As the weather outside switched from what I thought was going to be a sunny Sunday to a gloomy, heavy-clouded afternoon, all I could think about was to cuddle up with kitty, a book and something yummy. These dumplings came to mind: kinda natural choice when the time and energy for cooking are slim, but the mind demands something soothing and comforting.
For the record: leniwy in Polish means lazy. Do you already get the picture, of what kind of dumplings leniwe are? That’s right, comfort food strikes again. Don’t get fooled by their cute shape, they really are not as difficult to make as they might appear. It takes less than an hour to whip up these little cushion-like dumplings. Served with a bit of melted butter, some sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon, they are a foolproof mood lifter. At least for me.
As for technicalities: there are two kinds of dumplings in Poland that look exactly the same, but the difference between them is quite fundamental – one kind is savoury, another one sweet. The sweet version is, of course, leniwe. The savoury ones are called kopytka (meaning ‘little hooves’ in Polish) and are made with boiled mashed potatoes instead of the quark cheese used in leniwe. And to make things even more confusing: kopytka are not the same thing as kluski śląskie, even though they are both dumplings made with potatoes.
SWEET COTTAGE CHEESE DUMPLINGS (PIEROGI LENIWE)
300g cottage cheese (or quark)
2tbsp potato starch
1/2 cup flour
pinch of salt
How to make?
1. Add cottage cheese to a bowl and work with a fork to smooth it out. Add an egg, pinch of salt, and mix everything well. You can use potato masher here, to get rid of any lumps.
2. Add both flours and work with your hands to joint all the ingredients together. Move the resulting mass onto a floured pastry board and knead into a smooth ball. Don’t overwork it, though.
3. If the ‘dough’ appears too loose, add a little bit more flour and quickly knead again.
4. Put a pot filled 3/4 with cold water on to boil. Cover with a lid.
5. Divide the dough into 4 pieces, and make a ball out of each.
6. Roll each of the balls with your hands until it lengthens and becomes a thick rope. Cut diagonally into small pieces.
7. Once the water in the pot boils, turn the heat down to medium and drop the dumplings in. Once they rise to the top, let them boil for additional 1-2 minutes before removing the dumplings with a slotted spoon.
8. Serve with melted butter, some sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon.