Traditional Croatian dessert known as “kruske”. Very yummy! Here is what they say about it:
“When I came across a picture of little pears dusted in sugar on a Croatian website I bookmarked it immediately. I mean, how could I not? I’d already made little Croatian peaches so I thought it’d be fitting to add another fruit to my cookie recipes. I’m not up to scratch in reading Croatian as I only pick up about half of the words, but thanks to Google translator it didn’t take long to get the full recipe. It called for orange extract but I used orange zest and juice instead, plus a little vanilla paste, and rather than shape the mixture into 25-35 small pears (I mean really, who has the time?) I used a ½-cup measure to form 7 small pears but if I make these again I’ll use a 1/3-cup measure as I found the pears a little too big for one portion.
Once cooked, the texture of the pears is a little like soft cookies on the outside and even softer like flourless orange cake inside. It isn’t overly sweet and makes for a perfect nibble with a coffee or tea”.
These delightful treats are not only delicious but also a charming addition to any holiday or special occasion. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make them:
For the Cookie Dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened 2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
A pinch of salt
For the Filling:
4-5 large pears (Bartlett or Anjou) 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1. Prepare the Filling:
Peel, core, and finely chop the pears.
In a saucepan, combine the chopped pears, sugar, and spices (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg). Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the pears are soft and the mixture thickens (about 20-25 minutes). Allow it to cool.
2. Prepare the Cookie Dough:
In a large mixing bowl, combine the softened butter and sugar. Cream them together until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.
Add the egg yolks, vanilla extract, and lemon zest. Mix until well combined.
Gradually add the flour and a pinch of salt. Knead the dough until it forms a smooth ball. Divide the dough into small portions and shape them into small discs.
3. Assemble the Kruške:
Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Take a small portion of the dough and flatten it in the palm of your hand.
Place a spoonful of the pear filling in the center of the dough and wrap it around, shaping it into a pear-like form.
Use a fork to create texture on the surface, resembling a pear’s skin.
Place the shaped Kruške on the prepared baking sheet, leaving some space between each one.
4. Bake and Serve:
Bake the Kruške in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes or until they turn a light golden brown.
Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes.
Once they have cooled slightly, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust them with powdered sugar. Garnish with real pear stems.
These traditional Croatian pear-shaped cookies, or Kruške, are a lovely addition to your dessert table. Their sweet and spiced pear filling encased in a buttery cookie shell is sure to delight your taste buds. They make a perfect treat for holidays, family gatherings, or as an everyday indulgence. Enjoy your homemade Kruške, and savor the taste of Croatia’s rich culinary heritage.