Gluten-Free New Year’s Cookies or Portzelky

Gluten-free New Years Cookies (Portzelky) | The Baking Beauties

UPDATE: January 3, 2015 – There is a NEW recipe for gluten-free Portzelky or Oliebollen, you can view it HERE.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope 2011 holds many great things for you. I will start the year off with a bang by posting all these recipes that I’ve been accumulating. I don’t photograph all the new recipes I try, but I do quite a few of them, just not all of them get blogged in a timely matter. So, for you, I will post until my reserve of recipes has run low. Enjoy!

These gluten-free New Year’s cookies or Portzelky, have been made in my family for as many years as I can remember. Some people make them differently, some include apples, others do just raisins. In my family, we’ve always just done raisins. They are sort of like a fritter, but with raisins. We’ve always had ours just plain, but you can shake them in either regular sugar or confectioners’ sugar if you like them a little sweeter. I have gone without New Year’s cookies for a few years now, but decided that I was up for the challenge this year. They were a success. I ate WAY too many of them. I am pretty sure these are made (and eaten) on the 31st of December, just to force you into feeling guilty, and adding some healthier New Year’s Resolutions to your list. :) But, they are not an everyday food, they are a treat, and what a good treat they were. I hope you enjoy them as well.

UPDATE: January 3, 2015 – There is a NEW recipe for gluten-free Portzelky or Oliebollen, you can view it HERE.

Gluten-Free New Year's Cookies or Portzelky
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups milk, scalded cooled to lukewarm
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups raisins, re-hydrated in hot water and drained
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose Gluten Free flour mix (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon guar gum
  • oil for deep frying
  1. Combine warm water, 1/2 Tbsp sugar and yeast. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or so, until it is frothy.
  2. In a large measuring cup, add the margarine to the scalded milk (allowed to cool to lukewarm). Stir until margarine is melted. Add eggs and yeast mixture (make sure the milk has cooled, or you will end up cooking your eggs in it, you don't want that). Stir to blend.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, xanthan gum, guar gum, 1/4 cup sugar and salt. With the mixer on low speed, pour in the milk/egg mixture. Mix on medium speed for about 1 minute. Add in drained raisins, and stir until they are evenly distributed.
  4. Place bowl in a draft-free warm place, and let rise until double in size (about 30 minutes for me).
  5. In an electric frying pan, or a thick-bottomed pot, heat oil to 350 degrees F (USE A THERMOMETER, PLEASE).
  6. Carefully drop about 1 Tbsp of dough into the hot oil (I use 2 tablespoons to scoop and push the dough gently into the oil, you don't want the oil to splash).
  7. Fry until golden brown on each side.
  8. Drain on paper towel lined cookie sheet. May be eaten as is, or dusted with confectioners' sugar. These are best eaten fresh, or warmed up slightly.
The flour blend is as follows: 4 cups superfine brown rice flour, 1 1/3 cups potato starch (not flour), 2/3 cup tapioca starch. Combine all ingredients in a large zipper-top bag. Shake until well blended.



  1. Claire says

    These look great, I remember having them once when I was little, and loved them! It will be great to try these. What kind of yest active dry yeast? or quick rise yeast? This is important as I made your cinnamon buns and made the mistake of using active dry yeast, when you said to use quick rise yeast , needless to say they didnt rise like they should have! But I did make them again the next with the proper yeast and ohhh my delicious!!!

    • says

      Good question, Claire! I’ve added it to the recipe now – definitely instant yeast (love that stuff!) :) And I’m glad to hear that the buns turned out when you used the quick rise yeast too. Woohoo!

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