Last Minute Christmas Baking: Kroštule
Just seven days till Christmas.
Once again, the holidays have found me almost completely unprepared, struggling to catch up on my Christmas baking and decorating. I still haven’t made my gingerbread Christmas tree ornaments, let alone the gingerbread cottage I’ve been meaning to make this year. There’s so much work left, and so little time. Just seven more days.
It’s been really hectic around here lately. Work was pretty intense and stressful for both of us, which is why we decided to take a few days off and get away. Getting some rest and spending quality time with my husband eventually triumphed over hours of Christmas baking and holiday preparations.
We spent wonderful four days in Budapest, breathing in the beautiful holiday atmosphere of the city, eating Hungarian specialties and enjoying each other’s company. We met in Hungary seven years ago and fell in love almost instantly. This trip was sort of a tribute to our Hungarian story. If going to Budapest meant I was going to fall behind with my Christmas preparations, then be it. There are yet many Christmases to come. I’ll make elaborate desserts and bake a ridiculously huge amount of cookies next year.
This year I’m sticking to the basics – real simple and easy recipes that won’t take up a lot of my time, but will bring a lot of joy, comfort and festive spirit to our home. I will share those recipes with you during the next seven days, so stay tuned if you still haven’t decided on your Christmas baking list. Two of the recipes are traditional Croatian holiday recipes. Today’s recipe is one of them.
Kroštule is a traditional pastry from Dalmatia and Istria, typically prepared for holidays and special occasions. They’re made from a dough that is usually shaped into thin strips and tied into a loose knot and then deep-fried. In Dalmatia, the dough is usually made with some schnapps or fruit brandy, while in Istria they are commonly prepared with white wine. I like to add some lemon zest to the dough, which gives kroštule a really nice fresh flavor. A generous dusting of icing sugar gives them just the right amount of sweetness, since almost no sugar is added to the dough. They make a great accompaniment to coffee or tea.
If you’re looking for more no-fuss holiday baking ideas, check out some of the recipes from the archives:
Ready, steady, bake!
Prep time: + resting time
Category: Croatian cuisine, Cookies
3 tablespoons schnapps, fruit brandy or liquer (kirsch, limoncello etc.)
2 tablespoons dark rum
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
pinch of salt
400g (3 cups) all purpose flour
vegetable oil for frying
icing sugar for dusting
Divide the dough in half and roll out each piece on a lightly floured surface to 2mm thick. You can use pasta machine, if you like. Cut with a pasta wheel into 2cm x 20cm strips, tie into loose knots and set aside on a tray dusted with flour.
Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Deep-fry kroštule in batches, turning occasionally, until golden and puffed (2-3 minutes), then drain on kitchen paper. Dust with icing sugar and serve warm or cold. Store in an airtight container.
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