This peanut raisin cookie recipe is the easiest recipe I've ever received from a guest of the podcast!!! And... one of the most delicious!
Polish Mazurka have a short ingredient list (eggs, peanuts, raisins, flour, and baking powder), they're easy, quick to make, and use just one bowl to mix and one pan to bake.
Yet they're incredibly delicious with a chewy, almost marshmallow-y interior stuffed chock full of raisin and peanuts and a crispy, pale golden crust on top. Raisins aren't everyone's favorite - mine included - but these cookies won over the raisin skeptics in my family!!!!
(Plus, if you *really* hate raisins, you can always substitute another filling 😉
Questions About Polish Mazurka:
How to Make Peanut Raisin Cookies
How long should I beat the eggs?
This recipe depends on eggs for its delicious texture. Well-beaten eggs create a delicate crust on top, reminiscent of a meringue. They also give the interior a fluffy, chewy marshmallow-texture that beautifully complements the peanuts and raisins. In order to achieve both of these things, you'll want to whisk the eggs and sugar together until the mixture is pale in color and voluminous. I generally go at least 3 minutes with the whisk attachment on my mixer.
These seem to fall apart when I cut them - why?
You must cut Mazurka *immediately* upon removing them from the oven!!!! Once they start to cool, the crust forms on the top. When you cut this crust, it will just crumble and collapse into the soft interior. Never fear - the peanut and raisin cookies will still be delicious! But if you want crisp edges, you must cut them *right* away.
I suggest covering the pan with parchment paper before baking, then lifting the edges of parchment paper to remove the entire sheet of Mazurka to a cutting board immediately. Cut, then let sit and cool for a few minutes.
Can I substitute the peanuts or raisins in this Mazurka recipe?
Gosh, yes. Personally, I'm of the opinion you can always substitute in any recipe 😉
In this recipe in particular, there's nothing particularly rigid about the peanuts and raisins, this is just the way Marina's family made them. Other Mazurka recipes call for walnuts or pecans in place of the peanuts and dried cranberries or apricots instead of the raisins. I even had one listener say her mother made them with chocolate chips! (Although I would suggest that is an extremely Americanized version.)
About Marina Lukyanchuk, Contributor of this Mazurka Recipe
Have you ever thought about the stories there in your own neighborhood, on your own street, in the homes up and down the block where you live?
Where Marina was raised, there were Koreans, Germans, Russians, Ukrainians, Persians, and the indigenous people as well - not Native Americans, because Marina wasn’t raised in America. Instead, she was raised in Kazakhstan, a huge Asian country where the native Kazakhs lived as nomads (even, in fact, live now as Nomads) until communist nations - like the Soviet Union and Korea - began to send people there in the 1920’s and 30’s. Unlike the United States, where the vast majority of immigrants over the last 400 years came by choice, very few arrived in Kazakhstan by choice.
But Marina didn’t know much about these stories as a child and choice wasn’t anything on her mind. What she knew was that her neighbors were her friends, they played happily, and everyone in the neighborhood shared their own cherished recipes, which the parents prepared and ate together, unity among diversity.
In fact, Marina’s storied recipe doesn’t come from her own heritage - it’s a Polish cookie called Mazurka, just like the dance. So excited to welcome you into this conversation with Marina, where we dive deep into all of this - and so much more - today.
Marina's Memories of Mazurka
My mom used to bake this for every gathering. To me this tastes like family gathering.
Funny story with the recipe- when my dad bought first microwave he was told that anything can be cooked in there. So my mom quickly mixed the ingredients for Mazurka and put it into the microwave. Entire family was watching it spin in the “miracle cooker” no matter how many minutes we dialed in - it was not getting golden brown. And once it burned in the middle we all learned how microwaves work.