In the Czech Republic, most people – ok, maybe even everyone – would get crazy baking cookies at Christmastime as if they were all on a mission to feed the world. As of this writing, my mother in law has already baked six or seven kinds while me and my husband did our third batch last weekend. Now we have two huge boxes of sinfully delicious cookies sitting in the kitchen and we are once again left with the ultimate question of who would help us eat them all?
The good news is, they last long especially if you store them well. So maybe we would still bake another kind this weekend. After all, baking them together with your loved ones is what makes the holiday season all the more exciting and fun.
Medvědí Pracky (Bear Paws) Ingredients:
- 250 grams butter (room temperature)
- 250 grams powdered sugar
- 150 grams ground walnuts
- 350 grams semi-coarse flour *
- 2 tablespoons cocoa
- 1 egg
* The Czechs categorize their flour to fine, semi-coarse and coarse, and are very specific about which one to use on their traditional recipes. I often stray and just use the tried and tested all-purpose flour when I’m too lazy to bother and it never gave me a problem. I have to say though that I haven’t tried it on this recipe so no guarantees.
- Pre-heat oven at 180°C.
- On a wooden board, mix all ingredients by hands until dough forms into a ball.
- Put dough in a bowl and refrigerate for an hour.
- Grease and flour metal cookie molds. The more pieces you have, the better since this recipe yields a lot of cookies.
- Put a bit of dough in the molds. Remember the cookies will rise a bit so don’t stuff the molds too much.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Let cool before taking cookies out of the molds.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Thanks to my mother in law for sharing her recipes and for letting me share them here. Share your thoughts about these traditional Czech Christmas cookies on the comments below.