Varenikje (Sweet Perogies)


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This best-ever varenikje dough recipe was adapted from Norma Jost Voth’s Mennonite Foods and Folkways from South Russia, Volume II.  This recipe doubled yields 7 dozen varenikje.  It also works well when tripled.  The recipe calls for all-purpose flour but bread flour may be substituted partially or entirely.  The varenikje may be made ahead, frozen in layers on waxed paper, and then cooked just prior to serving.

The varenikje may also be filled with thick apricot, plum or strawberry jam, or pitted cherries, sliced strawberries, or blueberries sprinkled with a little flour and sugar prior to filling.

FYI the main difference between varenikje and perogies besides the country of origin, is that varenikje are normally prepared with sweet fillings (cottage cheese, fruit, ground nuts/poppy seeds, jam – often with butter, sour cream and sugar on top) and perogies typically have savory fillings (bacon, mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, cottage cheese often fried in butter and onions).

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup evaporated milk

Method:

Mix together the dry ingredients.

Combine beaten eggs with milk and then work into dry ingredients.

Cover dough and allow it to stand for 1 hour or more before using.

The dough will seem too runny.  Use a good amount of flour when rolling out.  Roll dough out quite thin, and cut into 3-inch circles. (Steve adds up to another cup of flour at this point.)

Fill with 1 tsp. of cottage cheese filling.  Fold over and pinch edges together tightly.

Drop varenikje into a large pot of boiling water.  Boil 5 to 8 minutes.  Drain.

Option 1:  They may be served by dipping in melted butter, spread with sour cream and then sprinkled with granulated sugar.

Option 2:  They may be served sprinkled with a mixture of granulated sugar and finely ground walnuts or sugar and ground poppy seed.

Cottage cheese filling ingredients:

2 to 2 ½ cups dry-curd cottage cheese

2 eggs

(Note:  3 eggs mixed into one 500-gram package of dry cottage cheese work well and will yield enough filling for about 80 varenikje)

Cottage cheese filling method:

Mix eggs and cottage cheese together and use as a filling.

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