Fat Tuesday is a date meant for indulgence! As a result, polish yeast donuts known as Paczki (phonetically pronounced “poonch-key”)are flying off the shelves of local bakeries today. The deep fried bites, filled with an assortment of jams or custards, are a celebration of the city’s vibrant Polish community.

Savvy paczki lovers order ahead or plan the time to stand in line to snag a fresh dozen. Lines of folks clamoring for sweet treats snaked their way through Oak Park Bakery today; I selected six donuts and bumped into three friends in line. The hardworking bakers at Oak Park Bakery prepared approximately 13,000 paczki to meet the demand of the day.

These little morsels are not diet friendly fare; luxurious paczki dough is made with a with a tried-and-true bakery ingredient trifecta: eggs, butter, and sugar. Bakers then toss in some milk for added richness and fry the donuts to a golden brown. A little dash of grain alcohol in the dough prevents the frying oil from seeping into the finished paczki ensuring they are at once crunchy and soft.

Happy Paczki Day!

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