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Portzelky with Dried Cranberries Happy New Year

Happy New Year Friends! 

The calendar page is opened to a fresh new start. Hello 2016! Whether you have stopped by for the first time or are a long time friend of ours here at MGCC we want to thank you for visiting our blog. Many of you have supported our projects this past year by purchasing our cookbooks. We are grateful for our sponsors (visit them on our sidebar) who play a vital part through their generous giving. We look forward to what God has in store for us as we journey together in 2016.

We want to start out the first weekend of this new year with food for thought followed by a traditional recipe for New Years Cookies, better known in our Mennonite circles as Portzelky.

Each year when we gather around the Christmas table my husband Scot has something to encourage and challenge us with for the coming year. In light of giving, he found a list of 5 gifts that don't cost, but may require personal sacrifice. From youngest to oldest this list spurred on some good suggestions of how we can be generous givers of these free gifts. Join us as we seek to make a difference.

Food for Thought
  1. Giving others the Benefit of the doubt. Not everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt, but in love we can extend grace. (1Cor. 13:7)
  2. A Second Chance. Hurt is real. Consider forgiveness towards those who have hurt you. Freedom comes when we forgive. (Matt. 18:21-22)
  3. Encouragement. Seize the opportunity to reach out to others with words of affirmation, and acts of kindness. 1 Thess. 5:14 includes a challenge. "...encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 
  4. Give a listening ear. "Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak...." Those wise words come from James 1:19. Heeding them can provide an incredible gift.
  5. Time. 1Peter 4:10-11 encourages us to use our God given gifts, ultimately that God may be glorified. Everything we do requires time. Whether serving your family a meal, helping with homework, cleaning, repairs, caring for the sick or the elderly. Make these a positive investment of your time. They may be life changing times for others and for you. 
May we all be encouraged in this new year to look beyond ourselves, extend grace, forgive, encourage,
listen and be generous and cheerful givers. 

New Years Cookies

I'll be making a few batches of Portzelky over the weekend to serve and deliver...fresh and warm.
Typically these have raisins in them but for a change I've used dried cranberries. Before adding the cranberries I divided the dough into two bowls, added the cranberries to one and left the other plain....some like these little fritters better without the fruit. 
(yields approximately 3 dozen)

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, plus 1 egg white, beaten together well
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast (sometimes called quick rise)
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, or raisins (optional)
  • additional granulated and/or powdered sugar for dusting
  1. Place milk, water and butter in a microwave bowl and heat until very warm.
  2. Beat eggs and egg white together until frothy.
  3. Stirring continually pour very warm milk mixture over eggs until combined.
  4. In a large bowl, stir together sugar, salt, baking powder, yeast and 2 1/2 cups flour.
  5. Stir with a wooden spoon. Adding remaining 1 cup of flour. The dough will be a bit sticky, or 'shaggy'. 
  6. Stir in fruit if using.
  7. Set aside and cover with a lint free towel to rise for 45 minutes or until double in bulk.
  8. Heat oil in deep fryer or on stove top to 375º. Always stay near hot oil on stove!
  9. Drop teaspoons of risen dough into hot oil. As the portselky cook they will usually flip over when cooked through on one side. You may have to turn them with a spoon. 
  10. Remove with deep fryer basket or slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined baking sheet. 
  11. If wanting to dust with sugar put choice of sugar in a large bowl and add portzelky and shake to coat. Or, place bowls of sugar on table for everyone to dust their own. 


  1. Make A Wish!
    ⁀) ✫ ✫ ✫.
    ☻/ღ˚ •。* ♥♥ ˚ ˚✰˚ ˛★* 。 ღ˛° 。* °♥ ˚ • ★ *˚ .ღ 。
    /▌*˛˚ ░M░A░K░E░ - ░W░I░S░H░ For the New Year˚ ✰* ★
    / \ ˚. ★ *˛ ˚♥♥* ✰。˚ ˚ღ。* ˛˚ ♥♥ 。✰˚* ˚ ★ღ ˚ 。✰ •* ˚ ♥♥"

    "Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, Whispering 'It will be happier'..." (Lord Alfred Tennyson)

    Happy New Year 2014 may it bless us with the very best.

  2. Thanks for the reduced quantity recipe.

  3. I can see why those are a great New Year's Day tradition! They look delicious. Wishing this was one of my kind of Menno traditions - hmmmm maybe I'll have to start a new trend? Have a great first day of this new year!

  4. This recipe looks really good and seems simple! I do hate deep frying things because of the mess, but the fryer in your picture looks easy to use. Can I ask what kind it is?

    1. I too would like to know what kind of deep fryer. And do you use canola oil? Thanks

  5. Is it similar to Oliebollen (Dutch Doughnuts) ?

    1. They are similar except for what you put in them. We had a Dutch neighbor who brought us some one New Years and they were the same but didn't have raisins. I think they had citron or something like that. My husband told the neighbor those were portzelky and she said, no they are oliebollen, so we had to compare recipes.

  6. Made these today ,wow they are so good , and easy to make .I dipped have in sugar ,the other half in a icing glace .Happy New Year and thank you .

  7. I have been making them with dried cranberries for several years now.. Vic much prefers them to raisins.. I'm still partial to the raisins .. but the cranberries are nice too and look pretty !

  8. Wish I'd seen this before I made ours on New Year's Day! I prefer apples in them, but hubby likes raisins; I think he'd really like it with cranberries though. Next year.......

  9. Happy New Year, may it be filled with love.

  10. Really good 'gifts' to give all through the new year ! Thank you !

  11. Kathy, thank you for this great post of challenge to us! Your Portzelky look so yummy! Happy New Year!

  12. Those look marvelous! Scot's challenge/devotional is wonderful! I am going to take note of it.

  13. My mom and aunt would make huge roaster full of these for the extended family in the 50's. I love them, but haven't had any in years, maybe i need to revive the tradition.

  14. I remember these mom would make them with apples I would sneak a few when I went to bed and eat too much and got sick recovered still eat them LOL HAPPY TO NEW YEAR S TO ALL

  15. Of course, I made these, any recipe of Kathy's is a winner at my house. They got glowing reviews by everyone that ate them. This size of recipe would have been perfect, but of course, I thought I will make one batch with raisins and one without - Way too many! I really liked that your recipe said the oil temperature. I made mine on the stove, but I kept checking the temperature. It kept varying while I was deep frying them, so I just kept adjusting my flame on my gas stove. Keeping the even temperature, really made them turn out well.

    1. So glad to hear Lorrie! Happy New Year to you and your family.

  16. My Mom made portzelky with raisns. My Dutch/Canadian MIL made oliebollen, a 5 gallon pail full, with tiny pieces of apple, raisins and currants. My husband still prefers them that way.

  17. Oh,I know them under the "Purzeln".
    My mom makes them traditional during Carnival
    (Swabian-Alemannic Fastnacht).
    I live in south of Germany.
    Greetings from there,


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