Known by many names, meaning ribbons or dried twigs, Chruściki, Chrusty, Faworki, Angel Wings, whatever name they go by, these little powdered sugar treats appear en masse the last week of karnawał, just before Lent.
Trays piled high with Faworki and Pączki fill the supermarkets and little shops for Tłusty czwartek or Fat Thursday. Faworki are also popular at all kinds of family meal celebrations, Easter, Christmas, and weddings.
They are so popular that in areas of the US with large populations from Central Europe; bakeries insist that customers place their Christmas and Easter orders for Faworki in advance.
Like many Polish recipes, the pastry is traditionally fried in lard. You can, of course, use other oils for frying; there will be a slight difference in flavor.
Even though they’re rolled in powdered sugar, the plain, rich dough, is only lightly sweet. While it might not be traiditonal, I think it benefits from the additon of lemon and/or orange zest; it just adds a bit of brightness.
Some cooks will knead or roll and re-roll the dough until it blisters. Being a lazy sort, I didn’t, but it still blistered upon frying. By all standards, this probaly makes a small batch, only 48 Faworki. You can easily double or triple if you’re feeding a crowd.
What do you call them, Chruściki, Chrusty Faworki, Angel Wings?
Chruściki, Chrusty Faworki, Angel Wings
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Total Time: 35 mins
- Yield: 4 dozen 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: Polish
Crisp and lightly sweet
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs yolks
- 3–5 tablespoons heavy cream (or sour cream)
- 1 tablespoon spirits (I used Soplica, but any whiskey or rum will do)
- 1/2 teaspon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon citrus zest (optional)
- lard, for frying
- powdered sugar, for dusting
- Combine flour, sugar, and salt
- In a seperate bowl, combine the egg yolks, 3 tablespoons cream, spirits, vanilla, and zest if you’re using it
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until the dough comes together, use a little more cream if necessary
- Roll out as thin as possible
- Cut into 1 x4 inch strips, cutting a slit in the middle of each strip
- Pul one end through the slit, to create a twisted appearance
- Heat lard to 350 F
- Fry in batches, turning to cook both sides, until golden brown
- Drain on paper towels
- Roll in powdered sugar
You can freeze the leftover egg whites to save them for a recipe that only uses egg whites.
An accountant by trade and a food blogger since 2009, Lois Britton fell in love with Polish cuisine during the years she lived in Poznań, Poland. As the creator of PolishHousewife.com, she loves connecting readers with traditional Polish recipes. Lois has a graduate certificate in Food Writing and Photography from the University of South Florida. She is the author of The Polish Housewife Cookbook, available on Amazon and on her website.
my grandmother’s recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of vodka, she told me the alcohhol cooks off but it makes the Chruściki brown evenly without adding flavor like brandy or whiskey would.
My Great-Grandmother made these, but we always just called them wine cookies even though she usually added sherry. Unfortunately, all the ladies I would ask about these cookies have passed away and I don’t know the best way to store them. How do you store them and how long will they keep that way? Last time, I stored them in a tupperware container, but they got really soft and weren’t good enough to keep.
We kept these on the counter, just covered with a dish towel for a few days, but to be fair, the air is pretty dry here. I’ve read that some people pop them in the oven for a few minutes to re-crisp them when they get soft.
When I always bought them at a bakery I would just keep them in that box. This way they had air and not sealed tightly. But they also didn’t last long in our house. Never knew they had spirits either, might just have to try this recipe.
That’s the secret, Mary Lou; they shouldn’t last long!
Never put them in the plastic containers. I keep them in open container and cover with paper towel in in place, like pantry.Stay good for days.
The best way to store them is in a cookie tin or popcorn tin for a large batch. Separate layers occasionally with wax paper. Don’t cover layers completely though. Best for airflow. Stack lightly. Make sure cookies are completely cooled. You can have them sugared for storage. They will keep quite a while.. if you hide them 😉
I let them cool and freeze batches without icing. The day of the celebration, I take premade crustchiki out of freezer and place them on an oven sheet to add icing sugar. I only lightly dust, and leave a sifter with icing if someone wants more icing.
You need to store them in metal to keep them crisp, Craft stores sell metal containers with lids which work perfectly.
Mary Anne Fout
Is there an alternative to frying them in lard?
You could fry them in any oil, but lard is traditional.
Crisco is Best….
Susan Cullen Neves
My Ciocia Eleanor always made these (with my assistance) The liquor we always used for Four Roses (rye whiskey). No matter how many we made, there were never any leftovers. (As it should be:)
Butter-flavored Crisco- the best!
Mary Kay Schlimpert
I fry them in butter Crisco! Delicious!
Getting some serious cravings this Tłusty Czwartek! When you say fry in batches, I assume this would be deep frying in the fat of choice rather than on a frying pan?
I don’t have a deep fat fryer but 1.5 inches of fat in a saucepan or frying pan will work.
That is correct.
Does one have to use alcohol?
The recipes I’ve seen tend to call for it; it’s supposed to make the end product more flaky and tender, but you could certainly use some other liquid. Food for thought – vanilla extract is essentially vanilla bean infused vodka.
Vinegar will work.
My dad used to make these for me every Christmas and Easter. He never wrote down the recipe (for this or any other Polish goodies!), so I am very grateful to have found this. I’m going to make some with my daughters this afternoon and let the tradition continue! Also, we never had a storage problem…they never lasted long enough!
Wonderful memories; I’m so happy you can continue the tradition!
WE use to make these with our neighbor. Back in the 1960’s. Our neighbor and my Mom were polish cooks for weddings, funerals and so on. My Mom also gave me a recipe for baking Chrusciki. They are really good!
That recipe is a treasure! ❤️❤️❤️
What nice memories!
Baking? I’d like to see that recipe please.
We found something similar to this at our local Corner Market, but the dough was rolled out and they spread almond paste on them, and then twisted them. Fried them and then powdered sugar. They were to die for! Anybody know what these are called? They were addictive!
I haven’t heard of them but I love almond paste, sounds good to me!
Kolaczki I think. Not the same thing in the slightest.
This sounds very good. I’m about half Polish and never was with my Polish grandmother when she cooked so I love seeing these recipes.
I’m happy that I can connect you with some family memories; thanks for taking time to comment!
My Nana made them all the time. We call them bow ties. I did get her recipe before she died but it’s a pretty involved process. The rolling, to get them very very thin. We store them in shirt boxes with paper towels and wax paper.
It’s very easy. Not hard at all. Perhaps a little time consuming but rather cathartic.
what does alcohol do in so many polish baking? What is the benefit of using it?
In this case, I’ve heard that it keeps the dough from absorbing the oil while frying. And using alcohol in place of part of the liquid in pastry recipes is supposed to minimize gluten development, giving you a flaky rather than chewy product.
it keeps the cook happy.
It stops the fat from being absorbed and less chace of being greasy
Hi we just made these and they turned wonderful! I just need to be a little quicker on the twists next time so the pastry doesn’t dry out and break when i twist them.
My grandmother made the hruschki and they were “tough”. Not flakey. Good for dunking in coffee. How can I make them for this result?c
I think being careful not to overwork the dough. Adding `a spoon of booze is supposed to help with that too. Roll them thin; I’ve been told mine are too thick.
My bushy never added the alcohol. We call them bow ties
Christine, funny to read ‘bushy’. My granddaughter s calls me bushy every now and then!
After frying them,and cooling them off, can i freeze them??
I’ve read about people freezing them. They might quickly crisp them in the oven after thawing and then doing the powdered sugar.
My grandma made these with brandy but sometimes used red wine vinegar if she didn’t have brandy. The alcohol or vinegar makes them crispy and bubbly! She always zested an orange. I haven’t made these in a long time. Now I’m going to make some soon.
Doreen E Hemstock
They were angel wings to my family. Going to try something different this year when I make them I’m going to try rolling them out with my pasta machine and see what happens. I’ll send you a comment as to the results. Merry Christmas
I’ll bet you can get them VERY thin!
Has anyone tried an air fryer for a less oily version?
My “dough” was liquid and I dipped my rosette iron into liquid and hen the iron into boiling oil. It browned quickly and I put them on paper towels and they cooled quickly.then powdered them with powered sugar. There were several irons. Butterfly ,rosette were my kids favorites. I cannot remember the recipe. Yours are similar but mine was a thick liquid. There’s no one left in family or neighborhood who knew this recipe
Do you know if you could use buttermilk in place of heavy cream or sour cream?
I haven’t tried it, Izabela, but I think the substitution you suggest could be successful.
We called these fatimas … delicious. Have not had them since Mom had a stroke in 1979 … will be making the before Lent this year for sure!
I remember my mother making those when I was a child. We loved them so much. She called them Chruściki. I haven’t heard of them in a long time.
Very interesting comments, My mother in law gave me a recipe, very basic. A lot of work! I think they were called, hruschki. I just tried typing in recipe for Polish Ribbons. Nice surprise, I enjoyed.
The ch sounds like an h, so we agree on pronunciation! 🙂
My Nana made these every Christmas. And when I was in college she always gave me a batch to bring back with me. She stores them in a cardboard cloths box lined I think with paper towels. Stayed nice and crisp. Although she sometime made this shape she also made them with what seems like a thinner batter. She with did a snowflake pattern iron in the batter then tough it to the hot oil. The batter would come off the iron and cook in the oil. They were extremely think and crispy. My mouth is watering just thinking about them. Always called them Chrusciki.
I’m looking to make these for Christmas this year but don’t like to deep fry things and don’t have the means to. How to these do in the air fryer?
Give them a spray of oil and air fry.
I will be making these for Christmas this year and will make this a Polish tradition to pass to my children.
Just what I was looking for! Yum! My great aunt baked everything under the sun – EXCEPT these Angel Wings. She bought them from a Polish bakery outside of Detroit. They never lasted long! Circa 1960’s
Has anyone sussed how to oven bake Christy. I’m not keen on frying and wonder if they can be made just as delicious in the oven? If not, I’ll make them in oil, like I remember my babcia did.
I saw recipes saying to bake faworki/chrusty/chruściki at 160-180°C for about 10 minutes.
For healthier faworki you could try this recipe for baked faworki from a dietician Justyna Marszałkowska-Jakubik.
Makes about 25 – 30 pieces.
1 tablespoon of sugar or any sweetener
100 g of wheat flour
2 tablespoons of natural yoghurt (or Greek yoghurt, or plant based yoghut)
1 pinch of salt
powdered sugar for sprinkling
Knead and form as regular faworki, and then bake 5-10 minutes at 180°C (356°F).
Thanks for the memories. I remember my grandma making these.