Portzelky (New Years Cookies)

It's been suggested to me that I post some recipes from time to time. I've decided to do just that. You will find them under the "label" to the left of the screen. Ordinarily I will try to post a photo of the finished product but since New Years Day is fast approaching . . well you will see the picture on January 2. I thought to myself. . . now, should I wait and post this recipe after new years day so that you can see how we celebrate? And then I thought but no, what if they then feel cheated out of this nice Mennonite tradition? If you do try these or if you would like to add some comments to this recipe post I would welcome that feedback. I will try to explain the method as simply as I can. For those of you not familiar with Mennonite foods I can only say that yes these are deadly but yummy.

I just went to the barn to get some fresh eggs for the ingredient photo and now Terry thinks I'm all set to make some of these. He's a big fan of the Portzelky and in fact he has a penchant for all Mennonite food. I'll just be directing him to the calendar to review what day it is today. We only make these on January 1 . . no exceptions, not even for him.

Portzelky (Terry's Grandma's Recipe) pronounced . . . parceltche

In a large bowl put
2 tbsp. yeast
1/2 cup warm water (like a baby bottle)
1 tsp. sugar

Stir the yeast, warm water and sugar together slightly and let rest 10 minutes.


1/2 cup sugar
5 beaten eggs
1/4 cup very soft butter or melted is fine
2 1/2 cups of warm milk
1 1/2 tsp. salt

Stir this together very well.


6 cups of raisins (these must be fresh . .not something you dig out of the bottom of the drawer)
If you don't want this many raisins that is just fine.

Then start to stir in the flour. You'll need 7 cups.
This will make a fairly stiff batter.
Cover this up with plastic wrap or a lid and let rise until its doubled about 1 hour.

Drop by tablespoons into hot, deep fat ( I Use Canola oil) and fry until golden brown. Now this can be a bit tricky. If the fat is not hot enough they will soak up too much fat and that is not good. If the fat is too hot they will brown too quickly and still be doughy in the middle. It's a good idea to throw some bread cubes in first to see how they fry. After all these years I still usually have to throw out the first one or two. It's a good idea to stick in a toothpick to the middle of the Portzelky every once in a while to make sure it comes out clean.

When you take them out of the oil, put them on some paper towel to sop up the oil.

OK now, Put out a big bowl of sugar and dip them in and have a cup of coffee to balance it into a proper meal.

Don't forget to call all your family and friends and invite them over for some good ethnic Mennonite food.


  1. Portzelky...ahh yes, I grew up in Steinbach so I am very familiar with them...but we would have them on New Year's Eve~~not as patient as you, I guess...with LOTS of icing sugar. Ummm, now you have me thinking maybe I should do some baking!

  2. Dwain is counting the hours. He keeps teasing me that he's going to do his best to keep up with Terrence. I might have to take him home early! See ya soon!

  3. mmm these remind me of something I had with Heidi's family. I was an "adopted mennonite" - not truly, but by heart. I love the family traditions, family 'gatherings', vespa (sp), vernecki(sp) and soo much more.

  4. Good to see that you include all the food groups in your meal - grease & caffeine! Hey, we'll be having the same meal on Monday!!
    Happy New Year to you & yours.

  5. Oh, I've never had any of these...thanks for sharing your recipe. I bet the kids would gobble these right up...guess it will have to either wait until next New Year's or I will have to break tradition and make them post Ethiopia...

    they sound delicious!

    mama to 6
    one homemade and 5 adopted


Post a Comment

Thank you!