The literal translation of “hvorost” is brushwood, due to the crunch they produce similar to dry wood. This is a traditional Ukrainian and Russian dessert that has been prepared for at least a few hundred years. There are many variations, as with all other old recipes, including versions that are prepared with cheese or mashed potatoes.
3 egg yolks
2 tbs vodka
1 cup Kefir (or 2 tbs sour cream + 1 cup milk)
2 tbs sugar
0.25 tsp salt
3 cups flour
Oil for deep frying (vegetable or canola)
Combine the eggs, vodka, kefir, sugar, salt, and 2.5 cups flour. Mix and fold the dough, adding more flour as needed, until it no longer sticks to your hands.
Quarter the dough, and roll out each piece on a well floured surface until it’s an eighth of an inch thick. Slice the dough using a pizza cutter or a knife into approximately 1 inch wide strips, and cut a small slit in the middle of each strip.
Take one of the ends of each strip and pull through the slit, partly inverting the strips. This is for decorative purposes; feel free to form them into any other creative shape.
Heat sufficient oil in a pan to submerge the pastries (3 inches). We had the temperature at approximately 320 degrees. Drop only a few strips of hvorost at a time, they will expand in the oil. Cook for a few minutes, making sure they are evenly cooked on each side.
When they are golden brown, carefully remove from oil and stack on a large plate.
The pastries themselves aren’t that sweet, therefore a lot of the sweetness will come from how you top them.
Powder the hvorost with sugar and serve. Alternatively use honey or any kind of syrup.