Varenyky (filled dumplings)

Yield: 10 servings

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Varenyky for Sviata Vechera are special. Whereas the small half moons of soft dough may be filled with a variety of delectable combinations of vegetables, fruits, meats, and cheeses, for Christmas Eve potato and cabbage fillings prevail. The dough should be thin, but not too thin, and resilient to the bite, but not tough; the filling distinct, but not overpowering in flavor. There are as many variations as there are Ukrainian cooks. Old cookery instructions always started out with "Make the dough as for varenyky" implying everyone knew how to make it properly. Varenyky have their place in Ukrainian folklore. Various tales recount feats of eating large quantities of varenyky. Superstition has it that if one counts as one makes them, they will overcook and the filling seep out, so cooks have devised ways of arranging them in uniform rows so as to avoid counting individually. This versatile dish promotes individuality. Some cooks like plump varenyky, smaller rounds, different stuffings, and thinner dough for different fillings.

Potato-cheese filling is usually the plumpest and the rounds are thicker than they are for sauerkraut and cabbage fillings. Fruit filled varenyky are made with a more delicate dough. This recipe omits eggs, since they toughen the dough. However, many cooks do use them. Making varenyky is fun. Grandparents and children may be enlisted to roll the dough, cut out the rounds, or to fill them.

However, cooking the dumplings should be reserved for the experienced cook. 5 c Unbleached All-Purpose Flour 1 ts Salt 2 tb Butter 1 c Evaporated Milk; NOT -Condensed Milk ½ c ;Water, As Needed Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl, forming a well in the middle. Add the butter and milk and mix lightly until the flour is absorbed. (Add a little warm water as needed.) Knead until the dough sticks together, cover and allow to rest for a few minutes, then knead until ht. I for s Frrabl)561idserveh. TThe dough shouldy ( now w of eggs, si am mohe flhey may shredhereas The do Thot fil WA>dedOr,eets in a proce,be a coe and thohe frice, orns, ahe bumilk, rforminr a sometutes, ties with te read thrunncookiss, oom lisnead una bTis all formAnd allow to rest for a few min s Frraes, tn a pronead until ht.

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Origin: FidoNet Home Cooking Echo Shared by: Rich Harper Submitted By SHARON STEVENS On 02-21-95

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