A Very Romanian Christmas

Viviana's Kitchen

Merry Christmas from my family to yours! Wishing you all a wonderful day full of love, laughter, mimosas, and delicious food.

Yesterday, I spent the vast majority of the day baking pastries for Christmas and I used my own website for a couple recipes. However, I noticed that I somehow never shared the recipe I use for Romanian cozonaci, which are sweet egg bread pastries filled with either poppyseed filling or a walnut and rum-soaked white raisin mixture.

They’re traditional in Romania for holidays like Christmas and Easter, but they’re not exclusive to the holidays.

Here is a link to the recipe I used, and for those of you too lazy to hop to another webpage, a break down below:

Romanian Cozonac

INGREDIENTS (for the dough)

1.5 cups lukewarm water
1.5 Tbsp granulated yeast
1.5 Tbsp salt
8 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup honey
1.5 cups (3 sticks) melted unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
7.5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp water)

DIRECTIONS (for the dough)

  • Mix yeast with a tablespoon of water, then mix with salt, eggs, honey, and melted butter with the 1.5 cups of water in a large bowl.
  • Mix in the flour but do not knead. I used a stand mixer here.
  • Once everything is incorporated, cover and let stand for 2 hours to grow.
  • After two hours, prep your work center with some flour (or oil) and knead the dough, then divide into 4.
  • Rollerpin it out into a large sheet and spread poppyseed filling or half of your walnut mixture, and then roll up and form into whichever shape you’re baking.
  • Bake dough in whatever form (loaf, brioche, cozonac) in the preheated oven at 350F for 35 to 40 minutes (until golden brown) with the rack in the middle position.

INGREDIENTS (for the walnut filling)

200 g walnuts, finely ground
100 g brown sugar
2 egg whites
3 Tbsp cacao
1/3 cup rum or brandy
1 cup white raisins to be plumped in the liquour

DIRECTIONS (for the walnut filling)

  • Plump raisins in rum for at least one hour – I do it over night to maximum flavor.
  • Beat egg whites to soft peaks
  • Add sugar, beat.
  • Add cocoa, beat.
  • Add walnuts and the rum-soaked raisins and mix.

Enjoy!


Advertisements

A Walk Through Cranbrook

Floral & Nature

Today was the first day of the rest of my life. 

Without being too cryptic, I’ll say that I did things today that were cathartic and healing and I received messages and support that I needed to hear and I am grateful and thankful for the people in my life that continue to lift me up and make me feel valued. 

That said, I gifted myself an early Christmas gift last month for Black Friday and bought Adobe Creative Cloud and thankfully have Photoshop back! I’ve been tinkering around in it (and Lightroom) but today I spent some time at Cranbrook and came home with a handful of great shots.

While I was there, a lady named Loretta walked up to me and started asking me questions about what I was taking a picture of and showed me some of her photography as well. We ended up spending well over an hour walking the grounds and I learned a lot of fascinating things about the architecture of the surrounding buildings. 

We exchanged  all kinds of stories and life experiences and funny enough, before I left the house I had stuck a few of my business cards in my pocket thinking “you never know who you’ll meet”. She was so interested in my creative pursuits, I ended up giving her one of my cards. Loretta, if you’re reading this, you are an incredible lady and I adore your vivaciousness and thirst for knowledge. 

That said, here are a couple of the photos I took today. The second photo is the last one I took before Loretta took me on a whirlwind tour of the grounds.