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Celebrate Mardi Gras Polish-Style on Fat Tuesday

Fat Tuesday, Paczki Day in Polish communities, is one of the few times you are encouraged to indulge in all your favorite things.

It is the day before Lent, when Christians sacrifice things like coffee or candy during the 40 days before Easter. In Polish communities, the doughnuts known as a paczki are traditional Fat Tuesday fare. They are made with sugar, eggs and fat, then filled with fruit or cream. The final touch is dusting it with powdered sugar or a glaze.

Sound delicious? You can make a paczki in the comfort of your own kitchen. Here's how:

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups warm milk

2 packages active dry yeast — be sure to proof?? yeast before you start

½ cup sugar

1 stick of butter at room temperature

1 large egg

3 large egg yolks at room temperature

1 tablespoon brandy or rum

1 tablespoon salt

4 ½ cup all-purpose flour

1 gallon of oil for deep-frying

Granulated sugar (if you want to coat it at the end)

Custard or fruit filling (optional)

Add the yeast to the warm milk and stir until it dissolves. In a large bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until it become fluffy. Beat the eggs, salt and brandy.

Alternate adding the 4 ½ cup flour and the milk-yeast mixture and mix for 5 minutes until smooth.

Put dough in a greased bowl. Cover it and let rise until the size has doubled. Wait time should be 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours.

Place dough on lightly floured surface and roll out to ½ inch thickness. Cut it into 3-inch round circles. Cover and let rounds rise again. Wait time should be around 30 minutes.

Heat oil to 350 degrees in a large skillet or Dutch oven. Place doughnuts round topside down in the oil and fry for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown. Do the same on the other side.

Drain paczki on paper towel and roll in granulated sugar. If you choose to fill you paczki, poke a hole in the side and squeeze a dollop of filling inside it.

Paczkis are best fresh, so eat them while you can.

How do you celebrate Fat Tuesday? Do you have any special recipes? Share them below or on Facebook !

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