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Combine ½ a cup of sugar with 1 pound of cherries. Mix and leave to stand for about 1 hour until the cherries release their juice.
Mix 2 cups of sifted flour with ¼ teaspoon of salt in a large bowl and add ¾ cup of cold water. Mix until the dough comes together.
Knead the dough until completely smooth. Slice the dough ball in half and cover one of the portions while you are not using it to ensure it doesn’t dry out.
Roll the dough to ¼-⅛-inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut out 3-inch dough circles using a floured glass or cookie cutter.
Place two halved cherries in the center of each dough circle.
Fold each dough piece in half and press the edges together firmly using your fingers. Make sure that the seal is tight enough for your filling not to fall out. Use your fingers to pinch along the sealed dough to create a scalloped edge.
Repeat the process until all the dough and cherries are used.
Bring a large saucepan of water to boil. Season with salt and place the vareniki in the pan in batches and cook until the dumplings float to the top. Drain and add some melted butter to stop them sticking together.
Mix the remaining 12 ounces of cherries with ½ a cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon of water. Bring the contents of the pan to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered for about 15 minutes until the mixture reduces and thickens.
Serve with cherry compote and/or sour cream.