It’s not even December, as I write this, yet I’m already planning my Christmas baking projects. I have new additions to my ever growing mega post Authentic Recipes for Czech Christmas Cookies and Sweet Breads (České vánoční cukroví). Four years ago, the post contained about 10 recipes. By Christmas, I may near almost 20. Earlier today, I made a yummy Christmas confection that I feature here.
Coconut Cocoa Rum Swirls (Kokosově čokoládový vír s rumem) are no-bake sliced confections almost like coins of fudge. The chocolate rum dough swirls around a creamy coconut filling that contains a touch of cream cheese (or farmer’s cheese – tvaroh). Though they may not be on every Czech Christmas cookie tray, they are an example of a newer one that reflects Czech tastes and the creativity of modern day Czech home cooks. The inspiration recipe was from a Czech cooking site, where they called it “Coconut Rum Madness” (“Kokosovo rumové šílenství”)!
The base of the fudge-like dough is not flour, but rather ground butter cookies that are widely available in Czech grocery stores. In the United States, examples of butter cookies include Keebler brand “Simply Made butter cookies” or any brand Danish butter cookies you find in the round tins, usually for cheap. In Czech Republic, máslové sušenky or máslová linecká kolečka will do. Since the hardness and some other characteristics of different brands vary, you may need more or less crumbs in order to reach the needed thickness of the dough. Start with the lesser amount then add more, if needed, to first achieve a very sticky soft dough that mounds up when pushed with a spoon. Anything batter-like needs more ground cookies. After long refrigeration, it will then become a harder dough that can be rolled out between sheets of parchment paper.
Rum is a frequently used ingredient in Czech confections and sweet breads, but a different liquor that coordinates (i.e. almond liquor) will also work. Or, you can choose to use an extract, in a much smaller amount.
- 400 g to 500 g (15 to 18 oz) butter cookies, finely ground (see notes above)
- 150 g (1 1/4 cups) powdered/confectioner’s sugar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa, to taste
- rum, to taste (approx. 1 tablespoon)
- 150 ml (2/3 cup) milk
Coconut cream filling:
- 150 g (10 tablespoons) butter, softened
- 3 tablespoons cream cheese (like Philadelphia brand) or smooth farmer’s cheese (jemný tvaroh/quark), softened
- 100 g (just over 3/4 cup) powdered sugar
- 100 g (3 1/2 oz) unsweetened finely grated coconut, plus more for later rolling the logs in
Dough: Use a blender or food processor to grind the cookies into fine crumbs or powder, then add powdered sugar and cocoa to fully combine. Drizzle in the desired amount of rum and, finally, milk to get a sticky soft dough. At this point, the dough should form a mound when pushed upwards, but is still too soft to roll out. In the bowl, divide the mound into four similar sized quantities. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours, or overnight, to firm up. To speed this step up, you could also put in the freezer. After fully chilled and hardened, move to the coconut cream filling step.
Coconut cream filling: In a separate bowl, beat the butter with the cream cheese (or farmer’s cheese/tvaroh/quark) and powdered sugar, until fluffy. At the end, add the coconut and beat in, briefly. Set aside at room temperature.
Rolling out the dough and adding filling: Remove one of the four portions of chilled dough, and return the others to the fridge. Working quickly, shape the dough into a rectangular patty, then roll it out between two sheets of parchment paper (or food foil) into a thinner rectangular sheet of about 0.75 to 1 cm (1/3 inch) in thickness. Evenly spread onto it the coconut cream, leaving a very small border of about 1 cm, on all sides. Then, from the long side, carefully roll it up, using the parchment paper or food foil to assist. Once fully rolled up, roll the whole thing a couple times to seal. If still easy to work with, continue to the coconut coating step below. Otherwise, transfer (on the parchment paper) to a platter or flat sheet, and return to the refrigerator for 20 minutes or more. Repeat these steps with the rest of the dough, one at a time.
Rolling logs in loose coconut: Sprinkle a good amount of loose unsweetened coconut on a large piece of parchment or waxed paper. Roll the logs completely in it to fully coat and to round up the logs, then return the logs to the refrigerator to firm up again for 20 minutes, or so. Then, cut each of the dough logs into 1 cm slices with a thin sharp knife.
Now, they are ready to enjoy! Store these cookies in the refrigerator, cut sides down, in an airtight container, with any layers separated by plastic or waxed paper food wrap. The small swirl “coins” will become firmer from the fridge and even more over time.
Click Authentic Czech Christmas Cookie & Sweet Breads for more recipes.