Polish Fried Cookies

Posted in on the 15th March, 2013

Europeans have a penchant for fried cookies to celebrate holidays.  The Polish, for instance, make Chruscikis on Fat Thursday (the last Thursday before Ash Wednesday).  These deep-fried pastries are shaped into thin, twisted ribbons and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

This recipe, commonly called Polish Fried Cookies, is also being used in other European countries with variations.  The Chrusciki, along with its variations, has been introduced to American cuisine by immigrant populations.  (Yields 4 dozen.)

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon vodka or whiskey
Vegetable oil for deep frying
2 2/3 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour and sugar.  Stir until well-mixed.  Create a well in the center of the flour mixture, then put in the egg yolks, sour cream, and vodka.  Stir in the mixture with a spoon until a soft dough forms.
  2. Sprinkle the work surface lightly with flour.  Place the dough on the surface and knead gently until dough is smooth.  Form the dough into two discs, wrap each of them in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight until firm.
  3. Working with one disc at a time, unwrap the dough and place it on lightly floured surface.  Roll out the dough with a rolling pin that is lightly covered with flour.  Press the dough into a 1/8-inch thick rectangle.  Cut the dough lengthwise in half, then cut each half into 12 strips.
  4. Create a one-inch vertical slit at the center of each strip.  Insert one end of the strip through the slit to create a twist.  Repeat the process with the remaining strips.
  5. In a large saucepan, heat oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place six strips at a time into the hot oil.  Fry for about one minute or until golden brown, turning the cookies once using a slotted spoon.  Drain the cookies on paper towels.
  6. Place 1/3 powdered sugar in a small paper bag.  Add six warm cookies at a time, close the bag, and shake it until the cookies are coated with sugar.  Repeat the process using more sugar and the remaining cookies.  Chruscikis should be served immediately or can be stored in an airtight container for one day.