These are a favorite of mine. I remember making these, or at least watching and eating them since I was small. The thing is... they are so good they never made it any further than the kitchen. So we decided to make huge batches of these to have on hand. They freeze very well and are food saver friendly cooked or uncooked. My family would just eat them plain, fried in butter (for a little color), but since then, I have also put tomato sauce over them, or some dunk them in a sour cream mix. Make a few and see what you like!
**EDITED- REFLECTING ADDITION OF SPICES and CLEANED UP INSTRUCTIONS**
In a small pot of boiling salted water, cook the potatoes until fork-tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and transfer to a medium bowl. Mash with 2 tablespoons butter and let cool. Stir in the cheddar cheese, onion, garlic and season with salt and pepper to taste. and thyme (optional). Set aside or cover and refrigerate.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and parsley, dill and basil (optional). Make a well in the center of the flour, add the egg and sour cream and stir into the flour. Let the mixture rest for 10 minutes, then transfer to a work surface and knead until a smooth, stiff dough forms. Cut the dough into quarters, wrap each in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove from refrigerator and on a floured work surface, working with one-quarter of the dough at a time, roll out each piece into an 11-inch circle. (you can also use a bowl as a guide) Using a 4-inch biscuit cutter or drinking glass, cut the dough into rounds. Place a tablespoon of potato filling slightly off center on each circle. Moisten the edge, fold the dough over the filling and press the edges firmly to seal. You can also use a fork to help it along. Trim off any excess dough with a knife or pizza cutter to get rid of rough edges.
At this point, if you choose to freeze these, or food save them, place the pierogies on a plate or baking sheet and let them become slightly hardened in the freezer. Package into containers that are freezer safe, use food save bags, or plastic wrap & freezer bag after plastic wrap. Label these as uncooked. Will be good for approx a month. When you are ready to have these, pull amount from freezer, and cook as follows.
In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the fresh, unfrozen pierogi, about 9 at a time, 5-7 minutes (up to 15 if frozen). They should float like a dumpling. Toss them in a saucepan with melted butter, browning before serving (5-8 minutes). If you have a little green onion/chive left, you can use this as a garnish.
Note: You can serve appetizer style with plain or flavored sour cream for dipping or with a marinara sauce.
I love white cheddar which is why it is in this particular recipe. You could also use a sharp cheddar cheese if you prefer.