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Cottage Cheese Varenikje

This recipe is taken from the recipe book Mennonite Foods and Folkways from South Russia by Norma Jost Voth.

Ingredients for Dough:

Ingredients for Cottage Cheese Filling:


  1. In a deep bowl combine flour and salt. Make a well in the center. Add egg whites and liquid. Knead together. Turn out onto floured board and knead until dough is smooth. Too much kneading can toughen dough. Divide into two parts. Cover and let stand in refrigerator all morning or all day.

  2. Prepare cottage cheese filling by mixing all ingredients. Set aside. Roll dough very thin on a lightly floured board. Cut round with a 3-inch biscuit cutter or with open end of a glass. Place a spoonful of filling in the center. Moisten edges with water or use a little flour and pinch edges together to make a secure seal.

  3. Drop a few Varenikje at a time into a large kettle of rapidly boiling salted water. Do not cook too many at a time. Stir gently with a wooden spoon to separate them and prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Continue boiling for 3-4 minutes. Varenikje are ready when they are well puffed. Remove with perforated spoon to a colander and drain thoroughly. You may dribble a little melted margarine or butter between the Varenikje to keep them from sticking.

  4. At this point some families prefer their Varenikje browned in butter in a hot skillet. Either way, serve hot with cream gravy or syrup. Leftover Varenikje may be cut into strips, reheated and served the next day.

    -Maria Derksen Vogt, Helen Taeves Jost

-To make Cream Gravy, combine 2-3 Tbsp. butter with 1 cup of heavy sour cream. Warm over medium heat. Serve on Varenikje.

-To make Fried Molasses Syrup, heat 1/2 cup molasses in heavy skillet in which Varenikje have been fried. Add a little water and sugar to thin slightly. Boil. Serve over Varenikje. Top with sour cream.

Verenikje and Sausage

*Note by Bertha Fast Harder: My mother always made a "big affair" out of making Varenikje. We daughters were at her side to help handle the "operation." She carefully counted each Varenikje. The family and even guests usually knew how many there would be for each to consume.

In our family, after we four daughters had husbands, the men competed to see who could eat the most. Our one non-ethnic brother-in-law came to love Varenikje. This was the best treat or gift we could give him.