Chrusciki - Mom's Polish Cookbook

Mom's Polish Cookbook
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Chrusciki (Polish Bowties) Pronounced "crew-schtee-kee"
This Polish delicacy is commonly made for wedding receptions and also used as a Christmas cookie. We made a batch for my nephew Andrew's wedding last week and quickly realized why my mom was always so tired after cooking them. This is also the first time anyone attempted to make Chrusciki without my mom's help- although she may have been assisting in more ways than we could possible imagine. The recipe calls for two shots of rum but you better have a full bottle nearby in case of "emergencies".

What you'll need:
12 egg yolks
1 pint of sour cream
2 "jiggers" of rum (we just used a shot glass)
1 tsp of vanilla
pinch of salt
6 cups of flour (have an extra two cups of flour ready to use if the dough needs to be firmed up and for flouring your hands, work surface and roller)
Large can of Crisco
Confectioners Powdered sugar.

Beat the egg yolks and flavoring in a large mixing bowl. Add sour cream. Blend in flour until the dough is pretty firm. Remove from mixer and knead dough on floured board, granite counter or other clean, hard surface. Add additional flour as needed to make dough workable. Roll dough with floured roller until it "blisters". In order to do this, the dough must be less than 1/8" thick. The thiner, the better. A well-floured work surface is very important at this point, otherwise the dough will stick and you will have to scrape it off the counter. Once you are comfortable with your dough, I like to flour the surface lightly and smear it around with my fingers.
Now it's time to cut the dough into 1-1/2" x 4" strips (approximately). Cut the long side on a 45 degree angle. This helps give Chrusciki their bow tie appearance. Cut a 3/4" slit in the middle of each dough panel. Carefully lift each piece of dough from the work surface. Using your index finger, open the center slit slightly. Take one end of the dough panel, pull it through the opening and back in the direction from where it came. This part takes a little practice and flouring the dough surfaces keeps everything from sticking together when "tying" the bows.
Heat Crisco in large iron skillet, making sure the depth is at least 1". You can also use other types of deep fryers or heavy pots. Carefully place uncooked Chrusciki in hot oil. Avoid letting them touch initially. Move Chrusciki around and turn over occasionally. Fry until lightly browned on both sides. Remove from oil and place on baking racks cover with paper towels. Years ago, my mom used to tear open brown paper store bags and spread them on our kitchen table instead of using paper towels. Sprinkle cooled Chrusciki generously with powdered sugar and store in a large air-tight container if not being eaten immediately. Add more powdered sugar as needed when serving. A word of warning: you will be tired after making this recipe. If you're like me, you can't stand the thought of eating something that you just spent the last 3 hours cooking, so grab 6 beers and go sit out by the pond.
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Mom's Polish Cookbook is all about sharing my mom's recipes and how her family has carried on the many traditions that she taught us.
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