Daring Cooks Challenge – August 2010 – THE WORLD OF PIEROGI!

The August 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by  LizG of Bits n’ Bites and Anula of Anula’s Kitchen. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make pierogi from scratch and an optional challenge to provide one filling that best represents their locale.

I literally put this challenge off until the last possible minute. 😉 Somehow, I’m one of those people who actually works better under pressure. 🙂 {After all, this is a challenge, right? The race against the clock was a pretty good challenge for me…} 

My first memory of a pierogi goes back to when I was 10 years old. One of my best friends in grade school, Angela, used to have me over to her house for dinner and a sleep-over many weekends throughout the year. My favourite thing about those sleep overs was the pierogi that her mom used to make. She made ones filled with potato and bacon for dinner, followed by blueberry and cream stuffed pierogi for dessert. I don’t know what it was about these doughy little puff-bubbles of flavour, but there was just something about them that I couldn’t resist! I always thought they’d be so hard to make, so I had never attempted them. Though, after making pasta from scratch, these were definitely on the list of things to do!

Here is a copy of the original recipes and methods listed on the Daring Kitchen in PDF format. You can also visit the Daring Kitchen’s website. Please refer to this for any questions regarding the whole pierogi experience if nothing I post makes any sense. 😉

For my pierogi, I decided to make them whole wheat. Reason one being that I don’t like to use white flour for ANYTHING if I can help it… Reason two being that I didn’t have anything BUT whole wheat flour, and am a little too cheap to go out and buy flour that I will only use once. 😉 So instead of yapping away, I’ll get to the recipe I did for both the dough {I didn’t do the recipe as posted, but the one I put together turned out SOOOOOO tasty! Yay! 🙂 } and the filling. I decided to go for a sweet dish, which can be used either for dessert or breakfast. So for this post, I will be posting about my specific experience with this challenge. As mentioned above, visit The Daring Kitchen for the original recipes. I really enjoyed this challenge, because we were given full creativity when it came to the pierogi dough and fillings. The only thing we HAD to do was make both the dough and the filling from scratch. What a great challenge! 🙂 I will definitely make these again, and with other flavours! Enjoy! 🙂

Peanut Butter Whole Wheat Pierogi with Maple Peanut Butter Sauce

Ingredients:

  • Dough: 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • about 1/3 cup warm water
  • pinch of salt
  • Filling: 2 tbsp graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp smooth natural peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter chips
  • 2 tbsp mini semi sweet chocolate chips {you can omit the peanut butter and chocolate chips to keep it healthy… 😉 }
  • 2 tbsp plain non-fat yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Method:

  • For the filling: mix all ingredients in a bowl, and set aside. {Yeah, it’s simple. 🙂 }
  • For the dough: place the flour into a bowl, and create a well in the middle.
  • Pour the salt, vanilla sugar, egg and water in the middle. Stir until mixed.
  • Add a bit more water if the dough is too dry, or add a bit more flour of the dough is too sticky.
  • At this point, knead the dough a bit on a lightly floured surface, or keep kneading it in the bowl.
  • Cover the bowl with a towel, and allow to rest for about 20 minutes.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl, and roll out onto a flat, lightly floured surface.
  • Roll it out to about 2 mm thickness.
  • Take a glass or a cookie cutter about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter, and cut circles out of the dough. Take the scraps, and roll them out to cut more circles.
  • Place the circles on the flat surface, and fill each one with about 1/2 tsp of the filling. Make sure the filling is RIGHT in the middle.
  • Here’s the messy part: Pressing the pierogi closed. I wish I could explain it better, but I can’t. If you don’t have a press for it, because I sure don’t, then you have to do it by hand… I made a few mistakes, but that’s alright… Just fold the dough over carefully, and squeeze the outside edges together, but not too hard or you’ll rip the dough. Make sure you don’t get any filling sticking out of the sides, and if you do… Well, wipe it off. There’s a good chance the edges won’t stick together if there’s filling oozing out, though I didn’t have any problems with filling bursting out while cooking. 🙂
  • Once all of the pierogi are stuffed and pressed closed, set them aside.
  • Fill a pot half way with water, sprinkle some salt into the water, and bring to a boil on high heat.
  • Once the water is boiling, drop the pierogi in. {Only do a few at a time, I did this batch in quarters.} Make sure none of the pierogi are over-lapping each other.
  • Allow the water to return to a boil, and then reduce to medium heat. Let them simmer until all of the pierogi have started floating at the top of the water. Once they’re all floating, set a timer for 5 minutes.
  • Once the 5 minutes is up, use a slotted spoon to remove the pierogi and put them on a plate. {You may want to line the plate with paper towel…}
  • Repeat this boil method until all of the pierogi are done.
  • Now you can eat them, served with whatever topping you like! OR:
  • Get a frying pan. Drizzle a SMALL AMOUNT {say, 1/2 tsp} of extra virgin olive oil, and set the heat to medium.
  • Place the first set of pierogi on the pan, and fry for a couple of minutes on each side. The time will depend on the texture you want. If you want them a bit crispy, keep them on longer, but just make sure you don’t burn them!
  • Set the cooked ones on a plate, and eat them served with whatever topping you like! 🙂
  • Freezing the pierogi: If you want to make a massive batch and freeze them for a later date, you can! After the boiling is finished, set the pierogi aside on a paper towel lined plate. Allow them to cool completely. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet, and place the pierogi on the sheet. Put the sheet in the freezer, and allow them to freeze for about 30 minutes. Once hard and cold, move the pierogi into a freezer bag. To prepare again, simply bring a pot of water to a boil, and prepare the frozen pierogi as you would the fresh ones. You can then fry them if you like.

Peanut Butter Maple Sauce for the Pierogi

Ingredients:

  • Left over filling for the pierogi
  • As much maple syrup as you like

Method:

  • This is a tough one folks. I hope you’re ready…
  • Add some maple syrup to the bowl of pierogi filling, and stir.
  • Drizzle over the cooked pierogi.
  • Ta-Da! You’re  now ready to eat your sweet little pierogi.

Here’s some visuals! 🙂

ready to roll! ;)

ready to roll! 😉

pretty circles...

pretty circles...

about to be boiled!

about to be boiled!

time to dig in! ;)

time to dig in! 😉

yum yum yum yum....

yum yum yum yum....

they don't last that long after the first taste... Good thing I froze some for the husband to have tomorrow! ;)

they don't last that long after the first taste... Good thing I froze some for the husband to have tomorrow! 😉

...almost gone... ;)

...almost gone... 😉

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13 comments on “Daring Cooks Challenge – August 2010 – THE WORLD OF PIEROGI!

  1. Just a note: I completed this challenge at 10pm… So not only was the iPhone not taking the best pictures, but I also had garbage lighting to work with… 😦
    Maybe I’ll snap a few better pictures if I get a chance before the husband eats the rest of these up in the morning! 😉

  2. MMM I love pierogi! I used to know someone in Regina that made these from scratch and all kinds of different fillings. She taught me how to make these and freeze them for later. I’ll never forget that,the first time I had them and learned how to make something completely from scratch!

    By the way I like your pics. Realistic and I totally get your pierogi. I wish I could have some of these…thank you for sharing this!

    • That sounds awesome, I wish someone had shown me how to make these a while back! 🙂 they’re messy but fun 🙂
      And thanks! I’m hoping to get fancier pictures later today, but it’s not likely hahahaaha realistic is good though I guess. 🙂 To be honest, I probably would have never made these if it weren’t for that daring kitchen website!

  3. Hey Nikki,
    As a Polish girl, I am quite familiar with making homemade pierogi.. In your method, you said to put the filling right in the middle… I would actually suggest to put it in the middle of only one side.. that way all you have to do is fold the other half over top. Obviously make sure that you don’t get your filling too close to the edges, cause you don’t want it to burst. I highly recommend using a fork to press the pierogi together… 1 because it holds them together better, and 2 because it creates a pretty design around them.

    My favourite pierogi to make are filled with berries, and you serve them with icing sugar and whipped cream. mmmm mmmm good.

    • I am definitely not a pierogi master, or even close to it hahahaa, so thanks for the tips! I will keep them in mind next time around 🙂 To be completely honest though, it doesn’t really matter to me how “pretty” they are… 😉 The taste was the star of the show this time around! 🙂

  4. Oh. My. God.
    I want these! And my husband might just run someone over to taste them! I love that you did them with all whole wheat flour. I am trying to incorporate more whole wheat flour ito my recipes… I might just have to try this! Thank you so much!!

    • Hahahahahah I didn’t make enough to share though! 😉
      The whole wheat flour really gave them a hearty taste, which I enjoyed! I’ve been using whole wheat flour, and only eating whole grain/whole wheat items for so long, that anything with white flour tastes strange to me now… There are some recipes where you really can’t (or shouldn’t…) substitute, and in those cases I’ll either give in and use white (but unbleached), or I just won’t make the recipe. An easy way to make a shift to using whole wheat is with any recipe you’d use all white, take out half of the white and add whole wheat in it’s place. Each time you make something, substitute out a little more, and eventually you’ll be using all whole wheat flour! 🙂 At least that’s what I did, because I used to LOVE white bread/baked goods *lol*
      And no problemo! 🙂 If you try it, best of luck! It’s messy, but rewarding in such a tasty way… 🙂

    • It was my (and my husband’s) tastebud’s pleasure 😉
      Next to the Brunswick stew, this was my favourite challenge to do yet!

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