On March 14, Albanians celebrate Dita e Veres, or "Spring Day," An ancient festival, originally celebrated only in Elbasan, at the center of the country, which has lately become national.
Typical of Spring Day are garlands, mimosas, outings and picnics, and especially the large biscuits made of cornmeal, butter and sugar that go by the name of Ballokume.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30-40 minutes
1 kg of powdered sugar
1/2 kg of butter at room temperature
1 kg of maize flour (cornmeal)
First of all, note that the dough comes out better if you use a large copper bowl that, warming up as you knead, helps the dough becomes smooth and creamy.
Preheat the oven to 170°C.Cut the butter into cubes in a container and add the powdered sugar. Cream the butter with the sugar until light and frothy. Add the eggs one at a time while continuing to stir. Finally, add the sifted cornmeal, a handful at a time, while continuing to knead the dough.
Let the dough rest for about 15-20 minutes. Next test the dough: make a relatively large ball (15 cm in diameter) and put it into the oven. If you see that the ballokume stretches too much, becoming very flat, then add another handful of corn meal to the mix. Proceed by forming many small balls of about 15 cm in diameter and placet well spaced on a baking sheet, buttered and floured. Bake for about 30-40 minutes, until golden.
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