Mocha Nut Flower Baskets

I’ve been wanting to make these since my friend told me about her mom’s fantastic Ukranian cookies. They are called koshyky, which means basket in Ukrainian, and she makes them every year for the holiday of Sukkot. My friend described them as flower-shaped cookies that are made in cookie molds,  filled with coffee cream and drizzled with chocolate glaze.

Here is the glitch: her mom doesn’t use recipes. So, I searched high and low and posted my request for the recipe, among other places, at Emperor’s Crumbs. Katka, a Emperor’s Crumbs reader, came through with a Slovak recipe for what she called Kremove Kosicky.

It turns out that kosicky are little tarts. I think the term is used for all kinds of sweet and savory tarts, maybe because tart shells are like baskets. Kremove Kosicky are also part of  a whole family of cookies baked in molds. For example, Lubos pointed me to this recipe for Medvedie Labky (bear paws).  The dough is very similar to the Kosicky, but it is made in crescent shaped cookie molds. The bear paw cookies are sometimes sandwiched together, but they are also served like crescent cookies, with the ends dipped in chocolate.

So are kosicky molded and filled cookies or very small tartlettes? I guess both . . . .

Kremove kosicky (Molded cookies with cream)

Tart dough:

450 g flour (almost 1 lb.)
75 g sugar (2.65 ounces)
225 g butter (room temperature) (almost 8 ounces)
100 g ground walnuts (3.5 ounces)
3 yolks

Mix together the flour, sugar, butter (I used Earth Balance margarine), ground walnuts, and yolk to make a firm dough. (I pulsed together the ground nuts, sugar, and flour in the food processor, and then cut in the margarine to make a crumbly dough, and then mixed in the egg to make a firm dough. Chill dough for half an hour (I skipped this and was okay).

Divide the dough into approximately 3 dozen balls and press each into the bottom and up the sides of very small tart pans (1 1/4″ diameter, 3/4″ deep).  Place the tart pans on a sheet pan and bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes, or until done (I found these were quite pale at the ten minute mark. They were still pale 2 minutes past that, so I raised the temperature to 375 degrees F and baked them a bit more until they were pale golden brown. I would bake at 375 degrees F next time).

Turn out of the tart pan. I found this a bit tricky because the dough is quite crumbly. I ended up using a cake tester to pry these out.

UPDATE:

Vegan Tart Dough
Adapted from Vegetarian Times. Double recipe to make same amount of tart shells as above recipe.
1 cup pecans (4 ounces)
1 cup flour (4.5 ounces)
4 Tbl. coconut oil, melted
4 Tbl. maple syrup

Put the pecans and flour in blender or food processor and pulse until nuts are ground to a fine powder. Put pecan/flour in a mixing bowl. Add the syrup and coconut oil to the mixing bowl and stir everything together. The mixture should form into a sticky dough.

Press the dough into 18-24 mini tartlette molds or mini muffin cups (original recipe had a yield of 28 tartlettes, but I wasn’t able to get that many). Transfer tartlette molds to baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes at 375 degrees. Cool 15 minutes and then remove tart shells from molds. The original recipe suggested using a toothpick to pry the tartlette shells free, but I used a metal cake tester.

Coffee Filling:

300 ml coffee (about 10 ounces, or 1 1/3 cups)
3 tbs flour (hruba muka, if you have it, or Wondra instant blending flour, or all-purpose flour works okay, too)
1 yolk
200 g butter (I used a mix of 2/3 Crisco shortening and 1/3 Earth Balance margarine) (7 ounces)
200 g powdered sugar (7 ounces)
1 Tbl. honey
1 Tbl. cocoa
1 Tbl. rum (I used almond orange liqueur)

Combine the flour, coffee, and the yolk in a saucepan. Whisk over heat until the mixture thickens. Let cool. Whip the mixture with the remaining ingredients. Fill the cookie tart shells with about a Tbl. of filling. Chill.

Chocolate Glaze

10.5 ounces of bittersweet chocolate (I used a hazelnut chocolate and then added another layer of 72 percent extra-bittersweet)

Melt chocolate, let cool somewhat. Top each tart with enough chocolate to complete cover the coffee cream. Chill.

UPDATE!!

I now have an original cookie from my friend as a point of comparison. Her mom’s cookies are a bit larger. The tart tins I use are about 2 1/4″ in diameter with 12 scallops, while her mom’s are about 2 1/2″ with 9 scallops:

And from the bottom:

Here is a cross section:


The chocolate glaze is softer than mine. It tastes like melted chocolate chips rather than the bittersweet chocolate that I used.  This softer texture works much better than the hard chocolate. I would use semisweet chocolate with a little bit of crisco melted in next time. Note also that there is much less of an indentation for filling. The filling is shallow and thicker than mine. I will have to rework the filling. Maybe it would be better to go with a simple buttercream frosting with lots of coffee added in. Lots and lots of coffee. The crust is exceptional. Little bits of walnuts give a little texture (I had ground all my nuts to a powder, but some distinct pieces are actually quite nice). A little bit of an almost maple-ey flavor.  The perfect replication of these cookies still eludes me, but hopefully not for much longer.

And when I have conquered this cookie, on to mastering my friend’s mother’s dobos!

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10 Responses to “Mocha Nut Flower Baskets”

  1. lubos Says:

    It’s great seeing these in photos! Did they end up tasting like what you remember?

    Krémové košíčky means “cream little baskets”

    • pragmaticattic Says:

      Thanks, Lubos! Actually, I just heard raves about these cookies, but never had one before. I have to bring one to my friend to see if I got it right! I really want to try your bear claws recipe, but I don’t have the right molds😦 Maybe they will work in madeline pan molds . . . .

  2. lisamichele Says:

    These are sooo pretty, Laura! Perfect for a tea party (but not with kids, they’d be caffeine crazy and on the ceiling lol). I would love to make a peanut butter filling for these, since I was never much of a coffee fan. Love the interior shot, pure decadence!

    • pragmaticattic Says:

      oooh, a pb filling. Genius! Great idea. Thanks, Lisa! Ooh, now you have me thinking about a chocolate crust, so it is really like a reese’s cup, but in cookie form.

  3. Dvora Says:

    They look great! I will definitely have to try this. Do you think it would still taste good if I swap out the walnuts for almonds? It’s an allergy thing… Do the nuts add a trmendous amount of flavor, or could I even use a regular tart crust?

    • pragmaticattic Says:

      Thanks, Dvora! I think it is an issue more of texture than taste. The crust has the texture of a nut horn (or Mexican wedding cookie): very crumbly. Any nut would be nice, especially pecans, hazelnuts, or almonds. I suppose that you could swap out a different cookie dough for the crust, even one without nuts, as long as it was sweeter and more crumbly than a regular tart crust. I know you make nice thumbprint cookies filled with chocolate. Maybe that dough would work here.

  4. Angie Says:

    So these desserts look fantastic and I tired to make them but I ran into a problem with the coffee filing. I followed the instructions; I heated the flour, coffee, and the yolk in a pan while whisking it. I let it cool after it got thicker then I added all the other stuff and mixed together, and put them in the baskets and put them in the fridge. But the inside stayed syrup like liquid, a delicious liquid but a liquid none the less. Do you have any suggestions for what I may have done wrong?

    • pragmaticattic Says:

      I’m sorry you had this problem, Angie. Hmmm. When I made the filling, the mixture never really got firm like buttercream frosting, but it wasn’t syrup-ey, either. I think the problem may have been that you undercooked the egg/flour/coffee mixture. There is an enzyme called alpha amylase that is present in both egg yolks and flour. If you don’t kill this enzyme through heating, the enzyme will break down your starch and egg based sauce and it will go all liquid-ey. This enzyme isn’t denatured until 170 degrees F, I think. You need the mixture to come close to a boil. I think I let the mixture bubble a little bit before I pulled it off the heat. This isn’t part of the original instructions, but it probably should be now that I know that you had this problem! Thanks for letting me know.

  5. valerian Says:

    wow, now I see what didyou mean… I never knew they are called kosicky. they look great!

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