Mucenici Muntenesti – A Traditional Romanian Dessert

This nice Romanian dessert is eaten traditionally on March,9 when it is celebrated an old Orthodox tradition: the 40 Christian martyrs that were sentenced to death by freezing in a cold lake. The bowl of sweet and spiced liquid symbolize the lake, while the small 8 shaped figures are the martyrs (mucenic means martyr in Romanian), thrown into that lake.



The below ingredients are for aprox. 150 pieces (4 small serving cups).

Ingredients for the Mucenici dough :

150 g all purpose flour
80 ml hot water
a pinch of salt

Ingredients for boiling and serving Mucenici:

2 l of water
zest from an orange
zest from a lemon
rum and vanilla extract
6 tablespoons of caster sugar (or honey if you prefer)
4-5 tablespoons of chopped walnuts
cinnamon

How to make Mucenici:

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix flour with salt. Make a hole in the center and add in the hot water. Mix well until the water is incorporated and start knead the dough until it becomes smooth. It doesn’t need too much kneading. Add more flour or water if needed.
  • Dust a clean, dry and flat surface with a bit of flour. Place the dough on the floured surface and cut it into small balls, then roll them into thin strings. Shape the strings into figure 8 and place them on the prepared baking sheet leaving a bit of space between them.
  • Allow to dry at room temperature for at least 24 hours. This process can be skipped if you are in a hurry by placing them into the warm oven (on a low temperature).
  • Next day, bring the water to boil together with a pinch of salt, sugar, orange and lemon zest. Add in the dried shaped dough and let it simmer on low heat until it rises to the surface and starts floating. Remove from heat and add in the cinnamon, vanilla and rum extract and mix.
  • Serve cold garnished with chopped walnuts and more cinnamon on top.
  • Enjoy!
Check out the other variant of this dessert:  Moldavian Mucenici, made with a sweet dough.

Find more of our desserts here or read more about Romanian Cuisine on wikipedia.


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