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Chrusciki

7 Aug chrusciki

I will always remember a highlight of family get-togethers being the chrusciki – a Polish cookie – that my grandmother used to bring. Even though everyone in the family called them by a different name – “chirogies,” “chiregies,” never “chrusciki” – these crispy, light cookies were always a hit. Then one year my grandma declared a moratorium on chrusciki, saying they were too much trouble to make. We never had chrusciki again – until this year when I decided to take on the task.

Grandma was right. The process of making chrusciki is involved, including rolling out the dough, cutting the shapes, frying the cookies, and coating them in powdered sugar.

chrusciki dough

I rolled the dough through a pasta machine to get it this thin.

It was an all-morning cookie assembly line, but, in the end, everyone loved the treat.

frying chrusciki

Frying the cookies

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Caramel Shortbread Squares

2 Mar caramel shortbread cookie

For some crazy reason, I’ve decided to make all the desserts for my wedding this summer. There won’t be a traditional wedding cake. Instead, we’re having vegan cupcakes and tons of cookies, like a Pittsburgh-style wedding. Because I’ll be a baking fiend in the months before the wedding, I need to make sure I’m choosing the right cookies for the job: ones that freeze well, hold up under the July heat, and, of course, taste amazing. Spring will be the time that I set up my cookie test kitchen before making the final batches.

Cookie #1: Caramel Shortbread Squares (with my own shortbread recipe)

chocolate design

I made the design on top by pouring the melted dark chocolate on and then piping strips of white chocolate across the pan. I dragged a toothpick in alternating directions to create the effect.

The cookies certainly do taste good (I had a few…or ten), but we’ll see how well they hold up over time in an airtight container in the freezer.

Christmas Cookies

21 Dec chocolate shortbread cookies

This year I’m only giving away homemade gifts for Christmas. I gave my good friends handmade prints of a photo of the four of us (I had access to my town’s darkroom) and I’m giving the family delicious Christmas cookies.

I have a particularly good basic shortbread recipe so I decided to make three different shortbreads that were jazzed up. I made caramel shortbread squares, shortbread logs, and a whipped cherry cookie recipe. I put them all in nice (and cheap!) tins from Bed Bath & Beyond for presentation.