Friday, 19 December 2014

Snow Crescents - Countdown for Christmas Part 2

sn't snow crescents - in Hungarian 'hókifli' - the cutest name for a cookie? Although this is not necessarily a Christmas cookie, at least in my family it's always present at any celebrations, I find it the best dessert for the holidays.
As you may guessed earlier, I am pretty much a big fan of smaller cookies for Christmas - I think baking huge cakes is unnecessary (although I will of course...). Let me explain. What does a Christmas fridge and balcony looks like? Full of food or ingredients, all needs to be chilled/rested, and after the holidays it's the same amount of leftovers. No matter how big your fridge is, it is very likely that there won't be space for a cake stand with the lovely cake on top, covered in icing, therefore it can't touch anything... Bad idea. Instead, a simple metal box full of cookies what you just put on the table with the coffee, and then you serve the leftovers at breakfast on Christmas morning. Because cake for breakfast is a bit 'too much', cookies are absolutely fine. 
And these snow crescents suggest that it wasn't only a 'form random balls from the dough'-method. Because it takes a long time. But it's worth it, believe me.

Don't be afraid, this recipe is not hard. But it takes a long time. It's the best to have a calm weekend afternoon before Christmas to prepare them. And good news! Storing them in a box, they stay fresh for more than a week. 


For the dough
50 dkg flour
25 dkg softened salted butter (if you use unsalted, add 1/2 tsp salt to the flour)
2 eggs
5 dkg sugar
2 dl semi-warm milk
half a sachet of instant dried yeast

For the walnut filling
230 dkg walnuts or pecans (I used half and half)
180 dkg icing sugar
2 tblsp milk
1/2 tblsp vanilla extract

For the jam filling
25 dkg thick jam (I prefer berry jam)

For the icing
5 dkg icing sugar

For the dough, mix the yeast and the sugar with the milk in a cup.
In a large ball, whisk the eggs for two minutes with a hand mixer, then add the butter and mix it together. Incorporate the flour into the mixture, then add the milk, yeast and sugar. Roughly mix with a wooden spoon, then start kneading with your hand. Knead for 3-4 minutes. The dough should be smooth. Cover it with a kitchen towel and let it stand for 40 minutes. While it's resting, prepare the filling.
With the amount of ingredients I wrote above, you can use half of the dough for the walnut crescents and the other half for the jam crescents. If you want to prepare only one type, double the measurements. For me, the walnut crescents are the best/real ones!
You don't have to do anything with the jam in advance of filling.
Grate the walnuts in a food processor. I don't have one, so I put them in a plastic bag, and I hit them with a wooden spoon on the kitchen counter for 5 minutes. 
Mix the grated walnuts with the icing sugar, vanilla extract and milk in a saucepan, and cook it for 3 minutes on low heat. Cover it with a lid until the resting period of the dough is finished.

Preheat the oven for 175 degrees. Line parchment paper into two trays. 
Get a bit of the dough - a size of a walnut - and form it into a ball. On a floured surface, roll it into a 8-10 cm wide circle. Put half a tablespoon of filling in the middle. Fold the circle into a half circle, and push together the edges (it should look like a ravioli). Then fold it once again, so one side of the little roll will have a thicker crust (this should be the bottom of the cookie). So basically you just rolled the filling-bump into the flat part. Push the dough well together - use a fork if necessary. Push the ends into little 'tails' and turn them inside, so it will look like a little moon.
When you do it with jam, be very careful not to have any holes on the crescents, otherwise the jam will escape.

Bake them for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Roll them in the icing sugar while they are still hot. Serve with cold milk.

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