Saturday, January 2, 2016

New Year's Cookies

I love this time of year! My hubby and I decided to celebrate THREE days of New Year's Day this year - just for fun, to spread out the celebration and relaxation to three days, instead of just one!

And today I took time to do something that I have been wanting to do for a few years. A few years ago my father (now 94 years old) asked if I could make him some New Year's Cookies, something that my mother always made on New Year's Day. It was an extra busy time that year, and I was not able to make them then, but I have had it on my mind each year since then to make these for my father.

A recipe from my heritage ... New Year's Cookies! I really don't know why they are called "cookies", as they are a yeast recipe, and are deep fat fried. And I really don't know why I have taken this long to make these (this was my first time) - they are yummy!

Print Recipe

Portzelky (New Year's Cookies)

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Total Time: 2 hr 5 min
Serves: 48


  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 12 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour or as needed
  • 1 quart vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar for dusting or as needed


  1. Dissolve sugar in lukewarm water in a large bowl and sprinkle yeast over the top. Let yeast activate until it forms a creamy layer on top of the water, about 10 minutes.
  2. Rinse raisins and pat dry with paper towels. Stir raisins into yeast mixture; beat eggs, lukewarm milk, and salt into yeast mixture. Beat flour into liquid ingredients until dough is smooth. If dough is too sticky, beat in 1/4 cup more flour. Cover dough and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. Heat vegetable oil to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) in a large saucepan or deep fat fryer.
  4. Scoop up dough by tablespoon and drop, a few at a time, into the hot oil. Fry until lightly browned; drain on wire racks set over paper towels. Dust with confectioners' sugar.
Note: Next time I make this recipe, I may try to add a bit more flour to make the dough a little stiffer to make it easier to work with.

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Plan To Eat

It was extra fun to make this recipe this year, as about twenty-five of my cousins and aunts are in a private Facebook message group together, and some of them have been sharing how they have made these cookies this week, as well. They are reminded of their parents as they make them, and I will have the joy of taking some of these New Year's Cookies to my father tomorrow when we visit him in his Assisted Living apartment nearby. And I know this would make my mother really happy if she could see us ...


  1. Thanks for sharing your recipe, Cherry!

    1. You are welcome, Sylvia! It sure has been fun to share notes about these New Year's Cookies in our Facebook group!