Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Slovak Chop Suey

My mother's simple, Eastern-European recipe of Kolačky (pronounced Ko-lach-kee) is tucked away in her relic edition of "Anniversary Slovak-American Cook Book" published by the First Catholic Slovak Ladies Union in 1952.

In this well-preserved book you'll find some amazing recipes, among other things.  There are recipes for pirohy (dumplings), pickles (10+ pages!), crackling biscuits, homemade pork sausage and, my personal favorite, Slovak chop suey.

Why Eastern-European cooks would want to tackle chop suey is beyond me. It must have been all the rage back in 1952.

My mother wasn't much of a cook or a baker. The Kolačky recipe is actually my grandmother's. My mother would make these occasionally, but my grandmother's were legendary -- as was her Poppyseed Cake. Unfortunately the Poppyseed Cake recipe went with her when she died in 1963.

My brother, who lives in Chicago, continues to bake these cookies every Christmas, and as homage to my mother, I have too. Appropriately, the Anniversary Slovak-American Cook Book is dedicated to "our mothers and grandmothers, in grateful remembrance."

I cannot think of a better way to do just that.

Ann Straka's Kolačky

1/2 pound of cream cheese
1/2 pound of butter
Two cups of flour

Prune, apricot, and/or poppyseed filling

Combine the cream cheese, butter and flour until creamy and the batter is fluffy. Roll the dough in a ball and refrigerate it overnight.

The next day, cut the ball into four sections to make the dough a bit more manageable. Roll out each of the sections so they are about 1/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into strips, then squares and fill each one with your choice of prune, poppyseed or apricot filling. Fold the left corner of the square with the lower right one and pinch or twist the edges. Sometimes a little water is helpful in making sure the edges stick together.

Bake for 7 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Serve with sprinkled powdered sugar on top.

Please note: In honor of my mother, I have entered the above recipe in this year's Los Angeles Times Holiday Cookie Bake-off. Could you take a few minutes of your time to vote for me? Just follow this link.

They'll ask you for some not-too-invasive personal information (sorry about that) but if I win, I promise to post the recipe for Slovak chop suey. Now who can resist any offer like that?

1 comment:

  1. i love old cookbooks and have been collecting them here and there. this one looks so great. the pic on the cover is fabu.


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