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Chrusciki with Mrs. Kostyra


These crisp, sugar-dusted Polish cookies made with twists of dough quickly fried in hot oil are also known as angels' wings or bow ties. Martha likes to stack a tower of chrusciki on a pressed-glass cake stand, largest chrusciki first, to make a Christmas-tree formation.

  • Yield: Makes about 6 dozen cookies

Source: Martha Stewart Living, February 2004


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon rum
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 7 cups (3 pounds) vegetable shortening, for deep-frying
  • Sifted confectioners' sugar, for sprinkling


  1. Put melted butter, eggs, egg yolks, granulated sugar, sour cream, salt, extracts, vinegar, and rum in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until mixture is pale, about 3 minutes. With mixer running, add zests. Reduce speed to low, and gradually add up to 3 cups flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until a fairly stiff dough forms.

  2. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead, dusting with flour if it seems sticky, until dough becomes smooth, soft, and elastic, about 10 minutes. Halve dough, and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Let dough rest at room temperature, 30 minutes.

  3. Working with 1 piece at a time, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until very thin (about 1/16 inch thick). Using a straightedge as a guide, cut the dough into 5-by-1 1/4-inch strips. Trim ends on the diagonal.

  4. Lay dough strips vertically in front of you, and cut a 1 1/4-inch-long opening through the middle of each strip. Working with one strip at a time, push one end through the cut, then pull through to make a bow-tie shape. Transfer formed chrusciki to a large parchment-lined baking sheet, and cover with a clean, slightly damp kitchen towel. Repeat process with remaining dough.

  5. Heat shortening in a large (6-quart) pot over medium-high heat until it registers 375 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer.

  6. Working in small batches of about 7, fry chrusciki, turning once with a slotted spoon, until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Transfer fried chrusciki with slotted spoon to two paper-towel-lined baking sheets to drain. (Adjust heat between batches as necessary to keep oil at a steady temperature.)

  7. Just before serving, dust chrusciki with confectioners' sugar.

Cook's Notes

You can store chrusciki (khroost-CHEE-kee) in waxed-paper-lined airtight containers at room temperature for up to one week. Wait until just before serving to dust them with confectioners' sugar. This recipe makes an enormous quantity. It can be halved, but don't divide the orange, lemon, and vanilla extracts.

Reviews Add a comment

  • 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.