Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies [Chrusciki]


You always hear about people buying antiques and refusing to use them.

Those chintzy gold-plated teapots ever filled with stale hutch air. Those decorative chairs and silver spoons.


I use an antique rolling pin. I feel it practically guides itself when I slip my hands  across the worn painted ends back and forth, back and forth.

The inner pin clatters, indicating roughness — age.

When it breaks I will retire it to the safety of a box.

I’ll keep it forever, seeing as how it was Baba’s.


Chrusciki (Polish Bow Ties)

12 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 tbsp. melted butter
5 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. fine salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. orange zest
1 shot of whiskey
1/2 cup sour cream
3 1/2 cups +1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
oil for deep-frying

*Warning: You will probably damage your stand mixer if you try to knead this dough in it. Do it by hand.

Whisk together egg yolks, melted butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, orange zest, whiskey and sour cream until smooth.

Add the flour in several additions. Mix with your hands. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl as you go. The dough will be very stiff.

Flip out onto an unfloured surface. Cut into four equal pieces. Knead individually until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes each. While kneading, work in the remaining 1/2 cup flour.

Form the pieces into rough rectangles. Cover with a towel and rest for 1 hour.

Roll out to less than 1/8-inch thick. You should be able to see through the dough. This is a very stiff and elastic dough. I have two tips for dealing with it. First, pin the dough to the edge of the counter with your hip as you roll forward. This will help stretch the dough. Second, once you get your dough to 1/4-inch thick, stop flipping it. The dough will gain some traction on the countertop, making it easier to roll super thin.

Cut into 3×2-inch rectangles. Cut the ends of the rectangles on a bias.

Cut a 2-inch slit lengthwise down the centre of each rectangle. Gently pull one end of the rectangle through the slit to create a bow tie shape.

Heat the oil to 375F. Fry chrusciki, flipping once, until lightly browned on both sides, about 30 seconds to one minute. Drain on a resting rack. Cool completely. Dust with lots of powdered sugar.

Makes 100.


7 thoughts on “Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies [Chrusciki]

  1. They look delicious but since I can’t trust myself to give them all away so I’ll have to enjoy them vicariously, thank you! I remember the clatter of my mother’s rolling pin, which I think had been her mothers. Come to think of it, I never saw it in later life – perhaps it eventually broke. So glad yours is still giving you pleasure 🙂

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