Cheese Paska

Cheese Paska

 

Cheese Paska Back

What does a cheese paska look like, you ask? Well, thanks to google images, now we know!

Image borrowed from and (c) happywonderer.com

Image borrowed from and (c) happywonderer.com

From what I can tell in my research, cheese paska is an Eastern European dish and instead of being a bread, it is a compressed cheese spread served with paska bread. The cheese is molded into a pyramidal shape, either using a special mold:

Cheese paska mold

Cheese paska mold

Or by using a new, clean terra cotta flower pot in the desired shape (pyramidal or conical). You will notice the Russian Orthodox church markings on the mold shown above. According to the Happy Wonderer, this dish is a Russian Easter food, and is called Seernaya Paska – sweet cheese spread. It also appears to be popular in German Mennonite tradition and also in Pennsylvania where there is a large Mennonite population. I found another great description of making this Easter dish over at Family Food For Feast And Feria, where she also has a much more detailed instruction on how to make it. Have you heard of this delicacy? Let us know!

Cheese Paska

5 lb cream cheese

4 c sugar

1/2 lb almonds

1 lb butter

1 pt light cream

2 whole eggs & 3 egg yolks

vanilla

1 jar candied cherries

1 jar candied pineapple

Cook over heat until thick. Cool. Add to cream cheese. Place in cheese cloth to drain for a few hours. Make a mold with a new clean flower pot 7″x7″. Bake in 250 oven 1/2 hour. Cool. Line flower pot with double cheese cloth. Cover exposed top also. Fill, cover and set a heavy weight on top. Can be made 3 days before. Keep refrigerated.

My interpretation: beat the eggs and yolks until smooth, combine with the sugar and then cook over medium heat until thick. In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, cream, vanilla, almonds and mix well. Add the egg mixture. Separately, prepare the flower pot by baking it in the oven, cool it, then line it with cheese cloth. Invert the flower pot over a bowl, then pour the liquid-y paska mixture into it. Liquid will begin to drain out of the hole in the bottom of the flower pot. Place a weight on top and the rest of the liquid will slowly drain out, leaving the compressed cheese in the mold. When ready to serve, remove it to a plate, decorate with the cherries & pineapple.

Raisin Kolacky

Raisin Kolachy

Raisin Kolachy Back

Here’s another that had me wondering…kolacky? Alternately spelled kolach, koolach, and kolace, these pastries are a delicacy from Czecheslovakia and Slovenia. They feature a light, sweetened bread surrounding a fruit center, and sound a lot like a fruit danish. The name is pronounced co-LOT-key and the root word kola means wheel in Czech. The traditional kolacky may have a sweetened cheese center, but hipsters have been popularizing savory versions made with sausage, ground beef and chutney. These deviant kolacky are termed klobasnek and are entirely American, having been invented in Texas by Czech settlers who emigrated during the second half of the 19th century. We even have a Tex-Mex kolacky bakery in Southern California, which I find intriguing and may have to investigate further. I have several kolacky recipes and will be sharing them all with you in various posts. Today, let’s look at a raisin version.

Raisin Kolacky 

1 c raisins

1/4 c brown sugar (packed)

1 can Hungry Jack biscuits

1/2 c sugar

1/4 c oleo (melted)

1/4 c water

1-2 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp cinnamon

In a small saucepan combine raisins, sugar, water & lemon juice. Cook over medium heat 7 minutes or until mixture thickens. Stir. Let cool.

Combine sugar & cinnamon. Dip both sides of each biscuit in melted oleo, then the sugar mixture. Place rolls sides touching in engrossed 15×10 Jelly Roll or 13×9 pan. With thumb, make imprint in center and fill with 1 rounded tablespoon raisin mixture. Bake 375 15-20 minutes.

In small bowl combine 1/2 c XXXX sugar & 2-3 tsp milk & 1/2 tsp vanilla. Drizzle on warm rolls.

Makes 10 rolls

Bread Paska

Bread Paska

 

Bread Paska Back

From the recent acquisition of fantastic handwritten recipes, I decided to start with some that were unfamiliar to me. Paska had me looking to the internet for more information. As it turns out, paska is an Easter bread served in Eastern European countries as well as Assyrian Iran. It is associated with the resurrection of Christ and can feature a cross shape made into the top of the loaf. Some traditions hold that the loaf should be surrounded by colored eggs to symbolize those who witnessed the crucifixion of Christ. Paska is traditionally made with milk, butter, eggs, flour and sugar. Variations have developed as people who enjoy paska have emigrated to other countries and shared the recipe with friends and family. This particular paska recipe includes mashed potatoes. I am open to any reader input on the directions below, as some of the writing is cramped and it seems like she missed some ingredients in the description (when do you add the sugar?).

Bread Paska

10 lb flour

6 eggs (beaten well)

2 lg cakes yeast

1 c sugar

2 c mashed potatoes (save water)

3 T salt

1 c oil

1 qt scalded milk

1 can milk

3/4 lb butter

1 c potato water

Place flour in bowl, add salt & mashed potatoes. Gradually add liquid (cooled), add beaten eggs & yeast last. Mix thoroughly turning dough toward you. Mix until flour mixture doesn’t stick to your hands. Allow to rise to double. Knead 3 times. Let rise. Place in round greased pan until double. Brush with beaten egg yolk or canned cream. Bake 350 1 hour. White raisins may be used.

8 1 1/2 lb loaves

Pumpkin Dessert

Notebook 34

Fancy pumpkin pie dessert

Should have posted this one before Thanksgiving, I suppose. As I work through these recipes sometimes the season and the “next up” don’t really coordinate. That’s ok, it’s always fun to read recipes!

Pumpkin Dessert

Crust

1 cup flour

1/2 cup oatmeal

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

Mix, place in 9×13 pan, bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Filling

1 can pumpkin (15 oz)

1 can evaporated milk (12 oz)

2 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 t salt

1 t cinnamon

1 t ginger

1/4 t cloves

Mix and pour onto crust.

Topping

1/2 c nuts

1/2 c brown sugar

2 T butter

Mix and sprinkle over the filling

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes

 

Cherry Dessert again

Cherry dessert #2

Cherry dessert #2

Here’s another take on cherry dessert that is clearly lacking detail! My notes below, again.

Cherry Dessert

Place pie filling in bottom of 9×13 pan.

Add white cake mix and nuts

Slivers of oleo on top

Bake 350 – 45 minutes

1 can cherry pie filling

1 box white cake mix

1/2 c chopped nuts (pecans or almonds)

Pour the can of cherry pie filling into a 9×13 pan. Sprinkle the cake mix and nuts on top of that. Top with slivers of margarine or butter.

Cherry Dessert

Notebook 32

Is this complete?

This recipe is leaving me stymied. Is it complete? It sure seems like something is missing, however perhaps that is due to the way the cook wrote her notes to herself. Reading the recipe aloud it makes a bit more sense. I will add my interpretation below the recipe. The top may be like a crazy crust or cobbler. Not having made this yet, I can’t really be sure. Any input from readers is greatly appreciated.

Cherry Dessert

1 1/2 c flour

1 c sugar

1/2 c oleo (margarine)

1 1/2 c coconut

1 can cherry pie mix

Make like pie crust. Spread 1/2 in 9×13 pan. Add pie filling then rest of mix. Bake 375 – 30 min.

Mix flour, sugar, margarine & coconut, then divide in half. Spread half of the mixture in the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Add cherry pie filling, then top with the remaining dough. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

 

Cheese Cake (Carol)

Notebook 31

Never too many cheese cake recipes!

I think I might need to make a category for cheese cake because it sure seems like everyone has a recipe for it and they all sound good! This particular recipe has you leave the cake in the oven once it is baked, allowing it to cool slowly and not crack the smooth top.

Cheese Cake (Carol)

1 1/4 c graham crackers crushed

1 T butter

1 T sugar

Dash of cinnamon. Mix well. Butter a spring form pan. Sprinkle with 2 T of crumbs, spread by shaking. Pat rest into pan.

2 8 oz packages cream cheese

1 cup sugar

1 T vanilla

1 16 oz sour cream

3 eggs

Soften cream cheese, beat till fluffy. Add sugar slowly.  Add 3 eggs, adding 1 at a time. Fold in sour cream and vanilla. Pour over crumbs. Bake 350 for 30 minutes. Turn off oven, open door, leave in love for 1 hour.

Topping = cherry pie filling