Every year at Christmas time I receive a package with my Aunt Dorothy’s cold dough cakes.  She’s 85-years-old and she makes them with an old Czech family recipe.  The cakes mean so much to me because they are such a simple gift of creativity, forethought and love.

Baking the cakes takes an entire day.  My aunt doesn’t drive but she still manages to get herself to the store and get all the ingredients.  Then she ships them off from the post office in time to reach me before the holidays, 3000 thousand miles away.

When I see that box, I am reminded of the true spirit of the holidays because it is the gifts of love that stay with us.

My aunt’s recipe is a secret but if you’d like to make your own, here’s a great recipe:

Cold Dough Cakes

  • 8 cups flour
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1 lb. butter
  • 1 lb. crisco
  • 1 large cake fresh yeast
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  1. Dissolve yeast into lukewarm milk.
  2. In a large bowl, sift baking powder and flour then add butter and lard and work like dough.
  3. Add sour cream, beaten egg yolks and then milk with yeast.
  4. Work dough thoroughly and place in refrigerator overnight. Take small portion and roll on sugar.
  5. Cut in 3-inch squares and place filling (nut, apricot or poppy-seed) in center.
  6. You can cut them into small rolls or fold the corners into middle.
  7. Brush the tops with beaten egg whites and bake for 15 minutes at 325 F (do not grease cookie sheet).

Nut & Poppy-Seed Filling

  • 2 1/2 lb. chopped nuts (walnuts or other, or poppy seeds)
  • 1 1/2 box powdered sugar
  • 8 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • enough milk to make nuts spread easy

Mix all ingredients well in bowl.