Dessert

Lychnarakia:
Cretan traditional sweet kalitsounia of Easter

 

One of the most popular sweets in my island Crete. You can not come to Crete and not try kalitsounia. Is eminently sweet of Easter.

There are many species according kalitsounia region. Sweet kalitsounia are made using sweet cheese – mizithra( looks like ricotta ) and there are two types: the lychnarakia that will make it today and anevata. The first are faster in their manufacture because they have no time-consuming process as you will see once you get used to making the pleats is a breeze. Anevata are more troublesome, not from the standpoint of preparation, but as the saying their name is climb that must wait for the dough to rise.

On the other side of Crete, Chania found salty kalitsounia, which are grasses and are either in the oven or fried, like chortopitakia.

 


 

SERVES:
27 PIECES

PREPARATION TIME:
30 MINUTES

COOKING TIME:
25 MINUTES

TOTAL TIME:
55 MINUTES

 

INGREDIENTS

For the filling:

  • 500 g. sweet cheese mizithra (Cretan version of ricotta cheese), well drained
  • 2 Tbsp. full of sugar
  • ½ egg, beaten (hit it and use half for the filling and the other half spread kalitsounia)

For the dough:

  • 63 g. butter at room temperature
  • 125 g. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 62 ml of milk
  • ½ vanilla
  • 10g, baking powder
  • 375 g. soft flour
  • ½ egg, beaten
  • cinnamon for garnish

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. The cheese must have drain well 2-3 days earlier after they put over toast with paper towels, the lid and keep in the refrigerator.

  2. To fix the filling melt the cheese with a fork and add the sugar and egg and stir the mixture.
  3. For the dough beat butter fluffy, add the sugar, egg, milk and vanilla. If you use a mixer, chop and put the dough accessory. After I mix the baking powder with the flour, and hurl it gradually into the bowl and incorporate until the dough does not stick now in the hands.
  4. I continue kneading on a floured surface and after get a small dose of the dough each time I open a one sheet for each kalitsounia. With a rolling pin open the dough to a thickness of about 2 mm and a cup stalemate or a glass diameter of about 8-9 cm cut the sheet round.
  5. I take it in my hand and with a spreading knife (with round tip) I stretch in the middle of about a Tbsp. the filling of cheese. I spread the filling pyramid forming a knoll in the middle and turning off towards the edges.
  6. I begin to create the pleats pressing with my two fingers the dough toward the center of kalitsounia. I continue with the next, creating a total of 7-8 pleats on each kalitsounia.
  7. The place on parchment paper on the baking sheet, leaving 3 cm apart because it will "stretch out." With a teaspoon smear gently with a little beaten egg over cheese that looks and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 * C, raising and lowering the trays in the oven after 15 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.

ENJOY!

 

Tips:
- Store in tightly sealed box in the refrigerator.
- I can store them in the freezer.
- Where to take off from the refrigerator or freezer to become again the crisp dough put them in the oven, air for 5 minutes at 180 * C.


CHOCOLATE CHRISTMAS COOKIES

 

Favorite chocolate butter cookies, easy to make the festive days to come along with our children. With cookie cutters can give Christmas shapes or even round. We can make earlier and store them in an airtight box.

 

 

Buttery flavor when the bite, inside are soft, air and elasticity. The secret lies in baking and flour. Depending of the thickness and size of each cookie placed in the trays to bake careful not crisp. When removing from the oven exterior soft pressing with our finger, and the cold tightening. Even at the opening of dough try to add as little as possible flour not to shake the mixture.

Do not forget the New Year's Eve, to put next to the fireplace or on the Christmas tree, a few cookies on a plate with a glass of milk to treat Santa Claus who will bring us the gifts!


 

SERVES:
20 reideers

PREPARATION TIME:
20 MINUTES

WAITING TIME:
30 MINUTES

COOKING TIME:
8 - 10 MINUTES

TOTAL TIME:
30 MINUTES

 

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 225 g. butter, cut into small cubes, at room temperature
  • 230 g. sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 vanillin (dust) or ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 160 g. soft flour
  • 70 g. cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon of  baking powder

 

DIRΕCTIONS

  1. In a bowl mix flour, cocoa and baking powder.
  2. In high speed I check the mixer bowl butter fluffy. Then add sugar gradually, once incorporated throw the egg and vanillin.
  3. Reduce speed gradually adding flour. I stop once the mixture is homogeneous.
  4. I cover with cling film and put the dough in the refrigerator to rest for 20-30 minutes.
  5. In flour surface portions I spread the dough, flour as little as I can and from the upper side and with a rolling pin to open to a thickness of 3 mm. approx. With a cookie cutter in the flour and then cutting off one by one the biscuits carefully and putting them on parchment paper in pan.
  6. Bake in preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius in resistors for about 10 minutes (watch may want 1-2 minutes less or more).
  7. When I take out of the oven is still soft outside, leave 10 minutes to cool, then remove and with a brush carefully fortunes flour that is left on them.
  8. Keep them in an airtight box.

ENJOY!


SWEET AND SOUR RICOTTA FILO PARCEL (BOUGATSA)

 

Every place in Greece has its own bougatsa and all are wonderful because their basic elements remain the same. The crisp buttery crust join them with sugar and cinnamon aside to surge rich filling can consist of either cream or cheese that makes it more special.

 

 

Here in Heraklion shops which sell them at the most prominent city in the central square of Lions. They stores that carry many years of history and famous chefs from around the world have visited. A tradition wants to try this sweet when it enters the new year, the morning after clubbing all gather at the center to procure and filled with stalls that sell them, because the demand is great. Even the national celebrations after the parade go all the known shops to enjoy them.

Very easy to prepare worth a try. I fill it with xinomyzithra cheese mixed with béchamel in a crunchy leaf folder from above fills the granulated sugar and cinnamon adding aroma and flavor.

 


 

SERVES:
4

PREPARATION TIME:
20 MINUTES

COOKING TIME:
30 MINUTES

TOTAL TIME:
50 MINUTES

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 pastry sheets of baklava
  • 80-100 g. butter, melted
  • 200g. sour xinomizithra cheese
  • sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
  • cinnamon for sprinkling (optional)

For the béchamel:

  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 27g. flour
  • 250 ml milk, lukewarm

 

DIRΕCTIONS

  1. To fix the sauce I put in a saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Once warm throw the flour and whisk to stir constantly to dissolve and become a thick cream. Leave for about 5 minutes, stirring continuously until cooked flour and darken its color.
  2. Then remove from heat, let cool slightly and add the warm milk, stirring with wire. Return to the heat until tight and make the béchamel creamy.
  3. Remove from heat and pour the xinomizithra cheese through integrating it with the béchamel.
  4. In smooth surface suffuse the first sheet baklava, butter it (with melted butter) with a brush well, I place over the second sheet, butter it again, the same with the third card. The fourth sheet butter half, fold it in half again butter half and replicate in the middle.
  5. I put in the middle, above the three sheets again butter the surface and there I spread the mixture of cheese.
  6. I stretch the right edge of the sheets to the filling, and so the left side butter their surface. Close the top and bottom of the sheets towards the filling, like envelope and I spread butter.
  7. The upset on a baking pan with butter spend the top and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius in resistors. Place in the lower grill pan and leave for 25-30 minutes to get a golden color sheet.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes. With a spatula to transfer onto cutting board and sharp knife to cut crosswise in half, creating four portions.
  9. I cut each portion into four horizontal and four vertical sections and pass the plate with a spatula. Finally sprinkle with granulated sugar and cinnamon. 

ENJOY!