Pracny (Czech Bear Claws)

Pracny were cookies that Grandma baked at Christmas–amongst many other delicacies such as Walnut and Poppyseed Rolls (Beigli), Cottage Cheese Cake, Hoska, and Viennese Crescents (AKA Mexican Wedding Cakes). The Pracny were baked in special molds, were a rich, dark brown covered with a snowy sprinkling of powdered sugar, and had a most wonderful texture (and taste!).

This particular recipe is one that a second cousin gave us when she came to visit us from the Czech Republic. The measurements are in dekakilograms (each dekakilogram measures 10 grams)… happy converting!

(Note: below this recipe is a link to a very similar recipe with convenient conversions already made)

Ingredients for Pracny

7 dkg ground walnuts
10 dkg butter
7 dkg powder sugar
14 dky flour (very mild one)
2 tsp Vanilla sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Mix all this together and let is sit for at least an hour or 24 hours, it’s up to you.

Spread a lot of butter into small cookie forms (we use metal one, if you don’t have any, we’ll send you some). It’s very important to spread the butter properly, otherwise, you won’t be able to take the cookies out.

Lay the forms (with the open side up) on the cookie sheet. Put the sheet in oven (about 180 C or 350 F). Bake them until they are done (until the cookies turn gold). After you pull the sheet out of oven, let it sit for a while. Then comes the final moment–cookies digging. Sometimes it is easy to take them out and sometimes you get just crumbs. Sometimes just knocking on the sheet helps.

Then you prepare some powder sugar and vanilla sugar in a bowl. Every cookie you cover with sugar in that bowl. Then you have to keep them at the safe place without insect and with low humidity.

Merry Christmas….. Vesele Vanoce……. Marketa


Another Czech Christmas Cookie Recipe: Bear paws / Recept na medvedi tlapicky