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Czech Christmas Cookie Recipes - Vanocni Cukovri

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St. Nicholas Day, Dec. 6, signals the beginning of Christmas baking for many Czechs. Out come all the time-honored recipes for labor-intensive and easy no-bake cookies and sweets known as vánoční cukrový (vah-NAWTCH-nee tsoo-KRAW-vee). This is an all-inclusive list that can consist of cookies, dainty tarts, candies and more. It conjures the image of "sugar plums dancing in their heads."

1. Susenky or Foundation Cookies Recipe

Czech Susenky
© 2009 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
This one basic recipe can be transformed into different cookies by varying the shape, and sandwiching together with jam or cookie filling, decorating with different-colored icings, dusting with confectioners' sugar or leaving plain.

2. Butter Cookies Recipe - Maslove Pecivo

Czech Butter Cookies
© 2009 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
This is one of my favorite recipes because it can be piped out or forced through a cookie press or, if refrigerated for a few hours, rolled into balls and turned into thumbprint cookies filled with jam.

3. Black-and-white Cookies Recipe - Linecke Testo Dvoubarevne

Czech Black-and-White Cookies
© 2009 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
This easy recipe for Czech black-and-white cookies or linecke testo dvoubarevne (lih-NETS-keh TAYS-toh dvaw-oo-bah-RREV-nay) can be made into zavitky (pinwheel), sachovnice (checkerboard), kolecka s obrouckou (wheel), rezy ze cytr pruhu (square), and salam (salami) shapes.

4. Jam-Filled Cookies Recipe - Dulkove Kolacky

Czech Jam-Filled Cookies
© 2009 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
This recipe for jam-filled cookies or dulkove kolacky is the Czech version of thumbprint cookies.

5. Cocoa Ball Cookies Recipe - Kakaove Dulkove Kolacky

Cocoa Ball Cookies
© Flickr by Aacco9642
These cocoa ball cookies or kakaove dulkove kolacky are a chocolate version of Czech thumbprint cookies.

6. Parisian Rolled Cookies Recipe - Parizske Pecivo

Pirouette Cookies
© Flickr by Chocolategourmand
This recipe for Czech Parisian cookies or parizske pecivo are better known as rolled cookies or pirouettes. They are usually served as is, but they can be filled with sweetened whipped cream, if desired.

7. Carpenter's Curls Cookie Recipe - Hoblovacky

Carpenter's Curls Cookies
© Flickr by Cravinmaven
This Czech recipe for carpenter's curls or hoblovacky can be made in various ways. This is the method I like to use. Anise seeds are traditional, but I prefer fennel seeds because they are sweeter.

8. Bear Paws Cookie Recipe - Medvedi Tlapicky

Bear Paw cookies
© Flickr by Efdisaster
Bear paws cookies can be rolled in vanilla sugar or confectioners' sugar, but I like to dip the ends in melted chocolate and use blanched slivered almonds for claws. And don't worry if you don't have a bear paw pan, a madeleine pan will work just fine.

9. Vanilla Crescents Recipe - Vanilkove Rohlicky

Vanilla Crescent Cookies
© Flickr by Thorsten (TK)
Some people like to roll these in vanilla sugar while they are still hot, but I prefer them rolled in confectioners' sugar. They look like freshly fallen snow -- so perfect for Christmas!

10. Gingerbread Cookies - Pernik na Figurky

Gingerbread Cookie
© Flickr by Craft & Creativity
This recipe can be made into plain, round, gingersnap shapes or into whimsical gingerbread men, stars, hearts, angels, reindeer or anything your heart desires. Decorate with this easy-to-make water icing.


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