Latvia: Tokorzvarhitjas

Latvian cuisine overall has been greatly influenced by its neighboring countries. Tokorzvarhitjas, or bowknot cookies, may have originated in Latvia, but the idea is basically the same whether the cookie is made in Poland, Lithuania, Bulgaria or Russia.

The basis for this delicious treat is a sour cream dough that is rolled out, cut deep fried and sprinkled with confectioners sugar.

Tokorzvarhitjas (Sour Cream Bowknots)

1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
1 egg
6 tbs sour cream
1-1/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar (for finished cookies)
vegetable oil

In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg slightly. Add the 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar and combine with a spoon. Add in the lemon rind and sour cream and mix well to combine. Sift or whisk together the flour and baking powder and gradually add to the wet ingredients, mixing well after each addition.

Lightly flour a pastry board and knead the dough for a few minutes until it is very elastic. Sprinkle a bit more flour on the pastry board and roll out the dough until it is 1/8" thick or less.

Use a pizza cutter, knife or pastry wheel and cut the dough into strips 3/4" wide. Then cut diagonally in the opposite direction every 2". Using a sharp knife, cut a small slit in the center of each piece of dough. Using one piece of dough at a time, pull one end through the slit in the center to form a bowknot.

In a wok or deep fryer, heat approx. 1-1/2" of the oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. You should be able to see little movements on the surface of the oil.

Using a skimmer or slotted spoon, lower about 5 bowknots at a time into the hot oil. Let them brown on one side for approximately 10 seconds, then turn them over and let the other side brown. Remove from the oil immediately and place on paper towels to drain. Continue until all of the bowknots have been cooked.

Let the bowknots cool and sprinkled with the 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar through a sieve.

Note: Letting the cookies cool before sprinkling with the sugar will help to keep them crisp.


edamame said...

All dishes look very delicious! I am interested in the food culture of your country. And I support your site. If there is time, please come in my site. From Japan

Shelly said...

oh my goodness, they look delicous! I am loving your cookie blog! I found you via the foodie blog roll and I am glad I came over to your blog for a visit!

The Little Kahuna said...

Just want to say I love your blog. What a great idea!

Julia Ann said...

I love your blog. I can't wait to make some of the cookies. I'm definitely adding you to my favorites list.

Jen said...

I love your blog. We are a homeschooling family that is studying world geography. We will be using your cookie recipes each week for something fun in our studies. Thank you! I've linked you on my blog.

yosunbuka said...

hi! if u want add a traditional cookie from Turkey u can see on my blog..

Bob LaGatta said...

I don’t know on how I stumbled upon this cooking blog., All I know is that I’d better check out the archives for a good read. Ha-ha! Just droppin’ to say hi!
Oh. You might want to check this out: for uhm…a different “menu.”

Jj said...

Oh those look SO good! I've heard sour cream can make deliciate desserts more tender - these sure look like it does work!

Becca said...

Thanks so much for the waiting to sprinkle tip!


Please visit me at

Anonymous said...

Just found your blog - it's great! I love to think cookies can be part of a culture.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the great blog!

Aileen said...

GREAT blog theme !!

Bruce said...

Thanks for a great blog, love these cookie recipes
Christmas Cookie Recipes

Anonymous said...

My nana passed away this week and I was disappointed I could not find the recipe she shared with us....OMG this is it! She was the kindest and most generous lady and she always made these as a special treats for my family. I had no idea they were a traditional cookie of Latvia- her home country. Thank youxxxxx