Mennonite Girls Can Cook is a collection of recipes which were posted daily for a period of ten years from 2008 to 2018. We have over 3,000 delicious recipes that we invite you to try. The recipes can be accessed in our recipe file by category or you can use the search engine.

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Hot Fudge Cake


 This quick and easy recipe shared by a friend has become a long time favorite by now ... always a crowd-pleaser. 

Ingredients:
  • 1 chocolate cake mix
  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • 2 eggs
Mix above ingredients (don't add what the box says to add) and bake in 9 X 13 (or slightly larger) pan, about 30 min. Serve with ice cream and hot fudge sauce.

Fudge sauce:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa, sifted
  • 3/4 cup cream or evaporated milk
  • ½ cup corn syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter (optional)
Cook in small pot (stirring) over medium heat until it boils. Boil 2 min. Add 1 tsp vanilla and butter. We like it served quite warm. Keep in fridge and reheat when needed.

New Vareneki Dough (Perogy)



I got this recipe from my friend Elsie who has been making perogies for generations.  She too got the recipe from her mother and her mother before that. As usual, the recipe said "add enough flour to make a soft dough". Her daughter Lorrie, who is also one of my dearest friends, took the time to measure each ingredient out to make it perfect so she can pass the recipe and tradition on to her children. Elsie says, the best recipes are the simplest recipes, and she was right! In our grandmother and great grand mother's era they didn't have the luxury of rich ingredients available to them at all times. These ingredients make a soft and elastic dough and I did not have one perogy open while boiling.  Follow the recipe exactly and you won't have any trouble. Thanks Lorrie for perfecting the ingredients amounts saving us all the trouble of figuring out what a soft dough means.
NOTE: This dough has no dairy in it, there for it has a bit more of a "chew" or "bite" to the texture when you eat the finished product. Using dairy like milk, cream or sour cream makes the dough more tender and has a softer bite to it. 
  • 8 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 3/4  cups hot water
  • 3/4 cups oil
  1. In a large mixer with a dough hook attachment add 8 cups of flour to the mixing bowl. Can easily be done by hand if you don't have a mixer large enough to make dough. 
  2. Heat the water til it is almost too hot to touch or hot water from the tap. 
  3. Add the oil and the hot water to the flour, knead the dough for about 5 minutes in the mixer or ten minutes if you are doing it by hand. 
  4. Let the dough rest for at least an hour or more on the counter. 
  5. Divide into 4 balls to make the rolling of the dough easier to manage. Cover the remaining dough with plastic wrap to keep from getting a dry outer crust.
  6.  On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough thin, cut in circles or 3 inch squares. 
  7. Place the prepared perogies on parchment lined cookie sheets. Can be frozen at this stage if you desire. Once completely frozen place them into ziplocked bags. 
  8. To cook, have ready a large pot of boiling water. Place perogies into the water without crowding too much and boil for a few minutes. Once they float to the top boil another 3-5 minutes. If you are cooking them frozen, cook about 8-10 minutes.
  9. This amount makes about 15 dozen 3 1/4 in circles. 
For 1 recipe of dough, I used 2- 650 gm containers of dry cottage cheese (3 cups), mixed with 2 eggs, salt and pepper (optional) as desired. 


Tip - I use a round cutter to make cottage cheese, cut 3" squares for the potato and cheddar cheese filling and shape them into a triangle, and shape the squares into rectangles or squares for the fruit filling, so there is no guessing as to what they are filled with. Plus cutting them in squares means no rolling and re rolling.
For filling ideas check out Kathy's suggestions here.

Try to pinch them a little fancy for that special someone, or if you have four options of a variety of perogies. 


My Wareneki (Perogies) Gluten-free


I really missed Wareneki on the gluten-free diet and tried several recipes, but couldn't get them to work for me. I finally came up with my own recipe , combining and modifing the recipes I had.
Here is the one that I am happy with and my husband will also quite happily eat! That's important because I really don't care to make two meals. What I usually end up doing in that case is making his meal and I just eat 'whatever' !

Making this recipe today for lunch, I had to smile as I thought... "No one ever told our Mennonite grandmothers , who really knew how to cook, that 'Ach, das schmeckt aber gut!' (oh, but that tastes good!) translates to.. 'Oh my, what a lot of calories !!!' "
But we have found a way to have our Mennonite traditional dishes and still be healthy! Olive oil to the rescue!! smile

WARENEKI (PEROGIES)

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup cream-style cottage cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp oil

1/2 cup brown (or white) rice flour
1/4 cup pototo flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tsp. xanthun gum
1/2 tsp salt

(alternate flour mix that I like is 1/2 cup of white corn flour, 1/4 cup white bean flour,

1/4 cup of potato starch, 1/4 cup tapioca starch)

METHOD
1. place first 4 ingredients into blender and mix until totally smooth
2. put dry ingredients in plastic bag and mix thoroughly
3. pour liquid ingredients into bowl and add the dry ingredients
mix thoroughly , turn out onto dusted counter and knead until smooth - redust as needed until dough is non-sticky. I like sweet rice flour for rolling gluten-free dough but you can also use tapioca flour (Because of the cottage cheese in the dough the dough has a bit of a different texture but it handles well.)
4. Roll dough out as thin as possible and cut out your circles using cookie cutter or tumbler.
5. add your prefered filling and pinch edges of wareneki firmly.


TIP- always freeze your wareniki before cooking - keeps a better seal on edges
Drop frozen wareniki into boiling salted water with a tbsp of oil added... Boil for about 5 minutes. Drain and brown in butter in frying pan -- then serve with cream gravy and fried onions.
We love them with Mennonite Farmer Sausage
*************************

Variation On The Theme (Wareneki noodles)

I also like (actually prefer) to use the dough in the following way.



Roll out your dough as thin as possible , then roll it up and cut the roll off. The bigger the roll you roll the longer your noodles will be



Then slice the roll the width you want your noodles to be.. I find between a 1/4 to an 1/8 " works well.
The noodles uncurl easily
Boil them for several mintues in salted water, then drain well in collander.
Transfer to frying pan and brown noodles in olive oil and butter.

Sauce
fry onions (1/2 onion) in butter until crispy , then add 1 cup milk and thickener- I really like the new product Thicken-Thin ....but you can use cornstarch or sweet rice flour
Add 1/2 cup dry cottage cheese and heat through.
Spoon onto golden noodles
ENJOY!

PS. Leftovers reheat well in the microwave.

Plum Sauce / Cream Sauce (Schmaundt Fat)



This recipe was shared with me by my friend Renee who got the recipe from her dear mother by love Elizabeth Strempler. This is a wonderful sauce to pour over the cottage cheese perogies and cream sauce (Schmaundt Fat), it raises perogies to a whole new level. Thank you Renee for sharing this recipe and your family tradition. It was a lot of fun enjoying a meal after making so many perogies together. It is way more fun making time consuming recipes like vareniki with friends.

Plum sauce -
  • 8 cups prune plums
  • 2 cups damson plums OR
  • a combination of your favorite plums to equal 10 cups
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1/3 cup minute tapioca
  1. Cut up the plums in bite size pieces. 
  2. Combine the sugar and tapioca and sprinkle over the plums and let sit for 20 minutes. 
  3. Bring to a boil and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes. 
  4. Cool the sauce and freeze in desired portion sizes. 
  5. To serve, thaw sauce and heat gently til warm. 
  6. Pour over vareniki and cream sauce. 


Schmaundt Fat (Cream Gravy)

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt to taste
  1. On medium heat, melt the butter in a saucepan or frying pan.
  2. Add the flour and stir together with a whisk cooking until a the flour begins to change color.
  3. Pour in the cream and milk and cook until bubbly, stirring frequently with the whisk to prevent lumps. 
  4. Add salt to taste. 
  5. When the sauce is smooth and thickened it is ready to serve, it takes about 3 minutes.  
  6. If you desire to use all cream or all milk that is just fine. 


Bread For the Journey




The New Testament does not paint a rosy picture for the Christian life on this Earth. Instead it assures us that if we follow Christ we will face trials and persecutions. Because we are identified with Christ we will receive much of the same bad treatment and rejection He received.

II Timothy 3:12 ~  Indeed, all who desire to live a Godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
I Peter 4:12 ~ Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
James 1:2-4 ~ Count it all joy my brothers when you meet trials of various kinds for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have it full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
 
The trials are inevitable. How will I react?  How should I behave in the midst of these trials? Will I choose joy trusting in Almighty God and His plans and purposes? I hope so. I want to experience steadfastness. I want to rejoice and be glad when Christ’s glory is revealed. I choose to trust that God will teach me in and during my trials to react and behave in a way that lets steadfastness have its full effect bringing me homeward towards perfection and completeness, lacking nothing. I don’t want a crown of roses now, I want a crown of life so when I get to heaven I can cast it at Jesus’ feet…

Wareneki


Wareneki, Varenyky or Perogies.
It really doesn't matter what you call them, they are wonderful.
I grew up with cottage cheese filled Wareneki, along with a sour cream and butter gravy.
My husband's Mom is Ukrainian and the filling for her recipe is
sauerkraut, hamburger and potato.
They served them with heated cream or sour cream.

Dough:
-1 cup sour cream
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-2 cups flour
-1 egg white, slightly beaten (save the yolk for the filling)
Mix ingredients into a smooth dough, cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
This recipe makes enough for one of the following fillings, but can easily be doubled.

Sauerkraut , Hamburger and Potato Filling:
-1 large potato, boiled, mashed and cooled
-1/2 lb hamburger, browned, seasoned with salt and pepper. Drain any drippings and cool meat.
-1 cup sauerkraut, drained well
Mix above 3 ingredients together.

Potato Cheese and Onion filling:
-2 potatoes boiled, mashed and cooled
-1/4 cup sauteed onion, cooled
-1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Mix above three ingredients together.



Cottage Cheese Filling:
-2 cups dry curd cottage cheese (if you can't find dry, place regular cottage cheese in a fine strainer and allow moisture to drain)
-1 egg yolk, left over from the dough
-1 tsp salt
-dash pepper
Combine ingredients together well.

Method:
1. While dough is chilling make the fillings. (you can double the dough to make several kinds)
2. Take one recipe of dough and on a lightly floured counter roll it out very thin into a large rectangle.
3. Using an ice cream scoop place balls of filling along one end of dough as illustrated above.
4. Fold dough over filling as illustrated above. Using a small round cutter (or small glass) cut out Wareneki, as illustrated below.
The dough is very easy to work with and not sticky. If you find that the edges aren't sealed just pinch as needed.
5. Place the Wareneki on parchment lined cookie sheets. Keep in fridge until ready to boil, or freeze on the cookie sheets. Once they are frozen bag them for later use.

Boiling:
Bring a large pot of water with 1 tbsp butter to a boil. Drop fresh or frozen Wareneki into the boiling water and boil 5 minutes if fresh, or 10 minutes if frozen. Wareneki will float when they are done. Drain.

Gravy:
-1/4 cup butter, melted
-1 cup sour cream
In a small sauce pan melt butter, and then stir in sour cream. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 5 minutes. Salt and pepper lightly to taste.

Serving suggestions:
-sour cream
-heated whipping cream
-sauteed onions
-fried crumbled bacon
-farmer sausage or fried ham slices
-sauteed red cabbage

Wareneki


I have the recipe here for filling with cottage cheese. In german we call this Glums Wareneki.
My mom also made wareneki with Italian plums and rhubarb.

We eat the cottage cheese wareneki first with some sauce and salt and pepper. .
and then end the meal with some of the fruit wareneki. . .with sauce and a sprinkle of sugar.

  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 4 egg whites. . .beaten until soft peaks form
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • about. . 2 1/2 cups of flour
  1. Whip the egg whites in a large grease free bowl, add the whipping cream and the baking powder and the salt.
  2. Add the flour a bit at a time. 
  3. Continue to add a bit of flour at a time until you have a soft dough but stiff enough to roll out.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour while you make the filling.
Cottage Cheese Filling

  • 500 grams. . .or about 2 cups of dry cottage cheese
  • the egg yolks from the eggs above
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Mix together with a pastry blender or put it all in the food processor and mix until the cottage cheese is finely ground. 
  2. Roll the dough out on a slightly floured counter. Add a bit more flour if it is sticky.
  3. You can either start at the top of you dough about 2 inches down and place a teaspoon of filling every three inches leaving room between, then fold the dough down and use a glass to cut out half moons and pinch them shut. 
  4. Or, just use a glass and cut out rounds and then use a small teaspoon and put a bit of filling on your dough and then fold in half and pinch shut Try not to get filling in the area you are pinching shut. 
  5. Put them on a floured parchment papered cookie sheet and keep them in the refrigerator until you are ready to boil them or freeze them on a cookie sheet to use another day.
Plum Wareneki

Slice the plums in half and then depending on how large you are making them, slice them in half again and put them into the dough and pinch shut.

I don't bother to flour them unless I use frozen plums they are a bit trickier to stuff and I find a little flour keeps them less leaky.
  1. To cook Warenki, put a large pot of water on to boil, add a teaspoon of salt.
  2. Gently put the wareneki in the boiling water and bring it back to the boiling point. Boil only a few minutes. Once the wareneki are floating they are done.
  3. Drain in a colander  and serve (a little melted butter helps to keep them from sticking)
Sauce
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Simmer for a few minutes and serve over Warenki. 

I also saute some caramelized onion with the cottage cheese Wareneki.

Lime Tea Cookies..in time for Spring!


Spring is just around the corner in spite of all the snow. I thought these citrus flavored cookies were just the thing to welcome spring. The citrus flavor of the glaze is a wonderful topping for these cookies.
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  1. In a medium sized bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light.
  2. Beat in egg, lime zest, lime juice, and buttermilk.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir into the creamed mixture.
  4. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls on parchment lined pans.
  5. Bake in a 350º oven for 9 minutes or just until the edges are golden in color.
  6. Glaze cookies while warm.
  7. Allow cookies to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
  8. Yield: 32 cookies
Glaze:
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  1. Mix well, spread on cookies and sprinkle bits of lime zest on top.
Lime juice and zest used for this recipe is from one medium sized lime.


I needed taste testers and found a few close by.

Almond Torte - Reg and Gluten free




 I made this cake for our Valentine's potluck at our clubhouse and received lots of complements and requests for the recipe !   
I used raspberry jelly but you could use  strawberry, apricot or peach jelly or cherry pie pie filling. 

Cake 

  • 4 eggs 
  • 3/4 cup sugar 
  • 1 tsp almond extract 
  • 2 tbsp flour ( for gluten free 2 tbsp featherlight rice flour + sm pinch of xanthan gum) 
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1 cup flaked or blanched whole almonds 

1. Put eggs and sugar in blender and whir until mixed. 
2. Add all other ingredients and process for 2 minutes. 
3. Line two round cake pans with parchment paper and divide batter between the two pans. 
4. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
5. Let cool then remove from pans , remove parchment paper before assembling layers. 

note -- I made the recipe twice and used three layers for my cake - you can use as many or few layers as you wish.  -  use the extra batter for cup cakes and decorate as desired. 

 Filling ... 

  •  2 cups whipping cream 
  •  1/4 cup berry sugar 
  •  3 tsp instant vanilla pudding 
  •  one room temp. brick of cream cheese 
  • 1/3 cup icing sugar 

  1. Whip  cream, sugar and vanilla pudding until stiff then set aside .... 
  2. Beat cream cheese and icing sugar , then gradually stir in the whipped cream. 
Raspberry drizzle      

  • 1 1/2 cups  fresh or frozen raspberries, heat to boiling, sieve out the seeds,  leaving 1 cup juice. 
  • add 1 cup sugar and 2 tsp certo crystals, bring to a boil and boil for one minute. 
  • chill before using 

  1. Put layers together with whipped cream/ cream cheese, drizzling raspberry over top
  2. Cover sides and bottom with whipped mixture again drizzling the raspberry jelly generously  on top and sides, swirling with a knife.  
  3. Sprinkle toasted almonds on top of cake if desired.  

Pluckets



This recipe is known by a few names... monkey bread or pull aparts but my favorite name for them is pluckets. This would be a perfect addition to a brunch, wouldn't it be fun to let your guests 'pluck at them'?
I'm sure this recipe can be found in many cook books. This one I found in the Christian Home Cook Book (I made slight changes). You could use any sweet yeast dough or even plain old bun dough although I really prefer the light texture of this dough.
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 cup scalded milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 3 eggs, well beaten
  • 4 1/2 cups flour, approximately
  1. Scald milk. Add butter, sugar, salt, and I added the 1/4 cup lukewarm water here as well (I use instant yeast so I don't need the water to proof the yeast) to the milk and allow to cool to lukewarm. 
  2. Add well beaten eggs and mix well.
  3. Now add the yeast and just enough flour to make a very stiff batter. It will be sticky.
  4. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, punch down and let rise again.
Meanwhile prepare the sugar/cinnamon mixture:
  • 3/4 cup sugar, white or brown
  • 3 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts I used pecans
  • 1/4 cup butter
  1. Mix first three ingredients together and set aside.
  2. Melt 1/4 cup butter and set aside. 
  3. Once dough has risen the second time punch down and pluck walnut sized pieces of dough and roll into balls, making sure your hands are greased with butter. Dip the balls of dough in melted butter and then roll in the sugar/cinnamon mixture. At the end I had a bit of the dipping mixture and melted butter leftover so I just put that over the top of the pluckets.
  4. Pile loosely in an ungreased angel food pan and let rise again for 30 minutes.
  5. Bake in a 350º oven for 35 minutes, then immediately flip pan upside down on a plate. Wait a few moments and the pan will be easy to remove.
  6. Serve warm.