Trying Out My Bulgarian Cookbook

Shortly after we submitted our adoption application and got accepted into the Bulgarian program, Andy surprised me by ordering a Bulgarian Cookbook, a History of Bulgaria, and  Street Without A Name: Childhood and Other Misadventures in Bulgaria by Kapka Kassabova.  I had diligently read each recipe in the cookbook wondering which ones to try, but hadn’t gotten around to doing any yet.  However, we (being the weirdos we are) have always had an Olympics Opening Ceremonies Party.  Over the years it has evolved into a fun time of cooking and sharing ethnic foods from around the world as a way to celebrate.  I decided this would be the perfect opportunity to try a recipe from my cookbook!  I had ear-marked one months ago–a cookie called Maslenki.  It was labeled as “every Bulgarian child’s delight,”  and I knew I would like to make them  to delight my children too!

a

While I didn’t have a source of “fresh lard,” I did use butter!

b

While mixing the cookies, Abe sniffed his way into the kitchen to ask what I was making.  I replied with, “Bulgarian cookies,” and–yes–the response was pure delight.

c

The kids loved watching me roll out the dough and cut out the cookies.  Abe even helped with a few.

d

I was so excited when they all came out so pretty, and filled the kitchen with a delicious sugary aroma.

e

After letting them cool, we put the final, exciting finishing touches on them–filling them with our homemade raspberry jam….

f

and a little dusting of powdered sugar to finish them off!

g

They were a success to all who tried them.  Child’s delight?  Yes, I’d say so!

h

After finishing the cookies, I decided to confirm that they were truly a Bulgarian tradition, so I contacted my two dear friends from Bulgaria, Sunny and Diyana, and I was delighted to find out that they both love Maslenki cookies and have eaten them since they were children.  Diyana informed me that they were sold during Communism and have been a loved recipe for many years in Bulgaria.  I look forward to incorporating these into our family Christmas cookie repertoire every year from now on!

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