Chrusciki: Polish Bowtie Cookie Recipe

My Mother and Me 1945

Chrusciki or Polish Bow Ties
Chrusciki or Polish Bow Ties

Polish Chrusciki Are a New Year's and Easter Favorite

Chrusciki is one of those delightful Polish foods that brings back memories of my mother’s kitchen when I was a child. Chrusciki, or Polish bow tie cookies, are made from an egg-based dough that is rolled thin and deep fried, then sprinkled with confectioner's sugar. For me, the smell of any cookies baking reminds me of my mother’s kitchen. She loved sweets and always had cookies in the cookie jar, but there was definitely a cookie class system in our house. Everyday cookies might be oatmeal raisin or butterscotch cookies. More special occasions called for chocolate chip cookies or peanut butter cookies. Christmas had it’s own selection of favorite cookies , but on New Year’s and Easter we could always count on her to make the delicate Polish chrusciki, sometimes called angel wings or Polish bowties.

Chrusciki for Christmas, Easter, Special Occasions

In Poland, chrusciki are traditionally served on New Year’s and at Easter time and often at weddings. But they are a vey special treat at any time of the year, and my mother would sometimes make them for special dinner guests or other family celebrations. Mom never made them too far in advance or they would be gone by the time the special occasion rolled around. They were likely to be hidden in bowls in the linen closet or another out of the way place to keep them safe from the resident cookie thieves.

Making Chrusciki is a Family Activity

Making chrusciki works better if two or more people do it as the bow ties fry up very quickly and need constant attention. Several helpers make for a fun project, but be prepared for a flour dusted kitchen if the kids get in on the fun. While one or two people can roll the dough and form the bowties, another can tend to the frying which requires very close attention.

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3 stars from 25 ratings of Chrusciki or Polish Bow Tie Cookies
Chrusciki or Polish bowties
Chrusciki or Polish bowties

Ingredients for Chrusciki

  • 8 egg yolks
  • 3-4 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 2 cups flour, or enough to make a soft dough
  • oil or shortening for frying

Instructions for Making Chrusciki

  1. Mix all ingredients together. Add flour to make a soft dough.
  2. Chill, then roll out on lightly floured surface to 1/8" thick. With a sharp knife, cut dough into 1 1/2 x 3" rectangles with a slit lengthwise down the middle. Carefully put one end of the dough through the slit and pull gently to make bow.
  3. Heat about 3 inches of oil in a pot. Spread several layers of brown paper or paper towels on a counter for draining. Test the fat by dropping a small piece of dough into it. If the dough immediately pops up and becomes lightly browned in about 30 seconds, the fat it the right temperature. If the dough pops up very browned, it's too hot. Turn down heat a little and drop a piece of bread in it to cool it.
  4. When the fat is the right temperature, drop a chrusciki into the hot fat five or six at a time. They should pop to surface in less than a minute. Turn with a long fork until lightly browned on both sides.
  5. Be careful that fat doesn't get too hot as you cook or cookies will burn easily.
  6. When cool, sift confectioner's sugar over top. Store in a bowl lightly covered with a dish towel. These cookies will get soggy if stored in a tightly covered container.
  7. To freshen the chrusciki before serving, sift a little more powdered sugar on top.

Read More About Polish Food Traditions

If you like Polish food, you will also enjoy this article by WriteAngled on Polish Food: the Art of Hearty Eating.

Chrusciki: Try These Polish Bow Tie Cookies

Each family has traditions associated with food, and, for most of us, certain foods bring back memories of family traditions and special times. Making chrusciki is one of those foods that reminds me of the Polish traditions that my mother kept alive in our family. I know you will love these delectable Polish cookies. Maybe you’ll start a new food tradition in your family!


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©2010 Stephanie Henkel

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Comments 18 comments

Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

Hi Stephanie,

I got so excited reading this because I realized these must have been the cookies my paternal grandmother from Czechoslovakia used to bake on holidays and they were so yummy! I never got to help make them, just had the pleasure of eating them.

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

I loved the picture of you and your mom- you look so cute and petite.


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA Author

Hi Happy, I think that versions of these cookies were made in Czechoslovakia, Italy and other European countries as well as Poland. They are delightful.

Thank you for your holiday wishes. Hope you have a very happy Christmas and New Year as well.


Photography7777 profile image

Photography7777 5 years ago from FL

A wonderful Hub about tasty cookies.

You are awesome :]


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 5 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Stephanie, thanks for sharing this wonderful coolie Recipe, sounds yummy!

Merry Christmas, have a wonderful day!


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA Author

Thank you all for stopping by my hubs. It's been so much fun to be a part of HubPages! Merry Christmas everyone!


slurpies profile image

slurpies 5 years ago from Vale, NC

Looks amazing! Me and my lady must make and try some of these! :)


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 5 years ago from The Midwest, USA

Stephanie, thank you for sharing these wonderful cookies and the stories with us. I would love to try my hand at making these sometime, they sound like they would be very good. I haven't ever made anything like them before. Love the picture of you and your mother, very sweet.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

Merry Christmas, Ms. S! Loved the idea of cooking it here at home this New Year. The recipe is there already. Thank you very much!


susannah42 profile image

susannah42 5 years ago from Florida

I love these cookies. Thanks for this hub, I am going to try to make them.


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA Author

Thank you all for your kind comments! I hope you get a chance to try making chrusciki, and that you enjoy these traditional Polish cookies. Happy Holidays to all!


mvaivata profile image

mvaivata 4 years ago

My grandmother used to make these all the time -- though she called them neckties. I have the recipe, but it's buried away somewhere, so I am thrilled to have found it on here. Thank you so much!


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Mvaivata - I hope these turn out just like your grandmother's! Thanks so much for stopping in to comment!


Felina Margetty profile image

Felina Margetty 4 years ago from New York, New York

I will be trying this recipe thanks. F.


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Felina Margetty - I'm glad you liked the Chrusciki recipe. Hope you enjoy it!


Denaliam 4 years ago

Stephanie, I have made these in the past and was glad to see your recipe didn't call for any "hooch" in it--most of the recipes I've seen have... I was looking for a booze-free one and now I have it---Thanks!


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Denaliam - The recipe I provided here is the one my mother gave me -- she never used any alcohol to flavor her chrusciki. I hope this recipe works out well for you.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

How precious the black and white photo is of you and your mother. Thank you Stephanie for sharing this wonderful, mouth-watering recipe.

Plenty of votes and sharing for you. ~ Audrey


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 2 years ago from USA Author

Thanks for stopping by to read and comment, Audrey. My mother made the best, mouth-watering chrusciki at Easter time. Glad to know you enjoyed the photo and recipe!

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