Making Biscuiți & Plăcintă
Recently I was able to help my host mom make biscuiți and plăcinte. It was a neat experience to make these delicious foods, one that was used for our snack for a few days and another we had for dinner that night. I learned a lot in a few hours, and created some new memories along the way.
Making a baker
After finishing dinner one night, I had a long talk with my host family. One of the things we talked about was how I wanted to learn how to make some Moldovan dishes. The following day, my host mom showed me the process of making biscuiți (essentially Moldovan for cookies) and plăcinte (which literally translates as pies in English, but is quite a bit different than what one would think of as a traditional American pie). I had known that cooking is a lot of hard work (especially here in Moldova), but seeing it up front gave me a deeper appreciation for all the cooks in my life.
As this would be the first official time in the kitchen, my host mom chose a dessert I had not seen or eaten before in Moldova. I was able to come into this food with no expectations. I was blown away with how delicious it was and honestly can’t wait to make some again. Although I didn’t do all the steps myself, I was able to see how it was done. The following is just a few short steps to make this dessert.
- Start with the dough.
- After creating said dough, roll into balls of approximate size.
- Take one roll of dough and begin flattening. (Remember to use a little flower to prevent sticking on the roller).
- Next comes cutting the dough into roughly equal parts. Cut as if you are cutting a pizza (typically 8 pieces a roll, but of course, it varies upon the size of your dough roll).
- Then place approximately 2 vişină (sour cherries) at the larger edge of each cut piece. One additional cherry can be added or taken away, depending upon the size of your “pizza” pieces.
- After you have placed your sour cherries, roll the pieces. They will look kind of like little croissants.
- Place on a baking tray and place in oven for about 15 minutes on…I’m honestly not sure what the temperature was. It was hot…(Start with 350 and test it out and see.)
- After taking it out of the oven, add powdered sugar.
- Then let cool and enjoy with a nice cup of tea (or joe).
The whole process was fun to be a part of, but my favorite part was putting on the powdered sugar. My host mom ground up our sugar, and I rolled the fresh out of the oven biscuiți in the powdered sugar. To put the final icing-on-the-cake, as it were, was exhilarating, knowing that we had a final product to now enjoy.
After all that work on making our dessert, it was time to cook dinner. For that night, it was plăcintă, one of my favorite Moldovan meals. I enjoyed helping make this classic dish. For today, I won’t spill the details on how it’s made but, I will show some pictures of what my host mom’s plăcintă cu brânză. Plăcintă can be eaten as a main meal, or as part of a larger meal. It is also good to eat with tea.
Would either of these foods be something you would eat? Do they remind you of anything you have ever eaten? And as always, enjoy a cup of joe.