Czech Carnival is incomplete without the traditional sweet treat “Angel Wings” (Boží milosti). This delicate, crisp, and light pastry has been a staple at carnivals for centuries and is a symbol of good luck and joy.
These pastries used to be prepared by Czech grandmothers and great-grandmothers and are today mostly made in Moravia.
Angel Wings are made of paper-thin layers of buttery dough, which are then shaped into crescent shapes and deep-fried to perfection. The crispy exterior gives way to a soft and fluffy interior that melts in your mouth.
They are often sprinkled with powdered sugar or drizzled with honey to add a touch of sweetness.
The origins of Angel Wings are said to date back to the 16th century when the pastry was first made in the monasteries of Bohemia and Moravia. At the time, the nuns used the crescent shape to symbolize the “wings of angels” and served the sweets to the poor as a symbol of charity.
Making Angel Wings is a labor-intensive process that requires skill and patience. The dough is made by mixing butter, flour, sugar, and eggs, and then rolling it out into thin sheets.
The sheets are then cut into crescent shapes, deep-fried until golden brown, and finally, sprinkled with powdered sugar or drizzled with honey.
In recent years, Angel Wings have become popular outside of the Czech Republic, with many bakeries and confectionaries around the world now offering their own versions of the treat.
However, nothing beats the traditional recipe made by Czech bakers, who have been perfecting the art of making Angel Wings for centuries.
Ingredients: 300 g all-purpose flour, a pinch of salt, 50 g butter, 20 g lard, 40 g caster sugar, 3 egg yolks, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, zest of 1 lemon, 7 tablespoons of sour cream, 1 tablespoon of rum, ghee for frying.
Recipe: Make crumble from the flour and cold butter with lard. Mix the cream with the sugar, salt, lemon juice, lemon zest, rum and egg yolks, mix and add to the crumble. Work out a smooth dough, wrap it in cling wrap and let it rest in the fridge for at least an hour. Roll out the resting dough into a thin layer, about 3 mm.
Cut out traditional rectangular shapes with a cross in the middle. Heat the fat in a tall saucepan and gradually fry the angel wings on both sides until golden. Let them rest on a paper towel to drain away the fat for about a minute and then coat them with vanilla sugar.