Archive for the ‘Other’ Category


Carrot Diamonds (or Fafernuchy)

November 21, 2009

Get it? Carrot Diamonds? I thought of the name myself, and yes, I am very pleased about it.
I have a particular curiosity for  baking cookies and cakes that include vegetables. Chocolate and beets? Carrot cake? I even tried a chocolate cake recipe that used tomatoes. I was never disappointed and nobody ever guesses what is inside. It was quite amusing to tell my dad, for example, that there is zucchini in his slice of chocolate cake. He wasn’t sure whether he should stop eating it or not. He didn’t. I am nevertheless sure that the line of what can ingredients can be used in desserts will become more and more blurred.

When I came across this recipe for “fafernuchy” on the Lubię gotować blog and immediately wanted to give it a try. After doing some further research I discovered that they are traditional to the Mazovia region, which is in east-central Poland. There are a million variations on this recipe. Some recipes use yeast, others use baking powder. Some use carrots, others use beets. You can use regular wheat flour, but you can also try using rye flour. What is common is that they are usually prepared during the holidays, and they are shaped into little diamonds.

Peeled carrots, about to be grated

Dough before being set aside to rise

Just after being taken out of the oven.

Since I was already grating carrots, I decided to prepare a simple little salad from my childhood. I used only carrots, apples and a bit of sugar. My could also add a bit of grated onion for extra flavour. It goes great on the side of schnitzel, or any breaded and fried meat, as well as a roast.

Carrot Diamonds (Fafernuchy)
(makes about 80 small cookies)

– 250 gr of grated carrots
– 250 gr of whole wheat flour
– 250 gr of AP flour
– 2 large eggs
– 10 gr of dry active yeast (activated with 1/4 cup of warm water)
– 120 gr (1 stick) of butter (softened)
– 125 gr of light brown sugar (I would use a bit more next time)
– powdered sugar for sprinkling

1. In a bowl, sprinkle grated carrots with the sugar and set aside for about an hour.
2. Dissolve yeast into warm water and set aside until frothy.
3. Begin to combine eggs, butter, and yeast mixture with the flour with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add carrots and sugar.
4. Knead dough until soft and elastic, about 10 minutes. The dough miay be somewhat sticky, so may need to add up to an additional 1/2 cup of flour.
5.  Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap. Set aside for about 1.5 hours, or until doubled.
6. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F).
7. Punch down dough and divide in two.
8. On a floured surface, roll out dough to about 1cm (1/2 inch) in thickness. With a sharp knife, slice the dough diagonally into strips of about 3cm (1.5 inch). Slice the opposite direction to make diamond shapes. Set aside any leftover small pieces to be used with the rest of the dough.
9. Transfer diamond pieces onto a cookies sheet covered with parchment paper. Cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap and let rise for approximately 20 minutes.
10. Repeat with the second piece of dough.
11. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 13-15 minutes.
12. Place cookies on a cooling rack, and let cool before sprinkling generously with icing sugar.
Carrot and Apple Salad

– 300 gr of grated carrots (about 4 medium carrots)
–  300 gr of grated apple (about 2 medium, a sweet variety like golden delicious is best, but any will do)
– 1 tbs of sugar
– 1/4 onion, grated (optional)

1. Mix all of the ingredients and serve.