What’s a going on, Cookers??
It’s been a few, and these blog posts are getting fewer and further between, but it’s not because I’ve lost interest or I don’t love you. In fact by the time this publishes there will have been two more recent posts. I have been busy!!
As I mentioned prior, I’m working on the next life level, and I’m still in the position of wanting to maintain a little mystery. I’m getting goals checked off my lists in between being utterly engaged in the political nightmare happening in our country. I know. It’s ridiculous.
I’m not even going there on this blog. This is a place of fun, food and zero fucks. That being said, We the People need to get involved and use our voices for more than arguing and echoing. I don’t think it’s ok for me to not give a shit. I care about the future of the world. However!! There is a time and place for engaging in political discussions, and this definitely isn’t it.
It’s Saturday night, February 13th as I start this post. I will be writing this blog over the course of a few days while I plan and execute this version of the Mardi Gras staple that is called paczki. Pronounced “poon-ch-ki”.
I needed an original recipe to tackle. Like, super original. Like, Rumchata cheesecake original.
I googled “rice pudding paczki” and came up with nothing, so that’s what’s going down!! I love doing what’s never been done, and I also like making things the average cook isn’t even going to try. It’s how I challenge myself sometimes. If I were successful with every endeavor there would be a lot more blogs. Just saying.
A little food history for you. The paczki is a Polish tradition. They are dense, filled doughnuts made with yeast, eggs, fat, milk and sugar. They are served for Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, and it is said that families would make them to use up all the stuff in the house before the lent fast.
Paczki are usually filled with fruit filling or custard, but as I said, I like to push the envelope and do something that hasn’t been done. I was inspired by the cup of rice pudding in my fridge right now. No. I’m not using that rice pudding for Tuesday’s doughnuts. Yuck.
Disclaimer; this recipe might suck, as I’ve never made paczki before. I have made King Cake, Beignets and many other traditional foods for Mardi Gras. Cajun is kind of my thing, but seeing as I am marrying a sweet Polish man, I dip my toes into the culinary pool of that region quite often.
After consulting with one of my favorite friends, Barb G; who has actually had a recipe featured here, we agreed that the paczki dough would be dense enough to hold rice pudding. These are sugared, so I’m planning to lighten the sugar content in the pudding.
For this recipe I am going old school and will make it all from scratch. I’ll be doing the rice pudding tomorrow and the doughnuts Tuesday morning. I’m using an old fashioned, baked pudding recipe, water bath and all. I know. I’m really embracing my adventurous side with this one.
I’m not going to make a thick frosting for them. Instead, I’m doing a powdered sugar and cinnamon mix to dip them in while hot. That will create an icing of its own. I’ll also roll some in cinnamon and granulated sugar because I like CA-RUNCH!!
Alright. I’ll see you next Tuesday (I love when I get to use that term) and a few times in between as I put this deal together. Not sure I’ve written a blog in a progressive way like this, but I’m already having fun with it.
Sunday, February 14:
Here we go!! I have the rice pudding in the oven. I have to tell you, it looks so damn good!! There’s nothing else for me to write here, so I’ll see you when the paczki are ready!!
This recipe took up a good portion of my Fat Tuesday, but I am now sitting, sipping and smoking a doobie while I allow the dough to do its thing in the proofing bowl, so let’s get to the recipe itself!!
What You Need:
2 1/4 tsp dry active or instant yeast, not rapid or quick-rise yeast
1 c whole milk, scalded and cooled
2 large egg yolks
1/4 c granulated white sugar
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
3-3 1/2 c all-purpose flour, use only as much as you need to make a moist, but not sticky dough
Oil, for frying
White granulated sugar, powdered sugar and cinnamon, for dusting after frying
2 c filling of choice: Custard, Lemon Curd, Raspberry, Blueberry, Cherry or Strawberry Jam; OR even Rice Pudding, if you dare.
I actually incorporated my own Rice Pudding recipe, but added the Rumchata to moisten it down before using it as a filling for these pastries. Homemade rice pudding dries a bit in the refrigerator, that’s why people put cream on it.
Replace cream with Rumchata and, voila!!
So if you go that route, you’ll need about a quarter to a half cup of Rumchata, or whatever it takes to bring pudding to a custard-like consistency.
Be sure you have a piping bag on hand for filling the paczki.
What You Do:
In a small saucepan, heat milk until steaming with small bubbles forming around the edges (about 180F). Remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm (about 110°)
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve yeast in the lukewarm milk and let stand for 5 minutes.
Add 1 cup of the flour. Mix together and let stand for 20-30 minutes, until really bubbly.
In the meantime, beat the yolks in a small bowl until they are light and fluffy.
To the proofed yeast mixture, add the melted butter and sugar and mix.
Add salt and vanilla.
Add beaten egg yolks.
Slowly add more of the flour to bowl in small increments, adding just until you have a soft dough that is moist, but not sticky.
Remove dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead 1 minute (adding a bit more flour if it is sticking to your hands or the work surface).
Form dough into a ball.
Grease a clean bowl and add dough. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until doubled. (This dough is a bit of a slow riser, so expect this rise to be up to 90 minutes).
Deflate dough and pat out onto floured cutting board.
With a rolling pin, gently roll into a 1/2-inch thick circle.
Gently cut out circles with 3-inch biscuit cutter.
Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet, cover with a clean tea towel and let rise until doubled (about 30 minutes).
You can re-roll the scraps and cut more pieces, though they are never quite as neat as the first cuts. Use the messiest of these to check the temperature of the oil. Fry one, let cool, then cut it open to make sure it is cooking all the way through. Mine took about a minute and a half each side.
Bring the oil to 160°.
Fry paczki until golden on one side, flip and fry the other side. Don’t try to cook too many at a time so you don’t reduce the temperature of the oil by adding too many at once. I only did two in my small fryer.
Don’t rush the frying, to be sure they are cooked through well.
Fry until they are a deep golden colour.
Remove paczki to a cooling rack lined with paper towels for about 30 seconds, then immediately roll in cinnamon sugars.
Let stand until completely cooled.
Once cooled, using a sharp knife, poke a hole on the side.
Use a pastry bag with a large plain tip to pipe the filling inside. For this pudding I had to use a disposable piping bag and cut it big enough for raisins to move through. It was fine, although I did get busy and forget to snap the pics. It happens.
This is the end result, and I couldn’t be happier.
These are best when freshly made, but you can freeze any extras.
A few notes, because it could get hairy.
Hopefully you read the recipe thoroughly before tackling this. Get all your utensils in order. Clean before and after each step. It’s easy once you get in a groove. Just remember to get your sugar on before they get too cool. Don’t let the ones in the fryer burn.
Make sure you have new oil. I used peanut oil and it was perfection.
Be sure you have good yeast!! Active DRY. Not the quick rise. Pretty sure I’ve already mentioned that. Make sure it’s not outdated.
I added the Rumchata because my pudding had dried out between Sunday night and Tuesday. As you all know, and I love to mention; I made my mark on the food blog world in 2014 with Rumchata Cheesecake, so it just made sense that this be a comeback from a long pause.
I’m not “back” in any major way. I’m not here to promise consistency and ready to spill all my plans. It was simply a cold ass weekend, and I have a lot of recipes to purge from the TBC (to be composed) file. I mean, a LOT. It’s more about that than anything. I’m truly embracing the flow of life, allowing things unfold rather than making plans, and I like it.
This isn’t a recipe you’ll make often or probably ever, to be honest; but I’ll tell ya what, it was so worth the hours I spent coming up with it and sharing these little doughnuts. That’s what fooding is all about for me. Putting smiles on faces. Offering warmth for hearts and tummies.
I adore you humans. I’m about to sink my teeth into some soup and then probably one of these with some tea.
Well, shit. Let’s just open one up and have a peek, shall we?? I say, fuck yeah!!
Well, then!! My Mardi Gras sure looks different than it used to!! These boobies are all covered and cuddled up in sweaters and blankets, and the only beads I’m looking for today are Mala beads!! Speaking of which, I am expecting a set of materials for that in the mail today. I gotta go, my friends. Don’t want my healing gems out in the mail box too long. They have feelings, too!!
However you are spending this Tuesday, may you be lead to greatness and gratitude. Stay warm and I’ll see you soon!!
Let The Good Times Roll, or as they say in NOLA; Laissez Bon Temps Rouler.
Peace, y’all. Chelle.