Hanukkah Recipe: Papanash, Romanian Cheese Dumplings

Papanash, Romanian cheese dumplings.
Papanash, Romanian cheese dumplings. Vered Guttman

Papanash, Romanian cheese dumplings, are traditionally made by Romanian Jews for Hanukkah. 

They are quick and easy to make, and they can either be fried or boiled, as in this recipe. Papanash are similar to the Hungarian túrógombóc dumplings, which come in savory versions as well.

Yields about 18 dumplings

Ingredients:

8 oz. (1 1/3 cups) farmers or cottage cheese

1/2 cup semolina

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

8 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup Demerara sugar or granulated (regular) sugar

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1. In a medium bowl mix cheese, semolina, eggs, 1 tablespoon sugar and salt. Knead for one minute with your hands, then cover bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Fill a medium sauce pan with water and bring to boil. Keep on low simmer over medium-heat. Prepare a small bowl with water next to the stove, wet your hands and roll small 1-inch dumplings out of the cheese mixture and drop immediately into water. Repeat with about half the mixture. Gently release any dumplings that got stuck at the bottom of the pot using a long spoon. Once dumplings float to the top, continue cooking them for another 5 minutes, then transfer to a baking sheet using a slotted spoon. Repeat with the rest of the cheese mixture.

3.Melt butter in a medium bowl in the microwave. Mix sugar, breadcrumbs and cinnamon in another medium bowl. Roll each dumpling in butter and then in sugar mixture and arrange on a serving platter. Serve warm.