Happy New Year!
I'm happy to say good-bye to 2013. It was a very difficult year indeed but I am very optimistic about 2014.
Most people who know me also know that I don't deep fry food. In fact, the deep fryer at my restaurant was used as a convenient shelf. All the same, I'm sharing this traditional Mennonite dish that we'll be preparing today. Another recipe for Portzelki can be found at the Mennonite Girls can Cook! site, http://www.mennonitegirlscancook.ca/2011/12/portzelky-new-years-cookies.html. This recipe is my Großma's with a few variations from the other. If you have instant yeast, you can skip the first step of starting the yeast and mix into the flour just before mixing.
2 pkgs (~4 1/2 tsp) yeast in 1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
Let stand for 10 minutes
2 cups warm milk
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 lb raisins or currants (soak and then gently dry on low oven on paper towel until water is off but plumped)
Flour for soft batter (~5 cups)
Optional: good pinch saffron in warm milk
Combine milk, salt, sugar, baking powder, raisins and egg yolks. Add 2 cups flour to yeast and milk and stir. Let stand until bubbly. Add remaining flour. Beat egg whites to stiff peak and fold into batter. Drop by spoonfuls into hot oil (375ºF). Space evenly and do not over crowd. Allow room for portzelky to turn over. When fully cooked, drain and cool.
Serve with small bowls of sugar for dipping.
Enjoy and Happy New Year! Photos coming soon!