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Grandma’s Polish Cookies

This traditional khruchiki recipe has been handed down through my mother's side from my great-grandmother. As a child, it was my job to loop the end of each cookie through its hole. —Sherine Elise Gilmour, Brooklyn, New York
  • Total Time
    Prep: 45 min. Cook: 5 min./batch
  • Makes
    40 cookies


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cold butter
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Oil for deep-fat frying
  • Confectioners' sugar


  • In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In another bowl, beat egg yolks until foamy; add milk and vanilla. Stir into crumb mixture until dough is stiff enough to knead.
  • Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead 8-10 times. Divide dough into 4 pieces. Roll each portion into a 1/4-in.-thick rectangle; cut into 4x1-1/2-in. strips. Cut a 2-in. lengthwise slit down the middle of each strip; pull one of the ends through the slit like a bow.
  • In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 375°. Fry dough strips, a few at a time, until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Nutrition Facts
1 each: 122 calories, 8g fat (4g saturated fat), 35mg cholesterol, 98mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 fat, 1/2 starch.


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  • James
    Aug 16, 2020

    My grandmother made these a lot. My mom tried to make them while grandma was still with us. Never could get them the same. She asked grandma why and grandma said you didn’t put in the vodka. Grandma’s recipe was never written down and mom wanted to have a recipe to pass on. Thanks for the memories...

    Dec 17, 2019

    My mother and grandmother used to make these all the time. The secret is to roll the dough as thin as you can get it. Wonderful!

  • grammypeaches
    Dec 10, 2019

    our family made these by the bushel for weddings. the sisters would get together and filled every surface with the wonderful treats. 6 sisters - -can you only imagine. one of the best christmas memories too .Love them

  • Lynn
    Dec 6, 2019

    These are similar to my German grandmother’s kiechla (not sure of spelling). Although we cut into diamond shape and pulled one end thru slit. Very yummy. We also dipped into dark Karo syrup.

  • Randi
    Dec 6, 2019

    My grandmother made these every Christmas, literally hundreds of them. She was Norwegian and they were called Fattigman. (Pr: FUTTY-mon). Then, I met my boyfriend and his family is Polish and they were Kruchiki to them! LOL, a simple fried buttery dough in many northern European homes.

  • Diane
    Jun 7, 2019

    These are similar to the Danish Klejner my mother and grandmother made every Christmas. I loved them. We add a little cardamom. Great memories, thanks!

  • shelleyd
    Feb 5, 2019

    This is (almost) like my Serbian recipe, which is called Cheregi (sp?) Just delicious! Mine adds a jigger (shot) of whiskey into the dough. My mother always cut long strips with a pastry wheel, which has a fluted edge and then cut strips across into pieces on a diagonal. Of course, dust with sifted powdered sugar.

  • Jacque
    Dec 12, 2018

    a neighbor of ours when I was a kid made these. (they were polish). She'd make them for Christmas every year. One of my favorite cookies (and favorite people! They're gone now and I miss them). Don't think she added whiskey or bourbon in them

  • MDeParis
    Dec 7, 2018

    My mother used to add a shot of whiskey or bourbon also. It kept the dough fluffy. And also, they mad a slit it the dough and brought one side threw, so the kind of looked like a bow tie

  • mamabirdofbk
    Dec 4, 2017

    my mother used to add a bit of whiskey to hers