Click on link to see how to decorate an Easter Egg cookie:
How to decorate an Hungarian Easter Egg Cookie
Easter will be here soon, and with it are the traditions – like food. I found this delightful article in the pages in Saveur magazine and other resources about these amazing edible works of art and could not resist sharing them with you.
I grew up enjoying the delicacies hand-made by my mother and grandmother, watching them carefully decorating every single cookie or ‘mezeskalacs’ as I remember them with tiny little mirrors in the center of the hearts. We looked with eagerness to see which ones we would find in our Easter baskets, and were never disappointed.
Today, this fine art of cookie decorating is not as common as in decades past, but you can find some who still carry this tradition today and make these delicious sweets.
Read on, to find out more and watch a master at her work designing these beauties. Art of Making the Most Beautiful Cookies in the World
Anniko didn’t learn the art of mezeskalacs from her mother who doesn’t decorate cookies. She actually picked it up watching videos on YouTube that have racked up tens of thousands of views. Go ahead, try watching just one. Before you know it you’ll have spent hours gaping slack-jawed at the time-lapse creations of cookies just beyond your grasp.
“It’s taken years of practice to learn how to do the designs right,” Aniko tells me. The multi-colored floral patterns have been the most difficult for her to master, but now she paints her own whimsical designs with ease creating new ones as she’s piping.
To deepen Aniko’s knowledge of Hungarian culture beyond her experiences as a teacher in a Hungarian school, she explored other avenues of Hungarian culture which led her to the art of making intricately decorated cookies. “The Hungarian culture is so important to me. With it I don’t feel alone, and I know I can give whatever I know to the next generation.”
Another Hungarian Entrepreneur who specializes in decorating mezeskalacs is Tunde Dugantsi, making use of YouTube to upload videos as marketing for her online gingerbread business, where she sells her mezeskalacs and how to decorate your own instructions.
Watch video to see how it’s done:
Watch how to make the best Hungarian lace cookies
Passing of tradition is especially important to Hungarians, many of whom fled to the U.S., Canada, Australia, and parts of Latin America following a bloody revolution in 1956. With such a widespread dispersal, local community ties are vital for healing and identity. Hence the Hungarian scouts, and their emphasis on traditional folkways. Aniko’s mezeskalacs, which are as much about community identity, a bit of homeland and commerce.
In New Jersey, where a large population is Hungarian, their social calendar is planned out well in advance. In June, the city of New Brunswick will be celebrating its 42nd annual Hungarian Festival, during which over 10,000 Hungarians will gather for Hungarian performances, folk art exhibits, and a huge buffet of traditional Hungarian food.
Four days before the festival, Aniko and other scout leaders will cook literally tons of stuffed cabbage, goulash, chicken paprikas, and plum dumplings as well as the deserts like Poppy-seed Rolls, decorated cookies and the infamous mezeskalacs. The income they raise all go towards the Hungarian scouts, which have members as young as five and as old as 82.
Over the past five years Aniko has made mezeskalacs into a cottage business, selling cookies to the area’s Hungarian community and teaching the art of cookie decorating to church groups, school children, and the youth members of the Hungarian Scout Association. “Once a scout,” Aniko says with a smile, “always a scout.”
You can contact Aniko here: firstname.lastname@example.org to know more about her cookies and how to arrange an order and shipping.