Angel Wings – Chrusciki

Angel Wings – Chrusciki



Christmas is a time for not only making memories but for remembering. Certainly, when we look back on Christmases past, we are sure to conjure up some memories of food. In just about every conceivable celebration, you will find food. Not surprising… food sustains life. Since eating is necessary, even on special days, we tend to include food, often special foods, in our celebrations.

Every Christmas I bring pictures of Grandma Pearl, Bushia and my Mom into the kitchen. (Read Grandmas in the Kitchen.) Although my grandmas have long since passed, memories of them are strong at the holidays. Many of the foods that I make are foods that they, and my mom, made at the holidays. Making “their” foods helps me keep them rooted in our celebration and their spirits fill me with warmth and joy.

 

 

Conversely, I have few memories of my Dad in the kitchen. I suppose he must have cooked SOMETHING from time to time; perhaps throwing together a sandwich or opening a can of soup when my mother was sick, but I just can’t visualize it. My strongest memory of him in the kitchen, was at Christmas, when he and my Mom would make Chrusciki (Polish), better known as Angel Wings. Angel wings are a delicate pastry, covered in powdered sugar, that explode in your mouth. The pastry is “tied” before deep frying, making them look like wings… well, sort of!

My Father’s involvement with Chrusciki began early in his life. Best I can tell, my father always worked. He was a child during the Depression, and began a paper route in elementary school. By the time he was in high school, he worked at a corner Polish bakery. He would get up in the wee hours of the morning, and go work before going to school. One of his jobs was to make Chrusciki. He learned to roll the elastic dough unbelievably thin, resulting in an unbelievably delicate cookie. When he and Mom made these cookies, he always had the job of rolling out the dough and cutting them into PERFECTLY uniformed sizes. (He was an engineer… need I say more?) They were my very favorite Christmas cookie!

While making these cookies, I think back to those days of my childhood. My Father is still alive, but Alzheimer’s has long since claimed the Father I knew. The memories that flood my thoughts while making Angel Wings are of a Father full of vitality and purpose. I think of my Daddy; his goodnight kisses, playing with us on the front lawn in the summer, helping me with homework, and walking me down the aisle when I married. I am delighted that I associate Angel Wings with him, because now, as I look at the frail man before me, I would like to think that he is surrounded by angels.

All night, all day, angels watching over me, my Lord.
All night, all day, angels watching over me.
Sun is a-setting in the West; angels watching over me, my Lord.
Sleep my child, take your rest; angels watching over me.

All night, all day, angels watching over me, my Lord.
All night, all day, angels watching over me.

ANGEL WINGS – CHRUSCIKI
Ingredients:
12 egg yolks (well beaten)
4 T. sour cream
Flour (enough until dough is stiff enough to roll, should be elastic like – start with 3 3/4 cups) 
Powder sugar

Directions:
Mix all ingredients except powdered sugar.

Roll dough real thin.

Cut in 6 x 2 inch strips. (Save the scraps and deep fry with the wings. They are just as yummy!)

Cut small slit in center and tie into bows.



Deep fry in very hot shortening on each side, turning when light golden. 

Drain on paper towel and generously sprinkle with powder sugar. 


The cookies taste the best if allowed to “age” for a day or two, but feel free to eat all the scraps now… YUM! 


 

 

 

 

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Kimara

12 Comments

  1. Chrusciki is a Christmas tradition in our family too. I remember spending afternoons in the kitchen with my mom, aunts, and babcia near the holidays. Though my Babcia has passed and we don’t live near my aunts any more my mom, my daughter, and I still make them.

    Enjoy your Angel Wings!

    1. How wonderful that you are now creating new memories for your daughter. I’m sure you also enjoy sharing with her all those joyous times of your past with her. Enjoy your "chrusciking" 🙂

  2. Thank you Kimara for sharing about your father. My mother is also a victim of AD. I care for her 24/7, but as you write, there is nothing left of my mother there. But she lives in my memories of her creativity and energy, especially at Christmas. I’m planning to make your Chruciki in honor of both of them.

    1. If your mom is anything like my dad, you have to know in your heart that they would want us to celebrate their life, not their disease. Hoping your Holidays are joyous, filled with memories of happier times with your mom 🙂

  3. First off, thank you for sharing such a beautiful memory! What a lovely way to keep your “authentic” Dad close to your heart.

    Second, these look absolutely delicious and I can’t wait to try them with the kids!

    1. YAY! Would love to be a part of your daily celebration, even if it is only by sharing a recipe. Enjoy your month of activities with your family 🙂

  4. How absolutely amazing..thank you so much for posting this and for the photo’s. My dad used to make these every Xmas when he was alive. I never had the recipe and like your kids I enjoyed helping him make these! I’m really excited…I’ve sent a link to my sister and brothers..thank you!

    1. I hope you make some this year. It is amazing how continuing a tradition you associate with another person helps to keep their spirit rooted in your celebration. I’m glad this brought back memories for you and your siblings 🙂

  5. Thank you so much for this post!! My Grandma Ann passed in Feb 97′ and your post sent tears streaming. My sister and I were talking about how we miss these cookies just weeks ago. These will be made promptly!!!

  6. I know, you posted this a year ago but the story and recipe are truly timeless. The pictures of your kids helping you bake makes this post even more special.

    Merry Christmas and thank you for so many wonderful projects that you share with everyone throughout the year.

    1. One of the wonderful things about writing a blog is you get to go back and read your old posts. Wee Folk Art is not only a crafting blog, but it is also my journal. One day I plan to bring it all together in a book form for my children and grandbabies.

      Merry Christmas to you and yours, and wishing you all a blessed New Year 🙂

  7. I just found this on Pinterest and it brought a tear to my eye. My own Busia’s is in a home and no longer can make chrusciki. This is my first year trying and this helps so much. Thanks for helping me keep Polish traditions alive with my family.

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