This delightful pastry was made by my Polish Grandmother every year for Christmas. Traditionally they were made for the last Thursday before Lent. They take a while to make but the time you put in to making these is well worth the reward!
- Using a stand mixer, whisk whole eggs, egg yolks, butter and salt until thick and lemon colored.
- Slowly beat in the confectioner's sugar and brandy.
- Change to the dough hook and slowly mix in the flour a 1/4 cup at a time until the dough forms and pulls away from the bowl.
- Using the dough hook, knead the dough for 3-5 minutes. It should be thick like bread dough.
- Keep the dough in the bowl covered with a damp towel to keep it from drying out.
- Snip off a baseball sized piece of dough. On a floured surface, roll to 1/8 inch thick at the most!
- Using a sharp knife cut the dough into 1 1/2 inch wide strips. Then cut the other way in a diagonal to make pieces of dough that are about 1 1/2 X 4 inches.
- Next use your knife to cut a slit in the center of each piece.
- To form the wing shape, take one pointy end and poke it through the slit. Very gently pull the end through the slit to form a bow shaped cookie.
- In a heavy pot or deep skillet, heat the fat of choice (I like lard) to 350°F Use a thermometer!
- Drop the cookies, 3 cookies at a time, into the fat. Drop 3 cookies at once not 1 at a time. The cookies will sink to the bottom at first then they will puff up and float a couple of seconds later. As soon as this happens use a couple of forks to turn them.
- Immediately after you turn them use a deep fry strainer to remove them from the fat to drain on brown paper bags.
- Dust the still hot cookies with confectioner's sugar and repeat, cooking 3 cookies at a time until finished.
- Store in tightly covered, wax paper-lined tins.
I enjoyed making this recipe with my Polish mother...I must say I personally prefer vegetable oil to lard (tried it both ways), and the cookies made a nice bit of decor on the cookie tray. The brandy in the dough keeps them light and crisp, in spite of the richness. Thank you, Shilale!