January 01, 2013

Lucky Cookies

Lucky Cookies

"In the mornings, red-cheeked peasants would stop by the house offering bucketsful of homemade kozuli, laying them out on a white sheet. These tasty and aromatic pryaniki were in the shapes of people and animals of the North: Nenets, polar bears, reindeer, all of them decorated with red and white sugar."

Eugenie Fraser, The House by the Dvina

Arkhangelsk kozuli – cookies made from dark, aromatic dough and decorated with colorful glazed frostings – have been a central part of Christmas traditions in the North since the middle of the nineteenth century. Giving someone kozuli was thought to bring them good luck; if a young woman baked one for a man, they were sure to be married the following year. Hanging kozuli on fences where livestock were kept was believed to make them more fecund and keep them from getting lost in the forest.

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