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Flora Atkin's Dutch Kichelkies (Little Kichel)

No recipe image available."In nineteenth-century America, kichlers or Haman's Ears for Purim Night were small cookies (kichel is cookie in Yiddish), sometimes made from a pound-cake batter, deep-fried in butter, and bathed in sugar syrup flavored with cinnamon and rose water. Notice that butter was used in this age before vegetable shortening.

Haman's Ears is also the American name for a kichel, kichelkies, or hazenblosen (blown-up little pants), thin strips of fried dough sprinkled with confectioners' sugar, similar to the Italian bugie served at Carnivale in February. "When I would ask my grandmother how much red wine to use in her kichelkies, she would reply, 'Half and egg shell,'" said Flora Atkin, who enjoys making traditional family recipes for holidays. She used to say, 'I know my recipe won't die because my granddaughter will carry on the tradition.'" She was right. Before Rosh Hashanah, each year, Mrs. Atkin makes kichelkies on an assembly line with three frying pans going at once." - Joan Nathan.

Recipe Ingredients:

1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sweet red wine
1/2 to 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
Vegetable oil or Crisco for deep-frying
Confectioners' (powdered) sugar

Cooking Directions:

  1. Beat the egg well. Then add salt, wine, and gradually the flour until you have a sticky elastic dough, almost like the consistency of molasses.
  2. Flour your hands and break off pieces not much bigger than a marble. Roll out paper-thin on a floured surface. Cut in segments approximately 2 by 4 inches (dough the size of a large marble will make about 3), or cut on the diagonal very thin strips or whatever shape you wish.
  3. Pour about 2 inches of oil into a heavy frying pan and heat to 375°F (190°C). Slide the strips carefully into the hot oil. Let cook a few seconds on each side. Soon they will bubble and puff up like hazenblosen. Remove with a spatula and drain on paper towels. When cool sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Eat immediately or let sit, covered well, for one day with plastic wrap.

Makes about 20 (P).

Recipe from: Jewish Cooking in America by Joan Nathan.