I love chestnuts!
In spring, when white and pink flowers are gleaming on chestnut trees like gorgeous chandeliers.
In summer, when the branches full with large, beautifully shaped leaves offer a shadow on hot days.
In autumn, when small round grenades with tiny prickles fall down from trees. They break open and reveal brown shiny nuts. Years ago, we used to create different figures and animals with them. Now, I always put three fresh chestnuts in the pocket, I have them in all my jackets, and play with them with my fingers or squeeze them in my palm. Why buy plastic toys for stress relief? I think a chestnut as a natural product can provide you with much more energy.
I love chestnuts in winter as well. The roasted chestnuts can warm numb hands and actually the stomach as well.
In our family, there were always chestnuts on the Christmas table – in form of sweet small balls covered with chocolate, made of chestnuts. What‘s more, they also look like their model in nature. And I can tell you that these are my favourite Christmas cookies and the reason why I always put on weight at Christmas! 🙂
500 g cooked chestnuts (or puree)
250 g granulated sugar
For chocolate coating:
100 g cooking chocolate
40 g butter
1 tbsp oil
Dunk raw chestnuts in water for 30 minutes. Slice a large X into the shell along the flat side with a sharp knife. Cover with water and boil for 20-25 minutes. Wrap in a dish towel and squeeze properly. Peel off the shell and skin and smash or mill them. Boil sugar with some water to the thread stage. You can determine the thread stage by dropping some drops between two fingers, where a thin thread should form. Add the chestnut mass and boil some more minutes while stirring. After it thickens, tip the dough out on a board sprinkled with powder sugar. Roll into a cylinder, cut into small pieces and create small balls. Put the balls into the refrigerator.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a water bath and add a tablespoon of oil. Dip the chilled balls into the chocolate using a toothpick but leave a small area matte, not covered with chocolate to resemble a real chestnut.
I have to confess that it is not easy for me to determine the thread stage by boiling sugar. So I prefer to use the recipe from my best friend Janka: mix together 500 g cooked chestnuts or puree, 150 g ground biscuits, 150 g powder sugar and 125 g butter. Then continue with the method mentioned.