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)
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)
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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!