Most Czech Christmas cookies use butter, but these old traditional ones have always included lard. “Sádlovky” is simply the diminutive of “lard”, kind of meaning “Little Lards”. Lard cookies are about a simple as they get, with only a few ingredients, and easy to make. They are melt-in-the-mouth and let the beautiful flavors of cocoa (or vanilla) and the jam (or other filling) shine. To most Americans, like me, they look like a thumbprint cookie. As seen in the above photo, they are often filled with a bit of fruit jam, and sometimes a nut, but you can get creative with both the cookie flavor and filling. Nutella is especially nice in the cocoa versions. Continue reading
Coconut Chocolate Rum Swirls (Kokosově čokoládový vír s rumem)
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”)! Continue reading
Czech Sauerkraut Soup (Zelňačka)
It’s mid-September, and the temperatures in Czech Republic have dropped, making it feel like autumn already. As it has rained a lot, a nice big pot of warming hearty soup was on my mind. So, I decided to make and share the recipe for a classic Czech sauerkraut soup called “Zelňačka”. As I mentioned in my posts for Szeged Style Sauerkraut Goulash and Hopl Popl, sauerkraut is a powerhouse of nutrition with lots of antioxidants. Delicious klobása (kielbasa), spices, and optional mushrooms also provide a big kick of autumn flavors. For a small meal, in itself, the recipe serves five or six people. As a first course, closer to eight.Continue reading
Apricot Almond Clafoutis with Marzipan (gluten-free)
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Apricots are now becoming plentiful and inexpensive at farmer stands and markets where I live in the Moravian region of Czech Republic. I couldn’t resist buying a huge bag, so baking with some was a must. A Czech recipe I found inspired me to make this lovely clafoutis (sometimes spelled “clafouti”), full of almond flavors to compliment the apricot beauties. Of course such a dessert is best with some nice almond liquor involved, and it also includes little bundles of marzipan throughout. Continue reading
Secrets to the Best Fried Pork Cutlet/Schnitzel (Smažený řízek)
Fried breaded meat cutlets (or schnitzels) are extremely popular throughout Central Europe. Actually, pretty much throughout the world. You can find these on pub (hospoda) menus throughout Czech Republic. Pork cutlets are a go-to meat choice, but chicken is also popularly used. Veal is not as common, as it is in Vienna (Wien), Austria. My picture above shows a pork cutlet. So you may ask why I post a recipe that so many people already make. My answer?
Here are valuable secrets for the best schnitzels ever!
Wholesome, Delicious & Easy Homemade Granola
I’ve always liked granola and tried making it homemade a number of times, but this version is the best I’ve ever had! It’s more than worth the splurge. Yet it has some healthy additions that help offset any guilt. Sometimes I do indulge in eating it in a little milk, but a little goes a long way as it’s so flavorful, crunchy, and satisfying. It’s also perfect sprinkled on top of yogurt or ice cream or as part of a parfait.
This homemade granola is super easy to make. You can vary the nut, fruit and seed options, but I strongly suggest considering all (or at least some) of the ones I use. It’s a perfect combination! I’ve been making it frequently as I have a very large supply of honey in my pantry. Beekeeping is very popular in Czech Republic, where I now live. My brother also keeps honeybees in New Jersey, in the US. It’s a good practice as the honeybee populations are crucial to maintain in the world. Plus, honey tastes marvelous!Continue reading
Czech Hopl Popl (Ham, Sauerkraut and Dumpling Mish Mash)
Hopl popl is basically the equivalent of the English words “Mish Mash” and is one of many Czech comfort food meals. Here I used potato gnocchi, but leftover Czech bread or potato dumplings (cubed) can also be used. They are combined with sauerkraut, browned onion, caraway seeds, and whatever flavorful pork product you have on hand. Some sour cream on the top is optional, but tasty. It’s definitely a low cost meal that fills you up. Though it may look quite unhealthful, remember that sauerkraut is a powerhouse of vitamins.Continue reading
Szeged Style Sauerkraut Goulash (Segedínský guláš)
Winter is a great time to enjoy Central European goulash. Previously, I posted a recipe for a beef goulash famous in the Czech city of Znojmo (with pickles). Find it by clicking here. Below, I share a pork goulash inspired by one made famous in Szeged, Hungary (with sauerkraut). Truth is, there are many types of goulash served throughout Central Europe, including Czech Republic. Perhaps I’ll post about one of these others in the future.
Czechs love their sauerkraut, and in addition to it just tasting so good, it is full of nutrients.Continue reading
Leftover poppy seed or walnut filling muffins
What can I do with leftover poppy seed filling or nut filling? These muffins may be your answer! They are quick and easy to make and even freeze well. I had some of both of these fillings leftover after making filled Czech Christmas cookies. Other recipes that may leave such leftovers include Czech kolache (koláče), filled sweet yeast-based buns (buchty), or even strudel (závin).Continue reading
Psaníčka, Šátečky a Koláčky (Envelopes, Scarves & Koláčky Cookies)
These filled cookies are another recipe including farmer cheese (tvaroh). The individual names only refer to the styles of folding the dough around their fillings – their shapes. The dough is the same for all. You can choose the filling(s) and mix and match between different folds/shapes. The main sweetness for the cookies comes from the traditional Czech fillings and later confectioner’s sugar dusting.Continue reading