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Christmas Pastries - Gata

Makes 24 pieces Preparation time: 30 minutes plus overnight refrigeration Cooking time: 20 to 30 minutes

Dough:
1 package or 1 tablespoon dry yeast
1 cup sour cream
1 cup unsalted butter or margarine
1 egg
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour plus
1/2 cup flour for kneading

Filling: 1 cup butter or margarine, melted 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour 1-1/4 cups sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Glaze: 2 egg yolks, beaten 1 teaspoon yogurt

In a mixing bowl, combine the yeast with 1 cup sour cream; set aside for 10 minutes. Add butter and mix well. Add the egg, oil, and vinegar and mix well. Add the sifted flour gradually and continue mixing. Knead dough for about 15 minutes until smooth and firm so that it does not stick to your hands. Gather dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough overnight. To make the filling, mix together 1 cup of the melted butter and 2 cups flour. Add 1-1/4 cups sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; stir constantly for 1 minute, so that the mixture does not stick to your hands and becomes smooth and even. Set aside.

Armenian RecipesPreheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove dough from the refrigerator; divide it into 8 equal balls. Place each ball on a lightly floured board. Roll each ball out to a rectangle measuring 10-by-6 inches, or as thin as possible with the aid of rolling pin. Paint each rectangle with melted butter. Spread 1/4 cup filling into the center of each rectangle and roll out the filling over it with the aid of a rolling pin. Fold in about 1/2 inch of the rectangle on each side. Roll up dough into a cylinder. Place rolling pin on pastry roll and flatten slightly lengthwise. Cut the roll diagonally with a sharp knife or serrated knife into 2-inch equal slices. Place pastry about 2 inches apart on a lightly floured baking pan. (Be careful not to spill out any filling.)

Paint the surface of each pastry with the glaze (mixture of beaten egg and brown. Place baking pan in the oven and bake for 15 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the baking pan from oven and allow the pastries to cool.




Christmas Pudding - Anoushabour

1 c Pearl barley
1 sm Piece cinnamon bark
Water, cold
1 c Sugar, granulated

Cinnamon, ground
Walnuts - chopped
Almonds, blanched
Raisins, white
Hazelnuts, blanched
Rose water (optional)

Wash barley well, place in a bowl and cover with 4 cups cold water. Soak overnight. Next day put barley, soaking water and cinnamon bark into a heavy pan and bring to the boil. Boil gently, uncovered, until barley is very soft and porridge-like in consistency -- about 2 hours. Remove cinnamon bark. Stir in sugar and cook for further 10 minutes. Turn into individual bowls and sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Decorate with nuts and sultanas. Serve warm or chilled with additional nuts and sultanas, and rose water for adding to individual taste if desired.




Paklava

Dough:
3 cups flour
1 tsp. B.P.
½ cup milk
½ cup water
l egg
Pinch of salt

Filling:
1½ cups shortening, melted (set aside)
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 tbsp. sugar
½ to 1 cup cornstarch

Dough: Grease hands with a little shortening and knead. Make 10 small balls and let stand in bowl for one hour covered with damp cloth.

Take five balls and roll each ball to diameter of 5 inches. Lightly cover top of each one with cornstarch and place on top of each other. Take stack of 5 and roll out until paper thin - diameter at least 36 inches. While rolling, occasionally sprinkle cornstarch between layers to prevent sticking. Carefully fold each layer and set aside covering with dry cloth to prevent drying. Repeat procedure with remaining 5 balls.
Five pieces of 36" rolled out dough will be the bottom half and the remaining five pieces will be the top half. The walnut stuffing will be placed in the center.

Pan: 8"x12"
Take 2 pieces of rolled out dough from first set of five and evenly place over pan and cut to exact size of pan. Set aside. These will be used for final layers before placing walnut mixture. Repeat procedure with second set of five and set aside tray size pieces for top finishing layers.

Grease bottom of pan with some of the melted shortening. Carefully tear remaining pieces of first set to approximately 4"x6" pieces and arrange in tray. There will be a little overlapping, but try to arrange evenly. For every 2 layers sprinkle melted shortening. When all pieces are used from first set, arrange the 2 previously cut tray size pieces. Cover with walnut mixture.

Repeat same procedure with second set of rolled out dough for top half ending with the 2 tray size pieces. Finish remaining melted shortening by generously sprinkling top layer with shortening. Cut into diamond pieces or in squares.

Bake in 425F oven until golden pink. Drain shortening. Cut through layers again to separate squares. Gently add sugar syrup while warm.




Nut filled cookie

Dough:
1 lb. sweet butter, melted
1 sm. box farina
½ cup water or milk
3 tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour

Filling:
1 cup nuts, finely chopped
¼ cup sugar
1 tbsp. butter
½ tsp. cinnamon

Mix melted butter with farina and let set overnight. In the morning, mix water or milk together with sugar and vanilla. Combine all ingredients with flour, kneading thoroughly. Shape pieces of dough into oval shaped serving spoon, leveling dough evenly across top of spoon. Make a slight indentation in center of dough. Place 1 teaspoon of filling into indentation. Gently press dough around filling. Arrange on ungreased baking sheet, pinch with fingers along seam on top of each mamoul. Bake in preheated 400F oven for 15-20 minutes. Remove from pan immediately. Cool to lukewarm and cover generously with confectionery sugar, handling gently.

Makes 4 dozen


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