The Daring Cooks’ Challenges 08/10: The World of Pierogi – Vareniki

The August 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by LizG of Bits n’ Bites and Anula of Anula’s Kitchen. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make pierogi from scratch and an optional challenge to provide one filling that best represents their locale. You can find the challenge recipes here.

I wanted to make pelmeni (Russian dumplings) first because my family really loves them, and I have this cool kitchen gadget called pelmeniza. But then I thought this wasn’t very daring because I’ve made pelmeni quite often. I’ve never made vareniki (Ukrainian dumplings), though, and I had some canned sour cherries from last summer waiting in my garage to be put to good use. Thus, my Daring Cooks contribution this month: vareniki filled with sour cherries. Very delicious!

Vareniki with Sour Cherries

(adapted from Chefkoch)


  • 14 oz flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 jar sour cherries


  1. Drain sour cherries in a colander, keep the juice.
  2. Mix flour, eggs, water and salt. Knead until it forms a smooth dough. Cover and let rest for about 30 minutes.
  3. Roll out the dough fairly thin and cut out circles with a glass.
  4. Place 2 cherries on each circle, fold dough in half and pinch edges together with a fork.
  5. Gather scraps, re-roll and fill. Repeat with remaining dough.
  6. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Drop in the vareniki. Return to the boil and reduce heat. When the vareniki rise to the surface, continue to simmer 2-3 more minutes.
  7. Remove one dumpling with a slotted spoon and taste if ready. When satisfied, remove remaining vareniki from the water.
  8. Add a little sugar to the cherry juice and bring to a boil. Pour cherry juice over vareniki and let cool.
  9. Once cool, serve with sour cream.

10 responses to “The Daring Cooks’ Challenges 08/10: The World of Pierogi – Vareniki

  1. Oooh, yum, those look and sounds awesome. I love the color of them, also, with the sour cherries peeking through. Great job with the challenge!

  2. Those are so pretty!!

  3. I bet these were fantastic! Now I wish I had some sour cherries around…

  4. Absolutely beautiful! Great use of the canned cherries, and what a lovely color!! These look like an amazing treat!

  5. I found out recently (after a lifetime of hatred) that I actually like cherries! I like fresh cherries anyway, not the nasty maraschino kind. So I have been very curious about the sour cherry stuff I’ve seen recently. I think these pierogi look fantastic! I am so intrigued by them and may have to try them very soon! Great job on the challenge!

  6. These look great! What a great twist on the pierogi challenge.

  7. I love these! I want to make them someday but I feel it’s too big a project right now…

  8. I love sour cherries in anything – but these look seriously delicious.

  9. Nice idea for the filling – sour cherries 🙂
    Thank you for taking part this month!

    Cheers. Anula.

  10. These look so good. I have to try your recipe. I grew up on vareniki and just recently made my first batch! My kids were all over them. I did healthify the original recipe. If you want to check it out, here is a link. Looking forward reading more of your recipes 🙂

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