Portzelky (New Year's Cookies)

Total Time
Prep 2 hrs 30 mins
Cook 30 mins

This is a traditional Mennonite recipe from the Mennonite Treasury cookbook. It is basically a type of fritter with raisins. For as long as I can remember, my mother served these for lunch on New Year's Day along with Farmer Sausage and dill pickles. This year I tried making them myself and they turned out just as I remember. This will be a New Year's tradition that I hope to carry on. We like them hot right out of the deep fryer but you can also roll them in icing sugar and serve at room temperature. The prep time includes rising time.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Dissolve sugar in lukewarm water in a small bowl. Sprinkle with yeast and let stand.
  2. Combine milk, water, salt, sugar, baking powder, and raisins in a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  3. Beat in egg yolks and yeast.
  4. Stir in flour to make a heavy (rather stiff) batter.
  5. Fold in egg whites.
  6. Cover and set in a warm place until well risen (at least double in bulk). This should take about 2 hours. The end result is a fairly sticky dough.
  7. Drop by tablespoonfuls into hot oil (375F) and fry until golden brown.
Most Helpful

I am from a Mennonite family and this is the recipe that my Mom made and my Grandmother made and my Greatgrandmother made and my GreatGreatGrandmother made back in Germany. In our family if you don't make New Years cookies it is not the new year. Thanks for sharing the recipe. We generally serve it with ham and pickles. But we NEVER put powdered sugar on them.

Becky in Junction City, OR December 31, 2008

Awesome ! Something tells me you added to the directions. The Menno Treasury has great recipes, but is never very clear with their explanations. Good job.

dsenebal December 30, 2008