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.

Comments (57)

I've never had these cookies before Adam. They look delicious. I wish I didn't love fried foods but I do. UGH!

Mmm, love this Polish pastry!! :-D

I have always wished I were one of those people who doesn't like fried foods. Sadly, I love the stuff and that's why I carry around an extra 15 pounds.

Love the cookies. These are a perfect Christmas treat.

Adam!! This is so nice, mnay times I dont see you!!! Huggss!!! Gloria

These look like they re the ideal Christmas cookie. So nice !! I don't like fried food either and not cause its unhealthy I just don't like all that grease. It's nice making cookies with friends or family. So much better in company :)

I've had these before and they are very addicting! Once that warm fried perfection is hit with the powdered sugar, that is the perfect time to eat it.
This is a treat Adam...wish I lived closer so I could steal a few.
Must make for me, are what all my clients & friends request, the ritz peanut butter sandwiches dipped in milk chocolate. Not too hard to make, but dipping is hard and labor intensive if you're making over 150.

Love them. I would take a dozen now.

omg i LOVE chrusiki!!! never tried to make them... maybe i should this year :) don't know how my great grandmother made them either, i'll see if mom has her recipe

I wouldn't necessarily call it a lot of work, but I make pizelles every year. It's the Italian in me, except for the anise. Yuck!

I've never had chrusiki. Actually, I've never heard of it, but I do like most fried foods. And I like your friend's quote. So true!

Inspite of all the healthy stuff I make, I have to admit my weakness for fried stuff that is dusted with sugar! These are like little fried doughnut cookies!

I always thought it was funny when people say "I'll start eating better after the holidays are over." When really, there's pretty much a holiday each month... =p But yeah, for me I just don't worry about it, because if I'm exercising regularly, eating normally (for the most part), treats that are only made once a year aren't going to do much harm.

Those sound great, especially dusted with the confectioners' sugar. There are a few recipes like this I've wanted to make, but oil is messy, heh!

Can we agree on too many things? First frosting, then brownies (although for different reasons b/c I love chocolate, I just find brownies overly rich), now fried food! Those look like a lot of work to make, but they do look fun and good!

I love frying food though.. because of the sounds, plus it makes me feel all professional and stuff.. haha

I love this recipe - this looks good!

Italians make cookies very similar to these, but I can't remember what they're called off the top of my head. I bet it'll come to me as soon as I post this comment.
In any case, yours look superb, Adam! And I agree 100% with what your friend said :)

crostoli... I had it at the tip of my tongue!

Angel wings, indeed:-) Love the name and the look, wish I could taste some. Moderation and Exercise. Wish I had the will power for both the above:D These do remind me of a similar savoury snack we make back at home for certain occasions, have to ask my mom about it now...

"Worry about what you eat between Christmas and Thanksgiving." - good advice (and I don't even have to deal with thanksgiving). Those angel wings look gorgeous, although I have a slight fear of deep frying stuff...I can't seem to avoid (a) getting hot oil spluttering onto me and (b) making the kitchen smell like a takeaway shop.

i totally do the lighted candles in the windows and the irritated sighing over bundled masses of lights.

however, we make sugar cookies as a tradition. the other part of that tradition is that we give them away, because no one in my family likes sugar cookies. i have no idea why we make them.
long story short, i'm gonna try to convince them we need a new cookie this year - one we actually like! i'll let you know if angel wings make the cut....

i don't make labor-intensive cookies as a rule, lol. this year we made cut-out sugar cookies, and that was labor-intensive enough to last me till next Christmas.

And this cracked me up!
"Grunting and sighing over tangled colored lights bundles of terribleness" hahaha!!

How fun. Love to see the family tradition stuff.

Excuse me, I think you need a team of four... the last person to stand by and eat up all the manky-looking cookies. I volunteer myself for this job!

Adam, my darling, these are beautiful. So what if they're fried. Drain them and eat them and vow not to have them again until next Christmas. REmember? Everything in moderation. You taught me that. Sweetie, if I don't get back to you again until after the 25th, have a most glorious Christmas with your family. Big hugs and kisses, tc.

Gr8 thinking as well as nice sharing too.

Between Chrustiki and Greek cocaine cookies, I'm not sure which is worse/better. I adore these deep fried goodies. Too bad they don't stay long - have to eat them ALL right away - I'm incorrigible. With all that whining, I am making them but will wait til Xmas eve or I'll be ho ho hoing.

I agree having certain foods at certain times a year is special. When I am in a store in say summer and see turtles at the front cash, I always feel like NO those should not be around until Christmas. That is what makes each holiday or event special.

Hey buddy! Fried cookies are definitely a first for me. But I love churros, and these remind me of them so you get a big Yay from me :)

Sorry about the long silence. I'll try and stop by when I can, but if I don't pop by before Christmas, have a great one!

Wow, those are fantastic. I think the shaping of them sounds like fun.

One other thing. That wierdo ceramic pottery from when you were a kid should be out ALL year long, not just at Christmas.

We have a very similar thing in Portugal that we do over Christmas, they're called Filhóses witch has nothing to do with angel wings... I know I love them and yours look as delicious! How's everything?

Come on! These look amazing! I need to eat these right now.

These are beautifully done! Freshly fried dough is hard for me to resist.

Adam it's my turn to fall in love with you haha :). We used to make these so often but I somehow forgot all about them. We don't call them angel wings and we make them a bit larger but everything else is just about the same. Yours are so perfectly golden while I always used to burn them.
You brought out happy memories, thank you for that :) and happy holidays to you and your family (+ a special hug for your Babcia)!

That's a nice and catchy saying (the christmas-thanksgiving quote). I'll keep that in mind.

Adam, i never seen these cookies before but surely caught my attention. They look fantastic! I wish i was living in a world where fried food is healthy and bathing in duck fat every morning is required by your doctor. [sigh]

Happy Holidays to you! :-)

wow!!! these are real angels... yum... happy holidays, adam... :)

Dear Adam I want to whish you a Happy and lovely Christmas,christmas huggss!!!! Gloria

Hi Adam..found your blog looking for a kapusta recipe. I have to bookmark it and come back. Enjoying your site. Wesolych Swiat and Happy New Year to you. Looking forward to more good recipes from you in 2009.

Adam, these are gorgeous!! I'm the same way with fried foods - I'm probably the only person who doesn't like fried French fries - but I could definitely make an exception for these cookies, just as I can with latkes. :-)

Thank you so much for your incredibly kind words about the MeMe! I'm honored!

Merry Christmas!

Your fried cookies look great. Happy Holidays and wishing you a happy new year. May all your dreams come true.

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Wow, Adam - These look deadly. But, it's nice to have a serious treat at least once a year! Love the look of these.

If you'll accept it, I'd also like to pass along the "Honest Scrap" award to you! Details at: News from Peef & Lo

Wish you a very Happy New Year!
15 days since your last post and still counting... :)

In my latest post I just added an award to your award wall... :-)

Happy New Year!

At first glance they kind of remind me of some strange fried chicken feet or something... Sorry, I'm strange...

PS: Where are you????? No post since LAST YEAR!!

Ah, the tangled colored lights bundles of terribleness. I remember those. :) Gorgeous angel wings. Low in fat, right? :)

Wow fantastic ideas for my next lunch with my friends.

Bye from Italy by
Cakeitaly.com - A taste of Italian sweets

If you want you cant add your blog in my blogroll All your recipes

U alive? Maybe you got those wings and flu away?...

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I'm missing you. Are you ever coming back to us?

Hellow there!! Hope things are well. Stopping by to check out your blog, since I have not been blogging often lately. And to my surprise, you haven't blog since last year!! ADAM! :) Need to hear some healthy tips for 2009.

Anyway, will check back soon and hope you are doing okay there.

ADAM!!! Where are you? I miss you big guy. Just let us know you're OK. :)

Dear Adam Im worry about you, where are you dear??? We miss you. I hope you will OK.xxGloria

Oh man, you're killing me. These look great. Well done!

a.k.a. The Hungry Mouse

Its look delicious, and i know its testy too.

Ok Adam - we said take a break - not fall off the face of the earth :).

Adam, I miss you! Where are you? I hope you are ok!

Hey Adam! I was just thinking I miss your fun Fitness Fridays. Hoping you are okay but just busy!

This is going to be the latest addition in my collection. This recipe is really going to keep me busy in the kitchen with all its beauty. And another must for the weekend!