Monday, December 21, 2009

Uly Cookies

I'm not going to make you wait a long time to figure out what this is.  Congratulations to those of you who looked at this picture...

...and thought to yourselves, "why, isn't that Giovanna's husband Pavel's grandmother Růža's Ůly mold?".

Well done.

Perhaps some of you are still a little unclear as to what, exactly, an Ůly mold is. Ůly means 'beehives' in Czech, and the mold is used to make a Christmas cookie I've meant to try for many years.  The mold is dusted heavily (but never quite heavily enough) with cocoa.  Then you push a mix of ground walnuts, sugar, and egg whites into the mold, and somewhat miraculously, after much trial and error (and a healthy pinch of good luck), a perfect little beehive comes out.

The Ůly  are then air-dried for a few days, filled with a rum-flavored (or vanilla, or even chocolate) pastry cream, and cemented to a butter cookie.



Grace said...

Wwwwhhhhhhhhyyyyyyyyy did you have to wait until I was gone!?

lshere said...

How hard is it to make them?

Giovanna said...

We can make them next year, Grace--you'll just have to spend Christmas in exotic Portland!

They weren't exactly hard to make. Just time consuming (about 2 hours to make 72 of the hives). But it wasn't a bad way to pass the afternoon--there was a lot of coffee and conversation to go with the chore!

Anonymous said...

Do you have a recipe you can share? I received a plastic version of the form as a gift last year and I'd like to try the cookies this Christmas.

Giovanna said...

Oh dear--I'll need to look around. Last year was the first time I made them, and I wrote down the recipe, apparently, in a very safe place. But I'm looking for it, and will post it as soon as I find it!

Anonymous said...

OH! Please post the recipe. I have been looking for this too! I just bought the plastic form but the include recipes just don't seem like the filling will be correct. I would love to know what the filling is.


Anonymous said...

I found a Czech recipe on-line and I used Google's translator to decipher it.

For the shell:
250 grams crushed biscuits (I used Nilla by Christie)
70 grams powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (it called for vanilla sugar but I didn't have any)
90 grams of butter
4 Tablespoons milk
2 Tablespoons Rum (I only used one because of using vanilla ext.)
3 Tablespoons cocoa

Mix together press in forms - Sprinkle powdered sugar or cocoa inside to keep dough from sticking.

The filling:
70 grams powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (recipe called for vanilla sugar)
180 grams butter
1 tablespoon rum

I used a ziploc bag with a hole cut in the corner to add the filling. I used the Nilla cookies for the base as well.

My mother-in-law gave me a recipe that uses nuts and raw eggs. I was making these for a bake sale so I figured I should avoid both so this recipe worked out perfectly.

It tastes okay. My daughter claims that she loves them!

I did not air dry them before filling.

Anonymous said...

Hi Michele,

The recipe is slightly different in every family, but always so delicious! Here's one that seems closest to the one that my grandma used to make:

("vosi hnizda" is another name for "uly")

Where did you get the plastic form? I live in Seattle and don't go back to the Czech Republic that often, and I'd love to make them this year.


Giovanna said...

I just found a source for the mold at Slovak-Czech Varieties, a New York based company. If you go about halfway down the page you'll find a 'Bee nest mould'. Looks like it's 3 pieces, so may be easier to use than the wood one.

I'm planning on posting a recipe for these in the coming weeks...

Anonymous said...

Woohoo! Thanks so much Giovanna! My grandma had the plastic form so I know how to work with that one. My Christmas just got a whole lot better :-)


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