St. Nicholas Day—which takes place on December 6—signals the beginning of Christmas baking for many Czechs. Out come all the time-honored recipes for labor-intensive and easy no-bake cookies and sweets known as vánoční cukrovi (vah-NAWTCH-nee tsoo-KRAW-vee). This is an all-inclusive list that can consist of cookies, dainty tarts, candies and more. It conjures the image of "sugar plums dancing in their heads."
01 of 06
This one basic recipe can be transformed into different cookies by varying the shape, and sandwiching together with jam or cookie filling, decorating with different-colored icings, dusting with confectioners' sugar or leaving plain.
02 of 06
This easy recipe for Czech black-and-white cookies or linecke testo dvoubarevne (lih-NETS-keh TAYS-toh dvaw-oo-bah-RREV-nay) can be made into zavitky (pinwheel), sachovnice (checkerboard), kolecka s obrouckou (wheel), rezy ze cytr pruhu (square), and salam (salami) shapes.
03 of 06
This recipe for Czech Parisian cookies or parizske pecivo are better known as rolled wafer cookies or pirouettes. They are usually served as is, but they can be filled with sweetened whipped cream, if desired.
04 of 06
Bear paws cookies can be rolled in vanilla sugar or confectioner's sugar, but many Czechs like to dip the ends in melted chocolate and use blanched slivered almonds for claws. And don't worry if you don't have a bear paw pan, a madeleine pan will work just fine.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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06 of 06
This recipe can be made into plain, round, gingersnap shapes or into whimsical gingerbread men, stars, hearts, angels, reindeer or anything your heart desires. Decorate with this easy-to-make water icing.