Vareniki are Ukrainian filled, cooked dumplings. They can be savoury or sweet, square or crescent-shaped.
They are made from unleavened dough that is thinly rolled out, and cut into squares.
A bit of a filling mixture is put on top of each square of dough, then the dough is folded over the filling and the edges sealed. The dumplings are then simmered in water; they are cooked when they begin to float to the surface. They are then removed from the water and drained.
In some regions of the Ukraine they are steamed instead of simmered.
Meat fillings include pork, beef, offal and fish. Vegetable fillings include potato, cabbage, and mushrooms. Cheese is also a popular filling.
Such savoury Vareniki might be served with melted butter, fried onion and fried pieces of bacon, or sour cream
They were popularized in North America by immigrants from Eastern Europe. In Canada, a popular filling is mashed potato and cheddar cheese (or cheddar cheese powder, if made commercially.)
Sweet Vareniki in the Ukraine might have a sour cherry filling, or berries.
Lazy Vareniki are a variant, similar to Italian gnocchi. Instead of being a dough case stuffed with filling, the filling (such as tvorog aka quark cheese) is mixed with egg and flour to form a dough. The dough is rolled into a tube about 1 inch (2 1/2 cm) thick. Pieces and cut off, and simmered. These are very quick to make.
Vareniki can also be transliterated into English as “varenyki.”
The word comes from the verb “варити” (pronounced “varyty”), meaning to boil.
In Canada, some Ukranians may call Vareniki “pyrohy” (or “pedaheh.”)