It's pronounced "poonch-key". Or at least that's how I pronounce it. And I'm not fluent in Polish so take that with a grain of salt. Actually don't take it with a grain of salt, take it dipped in granulated sugar. Zing!
But for realz, paczki's are sorta like Polish jelly donuts and you eat them on Fat Tuesday. I've been eating them since I was born, perhaps even earlier. I used to bring them for my teachers every year. I'm about to launch into a traumatizing story so get ready for it
When I was a freshman in high school, I had already long grown out of my "bring your teacher a paczki" phase. I was cooler than that. I wore butterfly clips in my hair and owned pleather pants. However, I had a World Studies teacher (Mr. Zaworski, obviously Polish) that was so nice and encouraging that I felt compelled to share my heritage with him on Paczki Day. He was just a cool guy and I was a teacher's pet so I thought he'd really enjoy it. I gave him the paczki after class, he said thank you and I went on my way.
Later on, I was standing outside his door, waiting for a different class to let out, and I caught the tale end of a conversation in which he said "yeah, that's some greasy donut a student gave me." And then he crushed my heart and soul. I probably ran away clutching my books to my chest with tears streaming down my cheeks. Or I just stood reaction-less and stone-faced at the reality that it's a cold cruel world and kindness gets you nowhere in life.
I'M FINE THOUGH. It didn't stop me from eating paczkis. And it didn't stop me from making my own paczkis because ain't nobody gonna keep me down. I'mma do me.
And in the spirit of "doing me," these are shortcut paczkis. I did not make a dough from scratch, I did not let it rise, I did not punch it down and I most certainly did not let it rise again. Not in my house! Instead I cracked open a can of biscuits, deep fried them and filled them with jam.
And then I ate them all myself while wallowing in the painful truth that every day of life is one day closer to death.
Here's the recipe!
1 12-oz can of biscuits**
1/2 cup of preferred jam
1/3 cup granulated sugar, for coating
3-4 cups vegetable oil, for frying
1. In a large pot, heat oil to about 350 degrees. Absolute preciseness isn't necessary here. Place sugar in a shallow dish or paper bag and set aside. Line a plate with paper towel and set aside.
2. When oil is hot, carefully place 3-4 biscuits at a time (depending on the size of your pot) into the oil. Fry about 60-90 seconds, until golden brown, on each side.
3. Carefully remove with a slotted spoon and allow to drain for about 30 seconds on a paper towel-lined plate. Transfer to sugar bowl (or paper bag) and coat in sugar.
4. Pour jam into a pastry bag (or zip-loc bag with a corner snipped off ). Gently make a hole in the side of the paczki (using the pastry tip or a small paring knife) and fill with jam until the paczki feels full.
This recipe is more of a process than recipe. You can make as much or as little as you please.
**I use regular-sized biscuits, not jumbo. You can try jumbo but you'll need to extend cooking time.
An Annie's City Kitchen original