Romanian cozonac I believe is the equivalent of the Hungarian beigli which is a traditional sweet bread with filling, made mostly at Christmas and Easter time. In Hungary the traditional filling is either walnut and sultana or poppy seed and sultana mixture. I never really liked it when I was a kid because I always found the filling too sweet and therefore I never made it.
However, this year, just before Christmas Ioana shared a Romanian cozonac recipe and since almost all the cakes that I made for Christmas were gobbled up buy the morning of Boxing Day, I decided to give it a try and make it. I did not realize at that time that I was actually making beigli – otherwise I probably wouldn’t have started it.
I made only two alterations.
1. I did not use nuts for the filling since several members of my family don’t like it – I know, I know – but used sultanas instead.
2. I did not split the dough into two – I remembered too late to do it – but made one long loaf.
The result: YUMILY SCRUMPTIOUS! … admittedly it does not look like the the cozonac in the blog post but more like a Hungarian beigli.
The pastry cracked just a little bit on the side….
… of which I am very proud of since even my mum never managed to make one with a smaller crack. The first topic of discussion of the women, when doing the Christmas and Easter family visits, were always about analyzing the quality of each other’s beigli. Number of cracks, taste of the filling, dryness of the pastry…