Paczki Day may have come and gone (it was Tuesday, February 28), but its spirit lives on in Instagram posts. If you haven’t tried Paczki yet, you’re missing out *big time.* These Polish pastries — which are similar to donuts — are a MAJOR staple around this time of year (along with spring detox recipes and Easter dessert recipes). Traditionally, they were made in Polish households to use up all manner of dessert ingredients before the start of Lent, and even today, Paczki Day is still a pretty big deal in cities with large Polish populations, like Chicago and Detroit. Here are 11 of our favorite pics of this seasonal creation.
1. Classic Paczki: First off, let’s start with a description of what Paczki actually ARE. They’re not dissimilar to a jelly donut, but they’re made from an even richer deep-fried dough spun from eggs, sugar, fat, yeast, and milk.
2. Soft on the Outside, Sweet on the Inside: Paczki are traditionally stuffed with fruit or cream fillings, ranging from sweet to uber sugary (savory flavors need not apply). Some of the most traditional fillings include plum and rosehip jam.
3. Don’t Skip on the Filling: These Paczki are PACKED with delicious filling. The filling itself is sweet and gooey, while the dough is coated in a light, flakey, sugary glaze.
4. Chocolate on Top: Perhaps less traditional than some, these tasty Paczki are drizzled with a sweet and chocolatey glaze. Conventionally, they’re glazed with a sugary, citrusy finishing.
5. NOT Sugar-Free: These bad boys are rolled in a crystal coating of white sugar. They’re decidedly NOT for dieters. Bring on the sweetness!
6. Stack ’em Up: Paczki on Paczki on Paczki. Need we say more?
7. Bun Basket: Bring your neighbor a friendly basket of delicious homemade Paczki. It’ll be a total throwback to simpler times, and your neighbor will not be able to resist the pull of that super-powdery confectioners’ sugar on top.
8. Ready for Glaze: So THIS is how they do it. These pastries are piping hot and fresh from the oven, and they’re ready for a delicious vanilla glaze.
9. Real Fruit and Nutella Paczki: To mix things up, why not try incorporating fresh fruit and/or Nutella into your otherwise traditional Paczki? Case in point: These AH-mazing looking dough balls.
10. Apricot Dreams: You can’t tell from the pic, but these Paczki are actually stuffed with delicious apricot preserves. In fact, you can feel free to use jam or preserves from whatever fruit you like, from strawberries to blackberries and beyond.
11. Cousins in Sweetness: Paczki and donuts are basically cousins when it comes to the family tree of desserts. Both deep-fried, often filled, and usually glazed, they’re truly the stuff of sweet dreams.
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