-seed
- 100 g caster sugar
- 150 ml milk
- 1 package of vanilla sugar
- 25 g semolina
- Mix flours with salt and butter, add sour cream and egg, knead it to a soft dough, roll it into a plastic foil and let it rest in the fridge for a couple of hours or even better for a complete night.
- For the filling bring milk to boil, add poppy-seed and semolina than finally sugar and vanilla sugar. Stir it well and let it cool down. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to 0,5 cm thick and cut it into 6 x 6 cm rectangular. Divide filling among the rectangles than roll them up, push them a bit so the dough sticks together and place them on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Important is that the folding is on the bottom so they won’t open while baking and leave some space between them because they will grow a bit. Preheat the oven to 200C (390F) degrees and bake them until golden brown. Mix confectioner’s sugar and vanilla sugar and while the cookies are still hot, roll them into the mixture.
Judit is a Hungarian globetrotter, cook and food photographer who loves eating, cooking, taking pictures and writing about all of that. She travelled through Europe, lived in Germany, France and Spain, and even had her own successful bistro in the heart of Budapest called Bistro 181. After years of traveling and cooking abroad she returned to her home country and moved to the village where her grandmother was born. Her blog, Taste of Memories is a return to the roots. She is cooking and baking her family’s old recipes, bringing new life into her countryside house and orchard and rediscovering beautiful places in the Hungarian countryside.