Rainy, misty fall days have set in, so this is a good reason to support our nervous system by boosting the endorphins and look up recipes of “weightier” sweets. Hókifli or snow crescents are usually baked during the autumn-winter season, but during Advent and at Christmas consumption index goes sky high. Snow crescents are said to keep for 2 weeks in an airtight box, but in lack of experience I can’t confirm it.
There are many different snow crescent recipes, but the final step is always the same in case of every version: hot cookies are rolled in icing sugar. These tiny crescents can be filled with jam: preferably apricot and plum, but other sourish jams like raspberry or red currant might also be used, but it’s important to choose thick jam, runny jam will torture your nerves. Besides jam walnut and poppy seed fillings can be a perfect choice, as well, the recipe of the beigli filling can be here applied, too.
Shortenings are the soul of the dough, many recipes call only for butter, but, like it or not, lard is also necessary, without it hókifli can’t be a comfort food, the so called granny-feeling can’t be summoned. The fifty-fifty ratio of butter and lard makes the dough really soft and crumbly.
Forming technique of the crescents varies from house to house, as I don’t like pottering and forming regular crescent-shaped biscuits is too nerve-racking for me, I’m showing you 2 techniques that facilitate the preparation. They are just examples, not rules set in stone, so it’s up to you how you form the crescents.
Concerning vanilla sugar I use homemade to roll the biscuits. To prepare your own, just simply add 1-2 whole vanilla beans to an airtight jar containing 1-2 cups of white sugar, and let the mixture age for approximately 2 weeks.
- 500 g (~4 cups) flour
- 100 g (~3 1/2 oz) butter
- 100 g (~3 1/2 oz) lard
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 100 g (~3 1/2 oz) sour cream
- 20 g (~3/4 oz) fresh yeast (2 tsp dry yeast)
- pinch of salt
- 50 ml (~1/4 cup) milk
- 50-60 g (~6-7 tbsp) powdered vanilla sugar
- jam for the filling
Tepefy milk with a pinch of sugar and crumble fresh yeast in it. Leave it to get activated.
Sift the flour in a bowl. Rub butter and lard into the flour, then add sour cream, sugar, salt and dissolved yeast, and knead into a pliable dough. Cover and in a lukewarm and draught-free place let it double in size (time can vary, but it takes approximately 50-60 minutes).
Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 200°C / 392°F.
On a floured surface roll out the dough thin. You can choose between 2 ways of forming. You can cut out circles with a middle sized cookie cutter, put a small amount of jam in the middle of each round, fold over and press together. Reroll scraps and cut out more circles.
Or spoon small heaps of jam on the edge of the dough leaving some space between them and roll the dough carefully 2-3 times. Cut the roll into pieces along the jam fillings. Repeat the process until dough runs out.
Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheets, put in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes.
Remove the crescents from the oven, and roll them into powdered vanilla sugar.