Monday, June 8, 2009

Baking day with Czech grandma :)

As long as I have lived in Czech, I have never learned how to make the traditional ginger bread ("perniky") that every Czech can make! It is the Czech tradition to bake gingerbread cookies for Christmas. Czechs can spend hours, even days baking and decorating these cookies! I have always wanted to learn how to make perniky, but I didn't know anyone who could teach me.

One day I was at my tutor's house not long after Easter, and he offered us some of his Easter perniky that his mom had baked him. I took a bite, and right then, I knew that these were the best gingerbread cookies I had ever had! I had to have the recipe!

I then asked my tutor, if I could have the recipe of his mom's cookies. A few weeks later, he gave me the recipe. The only problem was that all the measurements were in grams, kilograms and milliliters. And also, I had no idea in what order to put the ingredients in! So just the recipe alone wasn't enough to teach me how to make these amazing perniky.

That's when I got the idea that I could learn from the master, my tutor's mom! I then organized a baking day along with Lucy (who also wanted to learn... we both came up with the idea), where my tutor's mom would teach us how to make her famous gingerbread!

On the day we had planned, we went over to my tutor's house and spent the day measuring ingredients, kneading dough, rolling, cutting shapes, baking and decorating gingerbread cookies!

We also got to spend the day talking to Mrs. Bartkova (tutor's mom), listening to stories about her growing up during communism, how she remembered when communism fell and so on! It was so cool hearing real life stories of the time after WW2!

We came home that day with trays full of perniky, great stories from Mrs. Bartkova, and the knowledge of how to make perniky!


  1. Love your post! Do you have any pictures to put in it? Glad you baked with "Grandma" and know how to do it now!!

  2. yummers! i wish i had enough czech to listen to and understand those stories. i'm glad you had fun!

  3. Are you willing to share the recipe? I'm half Czech and gingerbread are my favorite cookies..never do they were a 'Czech thing'!

  4. @Anonymous

    I'm really sorry, but I don't have the recipe. Her recipe was so old-fashioned that I couldn't really understand it. We made them "her way", which is amazing, but a way I still don't understand to this day! I would love to look up some Czech gingerbread cookie recipe though, translate them, and probably adapt them to be gluten-free. When I do, I'll let you know, if you send me your e-mail address. :) Thanks for stopping by.


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