Sunday, November 11, 2007

Ausukai, redough

Time can mist our memories.

Just as Mom and I had sat down and recreated her recipe version of Nana's Christmas (and Easter) cookies, my sister called. Carol is our family's ausukai toji; she had Mom's actual recipe card.

So here it is, with additional tips from Carol's experience.

Ausukai
(little ears)



Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 pound of butter (some Crisco)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 ounces whipping cream + 2 TBS milk
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • flour, accordingly
  • confectioners sugar, accordingly

Method
  1. Beat eggs in large bowl. Add salt.
  2. Melt butter and Crisco, and add to egg batter. [I would avoid the hydrogentated Crisco, but that would lose some flavor.]
  3. Add sugar and vanilla, and beat.
  4. Take small portion of flour and sift with baking powder.
  5. Slowly add flour mixture, alternating with the milk and cream, to the egg/sugar.
  6. Keep adding flour until the dough is firm enough to handle. [The trick is to add as little flour as possible, until the dough is non-sticky enough to handle.]
  7. Turn the dough onto a well-floured board.
  8. [Be sure to flour your hands. Have a small bowl of flour nearby and continue to keep your hands floured.]
  9. [Carol tells an amusing anecdote of her first solo ausukai cookery - in her dorm's communal kitchen at college. She hadn't floured her hands and when she went to spread out the dough on the floured kitchen-top, most of it remained stuck to her hands. She couldn't open the door to ask for help; she couldn't open the flour bag. So she used her elbows! And the batch turned out well. It reminds me of my first batch of homebrew ... but I digress.]
  10. When the dough is floured just enough to a good consistency, take a small portion and roll it out thin (the thinner the better).
  11. Cut the dough into small diamonds. Cut a small slit [1/2 inch, or the size of a thumb, because it stretches out.] in the middle of each and pull an end through the slit and back out the other end.
  12. [Allow the ausuki to 'plop' in palm of hand after tying the knot, to properly shape itself for frying.]
  13. Fry in hot Crisco until golden crisp, flipping each ausuki over. Each should fry near the top of the oil. [My comments above about Crisco vs. vegetable oil.]
  14. [Check the oil at first. Me: 350°F. Carol: The oil is hot enough if a test ausuki sizzles in the oil and rises to the top.]
  15. [Drain the ausukis on paper bags rather than paper towels.]
  16. [When storing, line a cookie tin with waxed paper, but only loosely cover the tin, or else the cookies will become soggy.]
Yield
Dozens!

Pronounce ausukai: oh SOOK (like "took") ay (in between "I" and "(h)ay").

2 comments:

  1. PLEASE post a close up of the acual results!!! thanks; Labas!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Here!
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cizauskas/5307712550/in/photostream/

    ReplyDelete

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