Tasty Angel Wings


Posted by Adam | Posted in , | Posted on Monday, December 15, 2008

There are certain things that absolutely have to be done each and every Christmas or holiday season. Do you know what I mean? They are not up for negotiation, and only see the light of day for a few weeks a year. For example...
  • Lighted Christmas Tree of some kind
  • Candles in the windows
  • Grunting and sighing over tangled colored lights bundles of terribleness
  • Embarrassing pieces of pottery you made when you were 5
And of course... Cookies. Yup. Once a year, we are bombarded by cookies that we only truely enjoy this time of year. I actually think that if we had them more often than this, they wouldn't be quite as special, don't you think? Well, and besides that... some of them are ALOT of work. I don't want to make them more than once a year :) But, for my family and my stomach, they are worth it.

Now, I'm going to give a disclaimer here. I don't like fried food much. Besides going against my nutritional habits and dogma, I just don't really dig the taste... sorry my bad. But... everyone totally digs these cookies.

Are they fried? Yup. Are they healthy and low fat? Not really. But, not to sound too hypocritical... these are the holidays. By all means, I will say please make good food choices to ward off any unwanted weight gain. But a good friend of mine said this to me awhile ago...

Instead of worrying about what you eat between Thanksgiving and Christmas, worry about what you eat between Christmas and Thanksgiving.

I think that sums up how I feel. As you know how I feel already, moderation and exercise are key :) So anyways... onto the Polish favorite... Chrusciki. Which loosely translates to Angel Wings... I don't have nimble girly/elven fingers, but I try. So maybe that kinda look like angel wings. I'll let you be the judge :)

Now, there are tons of recipes out there for these things. Some have butter, some have more eggs than others, some have weird flavorings.... and so on. All I have to offer though, is what my family does. I'm sure we could experiment, but... these haven't proven us wrong. So we're going to keep on rolling this way. If anyone has had these any other way, let me know. I'd be interested hearing your input.
Roll on out, slice and dice

Fold under and through - Sorry - it's not mutant... florescent light at night = bad

fry 'em up

Chrusiki (Angel Wings)
Bizan Family Recipe
-2 cups AP flour, and more for dusting and rolling

-2 whole eggs

-4 egg yolks

-1/2 tsp salt

-1/2 cup powdered sugar

-1 shot rum (clear or silver is best)

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, yolks, and salt until they become thick and have a dark lemon color. This can be done by a heavy hand, or a stand mixer works well also on medium to high speed. Add the powdered sugar slowly, then the shot of rum, and mix until combined.

Remove the mixer paddle (if using one) and fold in the flour in batches with a wooden spoon. Mix the flour into the batter completely. You will now have a yellow, sticky dough formed.

On a clean and lightly floured surface, remove the dough from the bowl, and begin to knead the dough. It will be sticky at first, so during the course of kneading and folding, you'll have to add more flour as you go along. I'd say maybe another 1/2 cup of flour is almost used until the tackiness kind of goes away, and it becomes soft.
The reason we don't add another 1/2 cup of flour right away is because super floury cookies don't work right.

Cut the dough in half, cover one half to protect it from drying out, and get to rolling out the other half. With a floured rolling pin, roll the tough until it is very thin, so much that you can begin to see through it... like translucent.

Flour the top of the dough a little, and with a sharp floured knife, cut the dough into strips, both vertically and horizontally, so that little squares are formed, about 1 x 2-3 inches. Then, make a little diagonal strip-like hole in the center each square, large enough so it stays when you leave the dough alone.

Now... here's the kind of tedious part. With a sharp spatula... scrape up each square gently, and with your floured nimble fingers... take one end of the dough, and fold it under and through the slit formed in the dough. Pull it through, so that half of the dough is pulled through, and the other half is not. It forms a type of twist that may resemble a wing.

Place these pieces on a floured corner of your workspace, and then... working in batches, fry the pieces of dough in very hot oil, close to 425* if you are using a thermometer. This is important to get a crispy and not soggy cookie. Low temp = soggy and bad.
Fry each side for about 15 seconds. You know you're in good shape when they initially puff up, and then turn golden as they sit in the oil. Drain on paper towels, and let them cool completely.

Dust with powdered sugar, and watch them disappear. This recipe makes a ton... probably close to 100.

All powdered sugared and happy now

See? Kind of an angel wing!

And... with that I'm done. I'd be lying if I said these don't take a little bit of work. I like to work in at least a team of two, and three would be better. Once the dough is rolled and sliced, you can have one person scrape up the dough gently, while another does the fold under and twists the dough into shape, and another has fryer control. Funny how Polish pastries always have such delicate handiwork, right?

Do any of you guys have any cool 'must make' tough work cookies? Share away :) Happy early Holidays.

Um, I Think I Overslept...


Posted by Adam | Posted in | Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2008

I don't know what happened. I don't know whether I pulled a Steve Urkel and "fallen and can't get up", or what... but I pulled a small blogging break. I think maybe a few of you have been there before. One day of relaxing turns into two, and so on, and so on...
So that's kinda what happened I guess. I took a hiatus, a vacation, a well deserved rest, if you will.

And in these last couple of days of hanging out at home with the family, and now having a diploma, I think I've learned a few things... ok well not school related things...
  • Behind each great person and act of hard work are a bunch of harder working and caring individuals
  • Mulled wine is a very, very good thing... I recommend it
  • Think if what you are doing right now brings you closer to where you want to be
  • You can never have too many friends :)
  • Just about every holiday cookie recipe seems to start with two sticks of butter
  • The clearance racks are you friends for holiday shopping
Ha, ok maybe that was a little random. But they are the first things that have been on my mind today. Oh, and another... I've been watching people at the gym, and noticed that no one trains their glutes. No one. I'm guessing quite a few of them have hip or back pain too. Should I write up a butt routine? I think I will soon. Something that will make your significant other say "Are you going to stand during the whole movie? Why don't you sit down?" You can't.

I'm sorry that there is no recipe for today. I've been trying to help everyone eat a little better, so that kind of makes cookies and the like a little difficult to make. However, (sounding trumpets) holiday baking is among us. So, I promise to have a couple of family recipes for you in the next few days or early next week. They probably won't be healthy, but it really only is for once a year, right :)

I'd like to take the time to thank everyone who has come by the blog in its short break to leave a comment and say how much they like everything. Don't take anything personal if I haven't been too active lately, it's just that things are going to be a little busy until the next year. I still have job interviews and holiday things with the family coming up, so it all takes a little time.
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I appreciate everyone who comes by here to laugh and have a good time :) Always feel free to leave a comment, but if you can't or don't want to, well that's cool too. I'm easy going, and I blog for myself... I just don't mind having a few million travelers with me :)

My two last orders of business are to thank a bunch of bloggers for awards that were recently, and by recently I mean like months ago... passed on to me. Sadly, I don't remember what award goes where, but I still love getting all of them. So, I'd like to thank:

Steph at Obsessed with Baking, Shreya at Mom's Cooking, Mikky at My Finds..., Teresa at Mexican-American Cookbook, and Maria at Two Peas in a Pod. These gals are always very, very cool people and have fantastic recipes. We have Indian, Mexican, Chocolate, Healthy, Baking of all sorts found in these blogs. You'll find anything to meet your fancy needs.

And finally, lastly.... Astra at Food for Laughter tagged me for a MeMe... this looked pretty cool so I'll throw it in here at the end. I think her blog is fantastic, and her healthy recipes always give me new ideas and insights to try. (And don't worry, your schooling will be over soon too :)

You have to answer with one word answers... kinda tricky, because I'm a talker :)

1. Where is your cell phone? Away
2. Where is your significant other? Single
3. Your hair color? Light
4. Your mother? Fun
5. Your father? Caring
6. Your favorite thing? People
7. Your dream last night? Battle
8. Your dream/goal? Chiropractic
9. The room you’re in? Kitchen
11. Your fear? Snakes
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Rich
13. Where were you last night? Mall
14. What you’re not? Quiet
15. One of your wish-list items? Shoes
16. Where you grew up? NY
17. The last thing you did? Eat
18. What are you wearing? Flannel
19. Your TV? Off
20. Your pet? DOGS
21. Your computer? Warm
22. Your mood? Starving
23. Missing someone? Nope
24. Your car? Snowy
25. Something you’re not wearing? Gloves
26. Favorite store? Market
27. Your summer? Awesome
28. Love someone? Yup
29. Your favorite color? Blue
30. When is the last time you laughed? Constantly
31. Last time you cried? E.T

Instead of tagging people on particular, because I can think of too many people who would have hilarious responses... the first 5 people to comment are going to do the Meme, if they want to. They can also take any award from my award wall too. Am I changing the rules? Maybe, but come on, just trust a doctor... it'll be alright :)