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Bajaderki – Leftover Polish Cake Balls Recipe

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Have you ever heard of bajaderki? If not, you’re in for a lovely surprise! 

These little Polish balls are not only easy to make but also a fantastic way to use up leftover cake, cookies, or even failed baking attempts, like sad layers. Yes, you read that right – those disappointing, underbaked cakes, cookies or inedible muffins can be transformed into something tasty in no time!

What Are Bajaderki?

Bajaderki are small, truffle-like cake balls made from crumbled cake or biscuits, mixed with a variety of ingredients like chocolate, nuts, and dried fruits. The best part? You can customise them based on what you have on hand!

A Dessert Named After a Dancer?

Bajaderki were first made in Warsaw in the 1920s, just before the Great Depression. Even though times were tough, these cake balls were very cheap to make. The idea was to use up all the ingredients and not waste anything. Today, we would call this a “zero waste” recipe.

No one knows for sure where the name “bajaderki” comes from, but there’s a fun story that might explain it. In 1921, there was a famous operetta called “The Bayadere” by Emmerich Kalman. The main character was a beautiful and exotic dancer who worked in a sultan’s harem. Some people think that the cookies might have been named after her.

Over time, the word “bajadera” started to mean other things in Warsaw. Sometimes, people used it to describe forgetting something but not really caring about it. In Warsaw, friends might even say to each other, “You forgot, but oh well, bajadera!” It’s just a silly way of saying that it’s okay to forget things sometimes.

Tips For Cooking Bajaderki

  1. If the bajaderki mixture is too dry, add a little more milk or any plant-based drink.
  2. If the bajaderki mixture is too wet, add crushed biscuits, dry cake, or plain wafers (crumbled by hand).
  3. You can add various dried fruits, jams, or any ingredients you have on hand to use them up.
  4. Instead of rolling the bajaderki in cocoa, you can coat them in chocolate and coconut flakes.
  5. If the cake balls aren’t sweet enough, you can add some sugar to the mixture.

Bajaderki – Leftover Polish Cake Balls Recipe

Step I

Warm up ⅓ cup of milk.

Step II

Crush the 10 oz / 300g of cookies/ cake using the food processor or your hands.

Step III

Finely chop 3 ½ oz / 100g of nuts and dried fruits.

Step IV

Mix all the ingredients using your hands. Here add 2 tbsps of rum or rum extract and 3 tbsps of jam and some cocao.

Step V

Form small (walnut-size or smaller) balls from the mixture.

Step VI

Coat each ball in more cocoa. You can also sprinkle them with crushed nuts or coconut flakes. Enjoy!

FAQ About Bajaderki

How Long Do Bajaderki Last?

Bajaderki can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. They can also be frozen for up to a month.

Can I Make Bajaderki Without Nuts?

If you have a nut allergy or simply don’t like nuts, you can skip them in the recipe. You can replace them with more dried fruits or even chocolate chips.

Bajaderki – Leftover Polish Cake Balls Recipe

Yield: 24

Bajaderki - Leftover Polish Cake Balls Recipe

Bajaderki - Leftover Polish Cake Balls Recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 10 oz / 300g of biscuits, any dry cake
  • ⅓ cup of milk
  • 1 ½ tbsp of cocoa + more to coat the balls
  • 3 tbsps of jam
  • 3 ½ oz / 100g of dried fruits and nuts
  • 2 tbsps of rum or rum extract

Instructions

  1. Warm up the milk.
  2. Crush the cookies/ cake using the food processor or your hands.
  3. Finely chop nuts and dried fruits.
  4. Mix all the ingredients using your hands.
  5. Form small (walnut-size or smaller) balls from the mixture.
  6. Coat each ball in cocoa.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 88Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 87mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 1g

These data are indicative and calculated by Nutritionix

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