Perece z Gastanu
Perece z Gastanu literally translates to “Dough with Chestnut” and is also known as Chestnut Pretzels. These are dense savory cookies, not too sweet, and delicious served warm with a cup of Turkish coffee. They remind me of biscotti, but are a bit more moist and flavorful. A variation of this pretzel recipe is to put the chopped nuts in the batter, and then to sprinkle with icing sugar.
- 5 oz butter
- 5 oz sugar
- 1 lb cooked sweet chestnuts, boiled and then mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 cup flour
- 1-2 tbsp water
- 1 egg white
- Handful of nuts, such as hazelnut, almonds or walnuts – chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a cookie sheet with canola oil lightly.
- Carve an X on the flat sides of the chestnuts (or they will explode in the next step)
- Place them in cold water on the stove, bring to a simmer, then remove a few at a time and peel the chestnuts
- Mix the butter, sugar, chestnuts and flour together in a food processor until well blended (Pauline would have done this by hand, grinding the chestnuts through a seive)
- If the dough is crumbly, add a few drops of water and process again until the dough can be formed into a ball
- Form the dough into long, rolled pieces, about 1/2 inch thick
- Take the ends of two pieces and twist together . Or braid 3 pieces together if your pieces are thin enough (I couldn’t get it thin enough).
- Cut the twisted or braided pieces into 1 1/2 inch slices on the diagonal.
- Whisk the egg white gently.
- Smear egg white onto top of pretzels
- Sprinkle with chopped nuts
- Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until the pretzels start to turn golden colored.