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Favorite Polish Dessert Recipes

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As you might expect, desserts vary from region to region in Poland, but the items on this list of favorite Polish dessert recipes seem to be universal throughout the country.

1. How to Make Angel Wings or Crullers - Chrusciki

Polish Angel Wings or Crullers - Chrusciki
© 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
Because these light-as-air fried bow knot pastries, known as chrusciki, are a little labor intensive to make, they are typically only served on special occasions like weddings, holidays, christenings, graduations, St. Joseph's Day and other feast days.

2. Kolaczki Recipe

Polish Kolaczki
© 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
Polish foldovers or kolaczki is another favorite Polish dessert that takes a little time to make, so they usually make an appearance for special occasions, especially at Christmas time.

3. Polish Bismarcks or Doughnuts Recipe - Paczki

Polish Doughnuts or Bismarcks - Paczki
© 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
Paczki, or Polish doughnuts or bismarcks as they are commonly known, are always served on Fat Tuesday as a splurge food before the fast days of Lent. But these fried cakes also appear at special occasions throughout the year.

4. Apple Cake Recipe - Placek z Jablka

Polish Apple Cake - Placek se Jablka
Flickr by Freitag1220
Polish apple cake - placek z jablka - Polish apple tart (see below) and cheesecake (see below) are three of the most frequently seen desserts at Polish tables. There are hundreds of recipes for all three. This is how my family likes apple cake.

5. Apple Tart Recipe - Szarlotka

Polish Apple Tart or Szarlotka
© 2009 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
Apple tart or szarlotka is the Polish version of American apple pie, except the crust is sweeter and made with butter. Szarlotka is different from placek z jablka or apple cake (above), which is leavened with baking powder or baking soda. But, these two desserts along with sernik or cheesecake (below) make up the most frequently seen sweets in Polish homes.

6. Cheesecake Recipe - Sernik

Polish Cheesecake - Sernik
© 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
Polish cheesecake recipes have come a long way. Originally made with a pastry crust, in modern Poland, anything goes -- cookie crumbs, graham cracker crumbs, or no crust at all! As with the apple cake, above, there are hundreds of recipes for Polish cheesecake. This is one my family likes.

7. Busia's Coffee Cake Recipe - Placek z Kruszonka

Polish Coffee Cake with Crumb Topping
© 2009 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
This Polish coffee cake recipe can be made with or without raisins and is only slightly sweet, and benefits from the crumb topping. It's wonderful with butter and a hot cup of coffee, but try it toasted or made into french toast.

8. Poppyseed Roll - Makowiec

Polish Poppyseed Roll - Makowiec
Flickr by Agnieszka
Polish poppyseed roll or makowiec is a standby Polish sweet. It's an everyday dessert but it also appears at special occasions. Poles love poppyseeds and the thicker the filling, the better!

9. Wheel Cake Recipe - Kolacz

Polish Wheel Cake - Kolacz
© 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
Polish kolacz or wheel cake is a favorite dessert at old-time Polish weddings, especially among the gorale, people who live in Lesser Poland in the southeastern part of the country. It was one of my father's favorite desserts, one of the few his mother had time to make, and one my mother never learned how to make. There are many versions, including one with a lattice-dough top.

10. Plum Cake Recipe - Placek ze Sliwkami

Polish Plum Cake - Placek ze Sliwkami
Flickr by Bougi
Polish plum cake - placek ze sliwkami - is another everyday dessert, especially in summer when plums are plentiful. But canned plums may be used in a pinch. This recipe also works with peaches and apricots.

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