Saturday, December 19, 2009

Food, that's what I want!

The funny thing about being on Weight Watchers is that I obsess over food even more than I did when I ate whatever I wanted. I think it brings out my obsessive nature. I am way more excited about tabulating and recording every morsel than I probably should be. Red wine = two points. Five glasses of red wine = 10 points and a massive headache the next morning.

So, you ask, what is the point of the above paragraph. Nothing. I just needed a little segue way into posting the following recipe. ;)

There are many Polish treats that I love but unfortunately don't make myself. Chrusciki is one of my absolute favorite sweet treats but I can't remember the last time I had them. I know it is hard to get them to just the right doneness -- slightly crispy and not overally greasy. But the end results are a simple but yummy treat.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons dairy sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon vodka, whiskey or vinegar (I don't remember that ingredient!)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Vegetable shortening or oil for deep frying
  • Enough powdered sugar to dust the cookies / pastries with
Place the flour in a large bowl: make a well in the center. Add the egg yolks and rub in with the fingers until combined (or pulse in the food processor until you get the same result. NB: if you're doing this in the processor, use the plastic blade, not the steel one). Add all the other ingredients except the confectioners' / powdered sugar, and blend well. On a lightly floured work surface, knead the mixture for a good long while into a smooth dough. You need to trap as much air in the dough as you can during this process. If kneading by hand, just keep repeating a pattern of folding the dough, flattening it, folding again, flattening it, for at least half an hour. If using a mixer with a dough hook, knead for at least fifteen minutes. You should be able to see at least some little air bubbles in the dough.

Wrap in plastic wrap / cling film and allow to rest in the refrigerator for twenty minutes / half an hour. (You can let it rest overnight if you like.)

When ready to fry, roll out 1/16th inch thick. Slice into 1 1/2-inch wide strips. Cut the strips diagonally into 5-inch lengths. In each strip, cut a one-inch slit the long way, in the middle of the strip. Pull one end of the strip through the slit so that it looks kind of like a bowtie.

Heat the frying oil to 375F / 190C, or until a 1-inch bread cube turns golden brown in 50 seconds. Deep fry the strips in small batches until they turn light golden, turning once. Drain on paper towels and allow to cool. Dust with confectioners' sugar. (Recipe courtesy of European Cuisines online.)

If you decide to make some, feel free to send some to me -- Weight Watchers be damned!

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