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Sweet goodies for Easter

PASTRY SQUARES
Pusiau  trapios tešlelės
4 cups flour
10 oz. butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg white
1 tsps. vanilla sugar
To  sprinkle  on top:
2 Tbsps. sugar
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1 egg
Knead all ingredients together to make a dough, cover it with a cloth and chill to set. After one hour, roll out to a thickness of 1/8 inch, cut into 1 1/2 to 2-inch squares. Put squares on prepared baking sheet, brush with beaten egg. Sprinkle top of each cookie with chopped almonds and sugar.  Bake in a hot oven until golden.

LOVE-KNOTS
Žagarėliai

4 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsps. rum or brandy
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk
Oil for deep frying, heated to 350ºF
Powdered sugar
Combine egg yolks, whole egg, and salt in small bowl of electric mixer. Beat until mixture is thick. Beat in sugar, a small amount at a time. Add rum and vanilla. Fold in flour. Turn onto generously floured surface.  Knead dough lightly for about  10 minutes. Divide dough in half. Cover half of dough to prevent drying.  Roll out other half of dough as thinly as possible. Cut dough into 5” x 2” strips. Make a 2-inch slit lengthwise in center of each strip of dough. Pull one end through slit. Repeat with remaining dough. Fry in hot oil for a few seconds until golden brown. Turn once; fry a few seconds on the other side until golden brown.  Remove and drain on paper towels. When cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Note:
You can use shortening, such as Crisco, instead of oil, to keep them from burning quickly. These tasty pastry cookies are sometimes referred to as “ausytės” (“little ears”).

“MUSHROOMS””
“Grybai”
1 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
4 Tbsps. burnt sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
5 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 1/2 tsps. baking soda
1/2 tsp. each, lemon rind, orange rind, cinnamon
1/4 tsp. each, ginger, cloves
1/8 tsp. each, nutmeg, cardamon
Poppy seeds for garnish
Heat honey. Add sugar, butter, eggs and cream, alternately with sifted flour and soda. Stir well. Add grated rind and spices. Knead until smooth. Divide dough in half. Form small pieces of half the dough into various sized mushroom caps, rounded on top, flat on bottom, making an indentation with fingertip in flat side for insertion of “stem.” Place flat side down on cookie sheet. Form stems by making several rolls of various thicknesses to correspond to mushroom caps, cut about  1  to 1 1/2 inches long. Wrap each stem in brown paper, leaving ends open, Place on cookie sheet, lapped side of paper down. Bake caps and stems at 350°F for about  10 minutes or until brown. Cool. Enlarge mush­ room cap indentation with knife tip. Dip one end of stem into icing, fit into indentation. Allow to set. Ice flat side of caps and stems with white icing. Sprinkle several poppy seeds around bottom of stem. Ice mushroom tops with chocolate icing.
Icing:
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
5 tsps. cold water
4 to 6 tsps. strained fresh lemon juice
2   tsps. unsweetened cocoa
Place confectioner’s sugar in a bowl and with wire whisk or rotary or electric beater, beat in water a teaspoon at a time. Continue to beat until smooth, then beat in 4 teaspoons of lemon juice. Taste icing. If you prefer tarter flavor, beat in up to 2 more teaspoons lemon juice.  Divide icing in half, stir in cocoa into one half.

STEP COOKIES
Sausainėliai  –  Laipteliai

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 lb. (2sticks) butter
1 cup nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, or almonds), ground
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup preserves (whatever kind you like) for filling
Make dough, using all of the above ingredients except for the preserves. Knead to mix them thoroughly.  Put the dough in a cool place to set for about an hour.  Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll the dough out to a thickness of 1/2 inch. Using three different sizes of round cookie cutters, cut out equal numbers of each size, place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake until the cookies turn golden (about 20 minutes).  Cool slightly.  Spread the centers of the baked cookies with the preserves and put one of each of the three sizes on top of another. The smallest, top cookie may then be garnished with a berry or half an almond.