Angel Wings – Polish Chrusciki
These light fried pastry cookies are crispy and prinkled with icing sugar. Chrusciki or faworki are traditional Polish cookies similar to French bugnes, Spanish sfrappole, Cueca virada or Italy chiacchiere, found in many shops for Fat Thursday and Pancake Tuesday, the feast before the fasting of Lent. Many European countries make similar knotted pastries.
My mother did the chrusciki, my grandmother - her mother also did... and my mother in law also does chrusciki. This is tradition in our home.
- plain white flour - 500g plus extra for dusting
- icing sugar - 100g
- egg yolks - 6
- soft unsalted butter - 30g
- crème fraîche - 100g
- whiskey - 2 tablespoons
- salt - a pinch
- sunflower oil - 1 litre
- Combine the flour, 3 tablespoons of icing sugar, crème fraîche, butter, alcohol and salt. Bring the mixture together until it form a dough - smooth and elastic.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and start beating it with a rolling pin - give dough ball a few good whacks. If you beat it well, you will get more air bubbles and your pastries will be lighter.
- Cover with a clean cloth and let it rest in a fridge for half an hour.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and use rolling pin to roll out dough into a long rectangle shape, about 3mm thick. Thinner is better.
- Cut the rolled dough into 3cm strips. On the diagonal, cut dough to make pieces that are about 10cm long.
- With a sharp knife, cut a small slit, about ¾ of an inch, in the centre of each piece.
- Gently lift each piece, then tuck one end into the slit by folding it over the top of the strip and pulling it through.
- Pour the oil into large, heavy saucepan to a depth of at least 10cm and heat it to 170°C. Regulate the temperature, making sure it remains even, or the pastries will burn. Test temperature with a small piece of dough or misshapen cookie. It should sink to the bottom, then immediately rise to the surface and begin to blister.
- Fry pastries in small batches, 5 or 6 at a time for about one minute, turning as soon as the undersides are golden, not brown. Remove the chrusciki from oil with a slotted spoon and drain them on paper towel.
- When completely cooled and dry, dust with icing sugar.