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Muškacony

February 13, 2011

Some Muškacony Ingredients - Whipped egg white with sugar, walnuts and breadcrumbs

Translating Pauline’s recipes is like assembling a puzzle.  Her recipe for Muškacony, for example, contains ingredients missing exact measurements, vague baking instructions and words sprinkled in from several languages.  The recipe seems to originate from Vojvodina, was written before modern stoves were used and is not often made these days. I’ve heard that Pauline, her sister-in-law Karolina and others from Pivnica made these many decades ago.

Prezli is the Hungarian word for “breadcrumbs”, and udesena is the Croatian word for “sublime”; she wrote “a sublime pattern is filled with dough”; I think she means a mold.  According to one source,  the cookies are called Muškacony because they are shaped like a woman’s finger and are supposed to help the man “last a little longer.” Pre-Viagra solution from Vojvodina Slovaks, I guess (must have worked – they had lots of kids back then).

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cups white sugar
  • Two egg whites
  • 1 tbsp vinegar (I also saw a variation with rum)
  • 1 ¼ cups ground nuts (such as walnuts)
  • ½  cup or so of prezli (Hungarian for breadcrumbs) – mix with 1 egg yolk
  • Powdered sugar

Steps

  1. Whip the egg whites until stiff, slowly adding in the sugar as you whip
  2. Fold in the vinegar, ground nuts and enough prezli to mix into a soft dough
  3. Form the dough into small logs the size of your middle finger (Instead, I baked mine in a log and then sliced the log, as you do for biscotti; I am afraid this change in shape may have eliminated the “performance enhancing” aspects. Will have to test it out.)
  4. Place the cookies on a greased baking tray and “bake on a mild fire” (or 300 degrees, if you have a modern oven, for 20 minutes, or until firm)
  5. Roll them while warm in the powdered sugar

Muškacony - not shaped as ladies' fingers as they should be

Alternate Recipe

This recipe was passed on from Zelka in Australia, whose Slovak family is also from Pivnica.  Her mother reports that this version of the recipe was made by wealthier families and that it was a cookie made for holidays, such as Christmas.  These cookies are chewier, whereas the recipe above results in cookies that are drier and harder.  In reviewing her recipe, it sounds very much like the almond crescent shaped cookies that I loved growing up in Montreal.

Add 1/2 tsp ground cloves and 1 tsp cinnamon to the  mix described above, reduce egg whites to 1 (and don’t whip it), substitute icing sugar for the white sugar and eliminate the prezli and vinegar. Put the sticky dough into cook molds, such as the shape of ribbons or as above, and bake at low heat as in the original recipe.

Muškacony in a mold

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Zelka Cani permalink
    February 15, 2011 7:16 am

    Like this recipe. I may just cracking on the weekend and make these muskacony. Mum used to make them years ago and now you have reminded us of another great Slovak cookie. They are so easy to make. Thank you. Zelka.

  2. March 26, 2011 7:53 am

    Hallo, I have just discovered your blog thanks to a friend from Bratislava. I am italian and I really do love the food I had in Bratislava, I will surely copy something from you!
    Your blog is also touching and I like it a lot, it is a beautiful thing what you have done. Thank you!

  3. Ellen Stahl permalink
    May 28, 2011 4:07 pm

    I was wondering if you might know of a dessert my Slovak parents made; it was never written down, but a family tradition. Dough was rolled out to fit the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 or larger baking pan. Then whipped egg whites were folded into a mixture of ground walnuts, sugar, and vanilla. The filling was spread over the dough and then covered with another rolled piece of dough. It was quite thick, about 2 inches high. After baking, the top was sprinkled with powdered sugar and pieces were cut into diamond shapes. We just called them “nut squares”.
    I would like to make again for our family. Any help would be appreciated!
    Ellen

    • May 28, 2011 11:46 pm

      Hi Ellen, it reminds me of the fantastic walnut squares I had at my relatives in Vojvodina last spring. I’ve been wanting to get the recipe, so let me track it down for the both of us. Tonya

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