-1/2 cup lukewarm water
-2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast
-1/2 cup warm milk
-5 Tbs salted butter, melted and cooled
-1 cup sugar
-4 cups flour
-1/8 cup milk
-1 egg yolk
-1 cup water
-1 cup sugar
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-2 tsp rum essence
-lemon zest from 1 lemon
-1 cup ground walnuts
In your mixer's bowl, combine the water and yeast. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Turn the mixer on an gradually add the milk, butter and sugar. Mix well. Add the egg and mix well. Add the flour. Using the hook attachment, mix until well incorporated. Keep the mixer going for 15-20 minutes so that the dough gets kneaded nicely.
Remove the hook. Keeping the dough in the same bowl, cover and let it rise in a warm place for 1-1.5 hours. Don't worry if it didn't rise too much.
Remove dough form bowl and place on your counter. Divide the dough into 16-20 equal portions.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Meanwhile, let's make the syrup. In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, vanilla and rum. Mix well and bring to a boil, like this:
Mix the glaze ingredients. Brush oven the eights (mucenici).
Bake the mucenici in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Remove from the oven and, while still hot, brush with the syrup. Be generous! You should use all of the syrup. Don't worry; it might seem much, but it's not. :) Drizzle each of them with honey and sprinkle with lots of ground walnuts. You can eat them hot, warm or cold. Any way, they are still out of this world delicious! Enjoy!