Every year around the end of August I start getting a little restless. If the temperature is not too high and there is enough rain, chances are that the first summer boletes will appear. I am a picky mushroom gatherer. The only mushrooms I am really interested in are penny buns (cèpes or porcini) and this year was a good one for them! So I have filled my jars with aromatic slices of bolete and in my freezer you will find bags of smoked mushrooms next to the chestnuts and freshly made apple sauce. I was happily surprised when I found this pretty mushroom-shaped gingerbread meduoliai grybukai cookie when I was looking for a cookie from Eastern Europe. It is a traditional Lithuanian cookie that is usually baked around Christmas. They even have a special mould that makes perfectly round stems. And although the cookies can be made perfectly well without it, I am afraid I do have another wish for my Christmas list. Nice? Try my squirrel shaped variation with coffee: espresso cookie.
Meduoliai grybukai cookie from Lithuania
For about 20 cookies
100 grams (½ cup) butter
100 grams (½ cup) sugar
100 grams (⅓ cup) honey
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
400 grams (2 ¾ cups) flour
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg + 1 egg white
50 milliliters (¼ cup) sour cream
50 grams dark chocolate (¼ cup chocolate chips)
160 grams (1 cup) icing sugar
In a saucepan melt the butter with the sugar, the honey, the ground cinnamon, the ground nutmeg and the ground cloves. Bring to the boil and then remove from the heat.
In a bowl mix the flour with the salt and the baking soda. Add the warm butter mixture.
Add 1 egg and the sour cream and knead into a smooth dough.
Leave the dough to cool slightly.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/360°F. Take a piece of dough of about 25 grams and roll into a ball for the caps. Make about 20 slightly smaller stems. Put the hoods and stems on a cookie sheet lined with baking paper and bake them in the middle of the oven for about 20 mins. until golden brown. Leave them to cool on a rack.
Break the chocolate into small pieces and put them in a bowl. Melt the chocolate au bain marie over gently simmering water. Or melt in the microwave by heating the chocolate for 1 minute on high power. Stir and heat again for 1 minute. Repeat until the chocolate is melted. Mix the egg white with the icing sugar into a thick icing. Brush the caps with the melted chocolate. Spread the icing over the stems. Keep the leftover icing covered until use.
When the chocolate and the icing have hardened cut a little hole in the center of the bottom of the caps. Brush with some icing and push in the stem. Leave to dry.
This post is also available in: Dutch