Probably every country has their own Christmas traditions. So I thought I’d share some of mine, which happen to be Lithuanian. Here we go!
We snack on these cookies all December long. But on Christmas Eve we have them with poppy seed milk like cereal.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup water or plant based milk (lukewarm)
- 2 tsp dry yeast
- 1/5 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup poppy seeds
- Lightly stir together water/plant based milk with the sugar and yeast. Let sit for 5 – 10 minutes.
- Add the poppy seeds and salt. Mix them in.
- Start adding the flour in thirds. Add 1/3, mix, add 1/3, mix, add the remaining flour and then you’ll need to start kneading the dough until it’s not sticky, forms a uniform ball.
- Transfer to a clean bowl, cover with a damp cloth and let rise for 1 – 1 1/2 hours.
- When it’s done rising, knead it again.
- Make a ball and divide it into 8 pieces. Roll each of them into little sausages (around 1cm in diameter).
- Divide the rolls into small chunks (1 – 1 1/2 cm).
- Bake at 180°C for 10-12 minutes (if you want them more crunchy than soft, bake for 15-17 minutes).
Poppy seed milk
A traditional milk alternative.
- 1/2 cup poppy seeds
- 1 l filtered water (+ more for soaking)
- 1 tsp sweetener (or more to taste)
- Cover the poppy seeds in water and let them soak for at least 2-3 hours, but ideally overnight.
- Drain and rinse the soaked poppy seeds.
- Transfer them to a blender along with 1l of water and sweetener of choice. Blend until the liquid is white and smooth.
- Optional: strain the milk for a smoother texture. The leftover pulp can be used for baking.
A thick, jelly-like drink.
- 1 cup berries (I used cranberries)
- 1.5 l water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 heaping tbsp cornstarch
- Blend the berries (you can add a few tbsp of water to help the blender).
- Strain them.
- Heat water in a pot or saucepan. Add sugar and mix until it melts.
- Make the slurry: mix cornstarch with around 3 tbsp of water.
- Add the slurry to simmering water while mixing it. It should thicken in a few moments.
- When the mixture thickens, mix in the berry syrup.