It’s Fat THURSDAY! Happy Paczki Day!

Now before you get your etouffeed panties in a bunch… I KNOW I titled this Fat THURSDAY. If you were cool like me – you would be part Polish. You would be able to drink most of your friends under the table. You would understand the importance of pirogi, and when someone starts singing “Sto lat, sto lat, niech zyje zyje nam” you would definitely know that a whole slew of good times are about to take place. You would also get to over indulge in one of my favorite holidays. Paczki Day.

Strawberry Paczki disted with powdered sugar

Paczki, pronounced pooch-kee not Paa-zick-kee is a deep fried dough that is filled with fruit preserves or sometimes a sweet custard, and then dusted in powdered or granulated sugar. Some say they are similar to a jelly donut – but don’t kid yourself. These are rich and will stop your heart with its butter, eggs, milk and rum… Comparing it to a donut is like saying the Colts actually put up a good fight… *ducks* (Tho if you were also part German like me… and that makes you supah cool - you could compare them to a Berliner…) In Poland, and here in Chicago, Paczki’s are typically eaten on Fat THURSDAY, the last Thursday before lent, and is associated with the start of Carnival. Of course here in Chicago we over indulge and chow down on Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday as well. Traditionally, Paczkis were created to use up all of the fats, sugar, eggs and fruit in the house that you were forbidden to eat during the Catholic observance of fasting throughout Lent. Wow. Some of those years of Catholic school teachings have stuck… but yea none of the guilt…

This recipe that follows for traditional Paczki is not my mothers nor my busia’s or even something we made year after year. In truth, my mom just used to bundle me up and drag me down the block with her to the Laramie Bakery to STAND IN A VERY LONG LINE for a few dozen that were gone in a flash. But I have been making my own, adapted from a recipe that was adapted from a recipe that was adapted from a recipe… you get the point. They are yummy. And quite addictive.

Time to empty the pantry…

4 t active dry yeast
1/4 c warm water
1 t sugar
5 eggs
1 t salt
1/3 c butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
5 cups flour
1/3 cup rum
1 cup scalded whole milk or cream
1 1/2 c fruit preserves and / or custard

Oil or the traditional lard for deep frying.

Powdered and / or granulated sugar for dusting. Or you can make a glaze.

Get to work.

Mix the yeast, 1 t sugar and warm water together and let sit 10 minutes.

Beat the eggs with the salt till thick and creamy. Set aside.

Cream the butter and the sugar together. While your mixer is on medium, Add half the yeast. Then add the rum. If you already drank the rum, measure more rum and add. And then half the milk. Now add the rest of the yeast, and the rest of the milk. Sip more rum. When this is all incorporated, add half the flour and the eggs. Continue adding the remaining flour until the dough blisters. Drinks moar rums…

Cover and place in a warm spot. Allow to rise until doubled in size. Punch down and let rise again.

Roll out dough to a 1/2″ thickness. Cut into 3″ circles, and place on a baking sheet. Let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile in a large pot or dutch oven, heat oil to 375°. Fry for 2-3 minutes or until bottom is brown. Flip and fry 1-2 minutes longer. Remove from hot oil and drain on paper towels. When cool, utilize a pastry bag with a strong tip to pipe filling of choice into Paczki. Dust with powdered or granulated sugar or glaze.

Serve immediately. They do not keep well so eat as soon as possible. Not that you will have any left overs… but if you do freeze immediately. Once you make these you will want to make them year after year. Because if you don’t, your friends and family will disown you for being such a tease…

Strawberry Paczki disted with powdered sugar

Good Luck. Good Cheer. May you live a hundred years.

Cooked up by Heather


  1. 21
    March 8

    There’s rum in there, too? Holy hell-it’s everything you want in a jelly filled pillow from heaven.

  2. 20
    March 8

    i cannot make these . . . because anything filled w/jelly is like crack cocaine and i will not stop until every last crumb has been digested . . . i don’t care how much powdered sugar i’ll be wearing when the food orgy is over . . .

  3. 19
    March 8

    Oh…. evil. You actually have me considering making these. My abs are not happy with me right now, and this certainly won’t help.

    But they just look so darn good!

  4. 18
    February 24

    I am so cool- part Polish… part Italian.

    You have made these Polish creations look SO good. Way better than anything I have ever seen. Nice job!

  5. 17
    February 17

    I’ve looked at this page 5 times now and every time it looks better and better!

  6. 16
    February 16

    These fried dough look so yummie…rum? Sounds even better :-)

  7. 15
    February 16

    I’m sorry – I just drooled on my iPhone. Think of the electrical short, if I saw this on the computer at home!

  8. 14
    February 16

    Oh yum. They sound great. I love boozy desserts… :P

  9. 13
    February 16

    Never heard of this, but I am glad you introduced me. YUM!

  10. 12
    February 16

    With rum that must be so good. Beautiful.

  11. 11
    February 15

    OMG! I would NEVER EVER disown a friend that made these! Amazing!

  12. 10
    February 13

    Oh my…these look fabulous and so much fun to make!

    Happy Valentine’s Day to both you and Jeff!

  13. 9
    February 12

    Why is all the RUM GONE! These look great and your writing is hysterical. I’ll be back for more. Thanks!

  14. 8
    February 12

    Oh those look like the perfect breakfast, lunch, dinner….ok I want some now

  15. 7
    February 12

    oh my goodness. Those look amazing.

  16. 6
    February 12

    I intend to keep pronouncing it pah-ZICK-ee.

    And only wish I had your stick-to-it-iveness
    Which is not a word I use
    but which seemed appropriate given this recipe.

    Your photography and writing rock hard. Sent here by the Google Alert Gods, I’ll be back.

  17. 5
    February 12

    Yummy yummy in my tummy…I wish there was one left for me…So did you freeze any of them? Will you ship me one?

  18. 4
    February 11

    Just YUM!

  19. 3
    February 11

    Yum! Can I have one? You are so used to driving all the time.. what’s a quick trip to Canada?

  20. 2
    February 11

    WE used to make 1500 of these each year!

  21. 1
    February 11

    If I could eat those everyday I’s want to live 200 years. Yum!

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