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Holiday desserts: A family recipe for classic Polish Angel Wings, or Chrusciki

Marie Patrick says these decadent doughnuts were a staple during Easter and Christmas dinners at her Polish Babci's home, where they would be made for the Christmas Eve meal.

"She sailed from Poland as a young bride and made all dishes from memory. I would ask for recipes and she would point to her head — telling me she added ingredients by how the dough felt or tasted," Marie says. "So I diligently watched her make everything, but doubted even as I grew older that the end product would turn out as hers did."

Her husband, Robert, adds that when they were growing up, they called them Chrusciki, but newer names for this dessert include winks or bowties. He thinks the new names probably came about because they resemble the confection's shape and are easier to pronounce.

Marie says she and Robert always make them together, as they both love to cook. They share the following tips for making this recipe.

The dough has to be kneaded until there are air bubbles in it, and it must be rolled out as thin as you can get it. Make sure your oil is hot, because the cookies will be chewy instead of crispy if not. Once they are in the oil, be sure not to let them burn; they take only about 20 seconds to brown.

Brandy or rum is added to keep the cookies from absorbing fat during the frying process. Marie says that vinegar may be substituted for the alcohol.

"Making these desserts brings me back to Babci's kitchen every holiday, at that crowded table with family gathered," she says.


Angel Wings (Chrusciki)

Angel Wings (Chrusciki)


  • 1 egg
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rum or brandy
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour


  1. Lard or oil for deep frying, heated to 350 degrees
  2. Combine egg, egg yolks and salt in small bowl of electric mixer. Beat at highest speed for 7 to 10 minutes, until mixture is thick and piles softly. Beat in sugar, a small amount at a time, then beat in rum and vanilla extract.
  3. With a spoon, fold in flour. Turn onto a generously floured surface and knead dough about 10 minutes. Divide dough in half and cover half with plastic wrap to prevent drying.
  4. Roll dough as thin as possible and cut dough into 5- by 2-inch strips. Make a 2-inch slit from center to almost the end of each strip of dough. Then pull opposite end through slit. Repeat with remaining dough.
  5. Fry in hot oil or lard until golden brown.
  6. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Makes 2 ½ dozen.
Source: Marie Patrick

Holiday desserts: A family recipe for classic Polish Angel Wings, or Chrusciki 12/01/15 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 1, 2015 12:02pm]
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