Before I continue with today’s post, I would just like to show you a picture of our weekend that was filled with fun, music, food, and love. Lots of love. And it was one of the reasons why I was missing from the blogging world for a couple of days; My daughter, Ana, was one of eight flower girls at my best friend’s wedding!
The beautiful bride, me, and Ana
Congratulations Julie and Riste! I wish you a lifetime of happiness, health, and lots of kids! I love you!
Onto the Tolumbi (Toe-loom-bee)!
A Macedonian Pastry Shop, or a Слаткарница – Slatkarnica (Slaht-car-knee-tsa), is a spot for, first and foremost, excellent sweets, then a great cup of espresso or cappuccino, accented with a yuppy decor, good looking chairs, sofas, and a delicious conversation.
Moreover, a Macedonian Pastry Shop does not serve just Macedonian pastries; you can find a variety of delicious sweets, from tiramisu to eclairs and macarons, to baklava and ravanija.
Even though we Macedonians make use of the great variety of fruits, nuts, and spices that are cropped all over the country to prepare our traditional desserts, there are also desserts that are produced in Macedonia but are typical to all the countries from the Balkans and beyond. Such a dessert is the tolumba, which is believed to have Turkish origins.
Tolumbi are one of the most sought out for desserts that can be found inside of the fridge at any local pastry shop in Macedonia. This is a delicate pastry dough which is dropped into hot oil, soaked in a sugar syrup, and enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea.
To keep it light, I do not fry the tolumbi; mine are baked. There is a slight difference in texture (no crunch :(), but for the sake of healthy eating, some things have to be compromised. The good news is that the delicious taste is still there.
And I should tell you that my mother just about murdered me when she saw that I baked the tolumbi. She was beside herself, “How dare you mess with the classics… Tolumbi are always fried!”, was her response. Oops…
You will need:
- 1 1/2 cups of water
- 1 cup of oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 cups of AP flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 4 eggs
For the Syrup:
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 slices of lemon
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Mix the flour and baking powder together, set aside.
- Mix the water, sugar, oil and salt in a saucepan, bring to a boil.
- Add in the flour mixture and mix well with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes away from the sides of the saucepan.
- Transfer the mixture into another bowl and allow to cool.
- Add the eggs one at a time to the cooled mixture.
- Place portions of the mixture in a piping bag with a wide star shaped tip.
- Pipe out the mixture onto a baking sheet, each cookie should be about 4 inches long.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until light golden brown.
In the meantime prepare the syrup.
- In a medium saucepan combine sugar, water, and lemon slices.
- Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved.
- Allow to completely cool.
- Place cooled syrup in a deep bowl.
- Place the cooked tolumbi into the syrup and let them sit in there for 30 minutes.
- Remove tolumbi from the syrup and drain.
- Place on a plate and serve.
- Pipe the mixture into a saucepan containing hot oil, cutting the tolumbi to about 4 inches.
- Cook until golden in color.
- Cook 4 to 5 tolumbi at a time depending on the size of the saucepan.
- Place the tolumbi into the cooled simple syrup and let sit for 30 minutes.