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Chrusciki with Mrs. Kostyra

Serve a stack of these bowtie-shaped Polish sweets at festive occasions.

  • Yield: Makes about 7 dozen cookies
Chrusciki with Mrs. Kostyra

Source: Martha Stewart Living, February 2004

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon rum
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable shortening, for deep-frying
  • Sifted confectioners' sugar, for sprinkling

Directions

  1. Melt the butter, and combine with eggs, egg yolks, granulated sugar, salt, extracts, vinegar, rum, and sour cream in a large, heavy mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat on medium-high until lemon-colored. Add citrus rinds. Gradually add enough flour to produce a fairly stiff dough. Turn out onto a floured board, and knead for 8 to 10 minutes, adding flour if necessary, until the dough blisters, becomes elastic, and can be handled easily. Cut the dough in half, and wrap one half with plastic wrap; reserve at room temperature.

  2. Roll 1/2 of dough very, very thin and cut into strips about 4 inches long and 1 1/4 inches wide. Cut the ends on a diagonal. Slit each piece in the center, and pull one end through the slit. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and cover with a towel to keep moist. Repeat with other half of dough.

  3. Heat the shortening in a cast-iron frying pan to 375 degrees, and fry the dough strips, a few at a time, for about 1 minute, until lightly browned, turning once with a long fork or tongs.

  4. Drain chrusciki on brown paper bags; transfer to a cooling rack and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Store, tightly covered, in wax-paper-lined tins.

Variations

Recipe uses 1/4 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons salt.

Cook's Note

This recipe makes an enormous quantity. It can be halved, but don't divide the orange, lemon, and vanilla extracts.

Reviews (10)

  • BananaMan 20 Dec, 2014

    Warning! 375 is too hot and cooking for a minute is way too long - 350 at the most, cook 3 at a time and turn them over almost immediately.

  • Auroraborealis16 23 Dec, 2010

    This is my first time eating Chrusciki so maybe it's supposed to taste like this, butI found it so bland! I halved the recipe yet used the same amount of extracts and rinds, expecting the cookie to be an explosion of flavor, and to my surprise it tasted like a less flavorful funnel cake. The powder sugar may have redeemed it but I was disappointed :[

  • lovelivesinthekitchen 11 Dec, 2009

    i know chrusciki very well, we also call the faworki and they are typical in the Carnival period in Poland. I'm Polish but living in Italy and every time I'm back home my granda makes them for me. I love them and they always make me dream about my childhood! Thank you for sharing this lovely recipe!
    justyna

  • ManicCat 21 Dec, 2008

    I'm making these with my grandmother (Babcia) right bow for Christmas! It's always been her special treat. At the end, she sprinkles the Chrusciki with powdered sugar.

  • ManicCat 21 Dec, 2008

    I'm making these with my grandmother (Babcia) right bow for Christmas! It's always been her special treat. At the end, she sprinkles the Chrusciki with powdered sugar.

  • reveillon 10 Feb, 2008

    *** I wish I had a grandma like her !! Miss her !!
    *** Figured out why not to decrease the extracts if you do only half the recipe: Mrs. Kostyra said it herself, when she explained her generous hand with the rum: the heat weakens them, so no matter how small the recipe you make, you still need the strength
    *** what a kneading technique!!
    *** I guess my pate gets sour cream from now on
    *** the tsp vinegar is to sour the cream if you have only plain cream

    x Reveillon

  • kougarkar 17 Dec, 2007

    This is the best recipe I have found for Chrusciki's. I made them tonight. My father's side of the family is Polish and most of my cooking

  • Ladydriver 17 Dec, 2007

    Condolances to Martha on the passing of her mother. I also want to thank you for the chrusciki recipe that my grandmother, who was from Poland, made for many years. The only bad thing was she never had a written recipe for it. I have made them from other recipes that were similar for my children and grandchildren. I can now teach my granddaughter the original recipe so thank you very much for sharing this with us.

  • deelightful 13 Dec, 2007

    These look like the Italian cookies served at Italian weddings in Rhode Island.They are called Wandi's here. I was so sorry to read that Martha's mother has passed away this year.My deepest condolances to Martha. Her Mother was always such a great lady when she appeared on her show.Thank you for sharing all of her wonderful recipies.

  • macguffin 21 Nov, 2007

    my aunt mary who is 98 years old today used to make these delightful cookies. her recipe is not as elaborate as this one but those cookies were fantastic. i still remember how delicious they were. i've been thinking about them lately and i will make sure i try these soon. thank you for sharing the recipe.

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