Flickr: Melissa Wang

What Are Pączki and Why They Are so Delicious?


Who doesn't love a donut? They seem to transcend culture, and different cuisines around the world feature some form of a donut/doughnut. But have you ever heard of p?...czki? If you're Polish, you're probably very familiar with the delicious dessert treat, but if you're not, read on to find out exactly what delectable goodness you're missing in your life by not trying one.

What Are P?...czki, Exactly?

P?...czki are a filled, dessert donut featured in Polish cuisine. The name comes from a diminutive of the Polish word p?...k, or "bud," according to Wikipedia. "The latter derives from Proto-Slavic *p?k?, which may have referred to anything that is round, bulging and about to burst," the outlet says, which sort of makes sense for a filled donut?

P?...czki are often covered with powdered sugar, some sort of icing, a glaze, or even dried orange zest. A small amount of grain alcohol is added to the dough before it is cooked, but it evaporates. They feature creme or fruit filling, and stewed plum fruit jam and wild rose petal jam are traditional fillings, Wikipedia notes. Bavarian cream, custard, and fruits like raspberry, apple, and apricot are all possibilities.

The dough usually consists of eggs, fats, sugar, yeast, and occasionally milk. P?...czki recipes online call for everything from egg yolks to active dry yeast to all-purpose flour to lard and so much more. They often call for an oil like vegetable oil for frying these Polish donuts.

P?...czki have been around in Poland for a very long time, and are often eaten on Fat Thursday, the last Thursday before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. In the United States, Polish Americans often celebrate Paczki Day on either Fat Tuesday or Fat Thursday before the Lenten season. Detroit, Michigan and Chicago, Illinois, both have large Polish communities that often celebrate with these treats.

There are a ton of p?...czki recipes online that call for tools like a stand mixer, dutch oven, and biscuit cutters to make the donuts, but the most important thing you need to know is they just have to end up golden brown, often after frying them in some sort of hot oil. However you get to the delicious end goal is up to you.

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