- Makes 40 to 50 pieces
Angel Wings—crispy, delicate fritters—are perfect for using up the fat and other ingredients that are traditionally avoided during Lent. That's why it's popularly eaten during Poland's celebration of "Fat Thursday." I'm from Poland, and Tłusty Czwartek (which means, you guessed it, Fat Thursday) is also known as Doughnut Day, since we Poles love to eat pączki (doughnuts!). In addition to yolky-rich doughnuts filled with plum or rose jam, we make and devour these pretty little pastry twists called angel wings (faworki). They are relatively easy to make, although you need to build in a little time for resting the dough, kneading it, and then frying the Angel Wings in some hot oil in small batches. The dough is not terribly tricky to work with and some cooks even take the opportunity of bashing the dough with a rolling pan, which is said to help remove the excess air. All you need is some pantry ingredients, like flour, lemons, eggs, sour cream, and a little bit of vodka. A light dusting of powdered sugar once the fritters are done frying provides a most excellent finishing touch.
Comparable to bigger, slightly softer, sweeter wonton strips, showered with said powdered sugar, angel wings are also referred to as chruściki or chrusty. In addition to angel wings, the word faworki also refers to the colorful ribbons that you'll spot on traditional blouses, and chruściki refers to the dried branches of trees. Pick your preferred name and give making these crunchy, addictive treats a whirl.
Featured In: Light & Delicate Fritters for Polish Fat Thursday, Aka Doughnut Day —Ren Behan
all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
large egg yolks
finely grated lemon zest (optional)
unsalted butter, melted
vanilla bean paste or extract (optional)
- In the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, powdered sugar, baking powder, and salt to combine. Add the egg yolks, sour cream, vodka, lemon zest (if using), butter, and vanilla paste (if using) and mix until a thick batter or loose dough forms. If you don't have a stand mixer, you can mix the ingredients by hand in a bowl.
- Scrape the dough onto a floured surface and form into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.
- Sprinkle a little more flour onto a clean board. Unwrap and knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes. If it's too sticky, add a little more flour. You do not need to be gentle with a dough; some Polish cooks beat the dough with a rolling pin to work it. Cut the dough in half and cover one half with plastic wrap. Set that half aside.
- Sprinkle a little more flour onto the board and roll out the remaining half as thinly as possible (paper-thin, ideally). I like to lift the dough occasionally to make sure it isn't sticking to the board. You can also use a pasta machine if you like.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1-inch-thick strips. Cut each strip in half to form two shorter pieces. Make a 1-inch slit down the middle of each strip. Working with one piece of dough at a time, pull one end of the dough through the slit you've made in the center. Gently pull until you have a twist in the middle. Repeat with the remaining strips. Repeat the entire process with the remaining dough.
- In a large, wide pan, heat the oil until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350°F. Working with 3 to 4 at a time, fry the strips, taking care not to overcrowd the pan, for 15 seconds. Using a fork or spoon, flip the twists and continue to fry for about 15 more seconds, until light golden brown. They will puff up a little, too.
- Drain the pastry twists on paper towels. Arrange on a platter and generously dust with powdered sugar.