New Year's Cookies, or Portselkje, are a German Mennonite tradition to help ring in the New Year. The traditional version includes raisins and are either rolled in sugar or glazed. Never a fan of raisins, my recipe is without.
In Mennonite Foods and Folkways from South Russia by Norma Jost Voth, tradition states Mennonites gave their Russian neighbors Portselkie when they came and sang for them on New Year's Day. Not really cookies, the dough puffs up when dropped in hot oil and tumbles over, which is where they get their High German name.
1/2 cup lukewarm Water
2 Tablespoons Yeast
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Tablespoon melted Shortening
1 Beaten Egg
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 Cup Flour
1 Cup Chopped Apples
Soften yeast in water. Add sugar, salt, shortening, and egg.
Let rise 40 min.
Add coarsely cut apples, stir in.
Drop by rounding into teaspoon and then into hot oil at 370-375 degrees. Fry to golden brown.
Sprinkle with sugar.
Makes about a dozen!
So here's to a new year, the "cookies" are a symbol of affluence and luxury and carry with them a wish for an abundant year.
My favorite food critics approve!