Piškoty are iconic Czech biscuits, especially popular among children. Because of this, they’re often associated with nice childhood memories. Homemade piškoty are perfectly crispy and can be both eaten as a stand-alone treat or used to prepare delicious sweet desserts.
What Are Piškoty?
Piškoty are small round biscuits about 1.½ inch (3-4 cm) in diameter. They’re light and dry, with a crunchy texture. Czech children love piškoty and eat them in cornstarch pudding, yogurt, or alone.
Even though these little crispy biscuits are readily available in Czech grocery stores, homemade piškoty taste a lot better.
Czech Piškoty vs. Nilla Vanilla Wafers
In the USA you can find similar biscuits called Nilla Vanilla Wafers.
There are few recipes for homemade Nilla Vanilla Wafers on the internet. However, they usually include butter in the batter. On the contrary, Czech piškoty are made without butter and contain less sugar.
You could also say that piškoty resemble Ladyfingers from the US or Sponge Fingers (one of the traditional British food) in Great Britain.
Piškoty made from scratch need only a few basic ingredients, which you probably already have at home in your cupboards.
- Eggs; at room temperature, taken out of the fridge at least 1 hour before
- All-purpose flour
- Granulated sugar; for Piškoty batter
- Corn starch; to make piškoty even crispier
- Confectioners’ sugar; to sprinkle piškoty before putting them into the oven
- Pinch of salt
Don’t mistake granulated sugar for confectioners’ (icing) sugar.
Granulated sugar belongs to the piškoty batter, while confectioners’ sugar is used for dusting them before you put biscuits in the oven.
Aside from the ingredients, you’ll need mixing bowls, a tray lined with baking paper, a sifter, piping bag with a round tip.
An ideal state for the biscuits to melt on your tongue if eaten alone or serve as an excellent base for various desserts.
- Crack the eggs carefully and separate yolks and egg whites, each to its own bowl.
- Whip the egg whites with a mixer. Start on low speed, and increase it gradually while adding the granulated sugar until you use all of it. Whip the egg whites further 5 minutes into stiff peaks. Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites while mixing.
- Lower the mixer speed and start adding egg yolks slowly.
- Fold in flour and corn starch with a kitchen silicon spatula.
- Put the batter into a piping bag and pipe it in even mounds onto a cooking tray.
- Before baking, dust the piškoty with powdered sugar.
- Bake piškoty in a preheated oven on 380 °F (190 °C) until they turn golden brown.
TIP: Egg whites at room temperature are easier to whip than if you took them out of the fridge right before. If you forget to take the eggs out in advance, set them in a cup of warm water for 10 minutes to warm them up.
Icing the Piškoty before Baking
Yes, you read that right: piškoty are dusted with powdered (confectioners’) sugar before you put the tray into the oven.
Because of this, the finished piškoty have a crust, get a bit harder, and don’t raise so much. The surface of the finished piškoty isn’t completely smooth but a bit crinkled.
Recipes with Piškoty
Do you want to know, where to use these little crispy biscuits?
Piškoty are the basic ingredient when preparing Czech no bake desserts, as a component in pie crusts and other sweets.
Try Piškoty out in this recipe:
- Beehive Christmas Cookies – Czech Vosí hnízda
As an example of a popular Czech recipe featuring piškoty, we can take a non-bake apple cake, with alternating layers of piškoty and apple jelly (I´m going to post here the recipe soon!).
Piškoty biscuits can also be used to prepare Italian tiramisu.
Piškoty are also added to yogurt, cornstarch pudding, or eaten as a quick snack for children.
My Favorite Piškoty Childhood Memory
When I was young, I spent a part of my summer holidays at my grandma and grandpa’s farm in Jizera Mountains together with my cousins (there were 11 of us!).
Grandma often made corn starch pudding, which she served in bowls. She garnished the surface of the pudding with piškoty and sweet fruit syrup.
The entire surface was cracked due to the syrup, which was absorbed into the biscuits. They softened perfectly, and the entire dessert tasted absolutely fantastic!
More Czech desserts:
- Lívance – sweet yeasted pancakes with cinnamon
- Koláče – Czech authentic kolache recipe
- Rýžový nákyp – rice pudding with canned fruit
Crispy Homemade Biscuits – Czech Piškoty
- 3 eggs (at room temperature)
- ¾ cup (100 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp corn starch
- ⅓ cup (40 g) confectioners´ sugar (powdered sugar)
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Separate the yolks and egg whites. Put the egg whites into a clean bowl. Add a pinch of salt and a part of granulated sugar. Start beating the egg whites with a mixer on low speed. Gradually increase speed and add the sugar, until you use all of it. After you use all the sugar, beat the egg whites with a mixer on high speed for 5 minutes into stiff peaks.
- Lower the speed to a minimum and gradually add yolks.
- Fold in the flour mixed with corn starch. Use your hands and a kitchen silicon spatula. Mix thoroughly; there shouldn’t be any lumps in the batter. The finished mixture is light and airy.
- Preheat the oven to 380 °F (190 °C) – piškoty need a higher temperature to be crispy enough.
- Put the batter into a piping bag with a round tip and pipe small mounds about 1.⅕ inches (3-4 cm) in diameter.
- Dust piped mounds with confectioners’ sugar using a sifter.
- Insert the tray into the oven and bake the piškoty for 10-15 minutes until they turn golden brown.
- Store finished piškoty in a box covered with a table napkin. The box doesn’t need to be sealed with a lid. Piškoty could moisten and lose their crispiness.
- This recipe amounts for about 3 cookie sheets of piškoty.
DISCLAIMER: Because I come from Central Europe, my recipes are based on metric units such as grams or milliliters. Check out how I convert metric units to the U.S. system:Conversion chart