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Helen Cesnik (reporter for Branch 26 of Pittsburg). Printed in Zarja,
1 box yellow, white or lemon cake mix
1 can apple pie filling
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup chopped nuts
Using a mixer, blend the cake mix with the whole eggs. By hand, fold into the
batter, one (1) can apple pie filling. Place into a greased 9 x 13 cake pan. Combine
the sugars, cinnamon and chopped nuts, and sprinkle evenly over the batter. Bake
at 350 º for 30-40 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes and drizzle with icing if desired.
Quick White Icing
Sift confectioners’ sugar into a bowl, moisten with cream or milk to spreading
consistency. Add flavoring.
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup clover honey or other mild honey
Finely grated zest of 2 large oranges
3 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 egg yolk
GLAZE: 1 egg white beaten with 2 teaspoons water
Combine the butter and honey in a large saucepan. Warm over medium heat, stirring, until the butter melts. Remove saucepan from the heat. Stir in orange zest and let stand until mixture cools to room temperature.
Meanwhile, thoroughly stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in a large bowl and set aside.
Separate one of the eggs and set the white aside in a small bowl. Add egg yolk and 2 eggs to the cooled honey mixture and beat with a wooden spoon. Stir in the dry ingredients until thoroughly incorporated and smooth. Turn dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 1/2 hours or up to 4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375º F. Grease baking sheets and set aside.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface. If it seems too stiff to roll out, knead briefly to soften slightly. Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thick, dusting rolling pin frequently with flour and lifting the dough to make sure it isn’t sticking.
Use a 2 1/4 inch plain round cutter or the rim of a small drinking glass, cut out the cookies. Transfer them to greased baking sheets with a spatula, spacing about 2 inches apart. Gather and re-roll dough scraps and continue cutting out cookies until all the dough is used. (If the dough is too soft and sticky to roll out, refrigerate it briefly.)
In a small bowl, beat together the reserved egg white and 2 teaspoons water with a fork. Using a pastry brush or a paper towel, evenly brush cookie tops with the wash.
Place cookies in the center of the oven and bake the cookies for 15 to 17 minutes, or until nicely browned all over and just slightly darker at the edges. Remove baking sheets from the oven and let cookies stand 1 minute. Immediately transfer to wire racks and let stand until cooled completely.
Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Freeze for longer storage. Makes 35 to 40 (2 3/4 inch) cookies.
Hints from Mary Lou, VP Heritage and Culture:
Do make sure they are 1/4” thick. These cookies are thick, cake-like and homey.
Use the same name brand cookie sheets otherwise the baking time will vary.
Opening and closing the oven door to check on cookies is not the best!!
Always purchase two of the same baking pans/sheets.
I like to bake one pan at a time, when a sheet comes out, the other goes in. It makes for better baking.
Meat: Pork and Sauerkraut Soup (Jota)
This slovenian soup is a hearty, winter meal. One of those meals that villagers would eat in times of hardship, when they were called to create without many options! Un-pretentious, down to earth and filling!
500g sauerkraut 500g smoked pork (or prosciutto bone for better flavour) 250g dry beans 350g potatoes 200g onions 1 clove of garlic 1 tbsp tomato paste 1 bay leaf water pepper and salt
• Soak beans over night
• Chop onion into thin julienne
• Thinly shred the cabbage
• Peel the potatoes
1. Boil cabbage together with meat on the bone.
2. Boil the beans separately.
3. Boil the potatoes separately as well.
4. Add boiled beans (along with the water in which they were boiled) to cabbage.
5. Cut the potatoes in cubes and mash a few to make jota thicker, and add them to the cabbage. 6. Remove the meat from the soup and clean the meat off the bone. Return to the soup.
7. Brown the onion in oil, and add to jota.
8. Spice with bay leaf, salt, and pepper.
9. Add tomato paste to give it a nice colour.
10. Let boil for about 15 minutes. If the tastes have mixed and the thickenss is as thick and smooth, take off the heat.
*Some chefs thicken jota with roux (is a cooking mixture of wheat flour and fat).