2524 Homemade tragacanth or gummy confections: wild strawberries, mint patties, and mushrooms

Domashnija tragantovyja konfekty: zemljanika, mjatnyja lepeshki, gribki

Preparation info

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Appears in

A Gift to Young Housewives

By Elena Molokhovets

Published 1992

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Wild strawberries: Place 10 kopecks’ worth, or 2 zolotniki, tragacanth in a teacup, pour on just enough cold water to barely cover the pieces of this glue, and let them soak overnight. The next day, pour 2 lbs of sieved sugar, or 4 glasses, onto a board. Strain the tragacanth through a cloth onto the sugar, squeezing it with 2 sticks to extract all the liquid. Knead this dough, gathering in the sugar with a knife. The dough must be as thick as that for buns, so that it can be rolled out with a rolling pin. Add something for flavoring, either 3 drops of cinnamon oil or 3–4 drops of rose or lemon oil. Take small balls of this dough and shape into wild strawberries, pricking the middle of each strawberry with a sharp wooden twig. Dry out on a plate lined with paper. Then, holding each strawberry by its stick, dip it into prepared cochineal of a very soft color. Sprinkle immediately with fine white sugar left in a sieve [from a previous sifting]. Cochineal is prepared at the chemist’s or at home as indicated. If no cochineal is available, 1 sheet of red gelatin may be dissolved in a wineglass of water.

Mint patties: Mint patties are prepared from the same mixture, adding 3–4 drops mint oil to the sugared dough. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin and cut out the patties with a thimble.

Mushrooms are prepared from the same dough, except that a little saffron powder must be added to tint part of the dough slightly yellow. Roll out small mushroom stems from this yellowish dough and let them dry out. Sprinkle a little chocolate into the remaining dough and form into mushroom caps. Immediately stick one of the dried stems into each cap.