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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.

Cook's Note

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

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