“Pierogi Love: New Takes On An Old-World Comfort Food”

Air Date:
Heard On The Larry Meiller Show
Pierogi Love Cover Photo. Casey Barber.

The Eastern European filled dumpling known as a pierogi takes a turn in a new cookbook called, “Pierogi Love: New Takes on an Old-World Comfort Food.” Larry Meiller talks with the author about recipes for unconventional and non-traditional fillings.

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  • Nutella Pierogies With Bananas Foster Sauce

    The following recipe is excerpted from Casey Barber’s book, “Pierogi Love,” albeit with formatting changes:

    Once you’ve made homemade Nutella, I’m not sure you can ever go back to buying the oily processed jarred version again. This filling is slightly thicker and more granular than what you’d want to spread on toast so it keeps its integrity when heated inside the pierogi. For a spreadable breakfast version, omit the flour and add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or nut oil to the food processor, and grind to your preferred consistency. For a nonalcoholic Bananas Foster sauce, skip the rum, but remember, the sauce won’t flambé without it.

    Makes approximately 24


    Cocoa Dough

    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/2 cup (4 ounces, 113 grams) sour cream or plain Greek yogurt (full-fat, reduced-fat, or nonfat)
    • 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces, 43 grams) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
    • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 2 cups (8 1/2 ounces, 240 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
    • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 tablespoon water

    Pierogi Filling

    • 1 cup (5 ounces, 142 grams) whole hazelnuts
    • 1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces, 50 grams) granulated sugar
    • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 tablespoon oat flour or unbleached all-purpose flour

    Bananas Foster Sauce

    • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce, 28 grams) unsalted butter
    • 1/4 cup (1 7/8 ounces, 53 grams) packed dark brown sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice or cinnamon
    • 1 small pinch kosher salt
    • 2 ripe bananas, sliced 1/2-inch thick
    • 2 tablespoons dark or spiced rum


    For Dough:

    Whisk 1 egg, sour cream or yogurt, butter, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Whisk flour and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Gently stir wet ingredients into flour. The dough will initially be very dry and shaggy, seeming as if it will never come together, but have no fear: Keep stirring, and it will pull itself into shape.

    Once the dough starts to come together, press and smash it against the sides of the bowl with your palms, picking up dough bits and essentially kneading it within the bowl until it forms a ball.

    Tip dough and any remaining shaggy flakes out onto a clean work surface or Roul’Pat. Knead until smooth, about 1 minute. Cover dough with the bowl and let rest 15 minutes.

    Whisk remaining egg and water in a small bowl for egg wash.

    For Pierogi Filling:

    Skin the hazelnuts: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scatter hazelnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast

    nuts until skins starts to crack and separate, 10 to 15 minutes. Pour hazelnuts onto a clean kitchen towel, loosely fold closed, and rub to flake off skins. Unfold towel and remove skinned hazelnuts; use caution as nuts might still be hot. Repeat with any stubborn unskinned nuts and don’t worry if some bits of skin remain.

    Pour skinned hazelnuts into food processor and grind until reduced to a fine powder. Scrape down sides of the bowl, then add sugar, cocoa powder, and flour. Grind until granular paste forms; filling should be almost Play-Doh-like in consistency.

    (Filling can be made up to 1 week ahead; cover and refrigerate.)

    For Bananas Foster Sauce:

    Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add sugar, allspice, and salt, and cook until the sugar dissolves

    and starts to bubble, stirring frequently, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in banana slices and cook until softened and warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and add rum. Return skillet to heat, carefully and quickly flambéing sauce with long barbecue lighter or long match. Cook until flames die down.

    (Sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead, though it can’t be flambéed if made ahead. Cover and refrigerate, and reheat before serving.)


    Line a rimmed baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper.

    Divide rested dough into 4 equal pieces with a bench scraper or knife. Set aside 3 dough pieces and cover with the mixing bowl. Roll remaining dough as thinly as possible into a rough 8- x 12-inch rectangle.

    Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 6 rounds of dough. If the dough isn’t quartered evenly, you may get 5 rounds from one piece and 7 from another. Resist the temptation to re-roll dough scraps for additional rounds. It seems wasteful, but the dough won’t be as tender the second time around.

    Spoon 1 teaspoon filling into the center of dough rounds.

    Using your finger, swipe a very scant amount of egg wash—just a light touch—around the dough edge.

    Fold into a half-moon shape: Either fold the dough over the filling on the work surface—I call this “the blanket”—or gently cup the pierogi in your hand in a U shape—I call this “the taco.” Gently but firmly seal the pierogi by pinching and squeezing the edges together with your thumb and pointer finger. Start with one pinch at the top, then move to one “corner” of the pierogi and pinch along the edge back to the top. Repeat on the opposite side to finish sealing the pierogi.

    Transfer to the baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough rounds and filling. Freeze on the baking sheet, refrigerate up to 3 hours, or cook immediately.

    Pierogi Love: New Takes on an Old-World Comfort Food, © 2015 by Casey Barber

Episode Credits

  • Larry Meiller Host
  • Cheyenne Lentz Producer
  • Casey Barber Guest

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