Fun with Fillings

Akron's Posh Pierogies puts its own spin on the classic ethnic side dish. 

Autumn Johnston is out to prove pierogies can be just as good for dessert as they are at dinner. Any doubters should check out her candy bar pierogies, packed with chocolate ganache, caramel and peanuts, which Johnston says tastes best when fried in butter and topped with vanilla ice cream.

"People are just so used to savory pierogies," she says. "I think it's hard for them to imagine it."

Posh Pierogies offers 22 varieties, from the traditional potato and cheese to unusual versions such as chicken paprikash, and yam and walnut. A classically trained chef, Johnston opened the business with her childhood friend Jennifer Harrah in 2009. They were inspired by the lack of decent grocery store pierogies. "The dough in store pierogies was either doughy or hard," Johnston explains.

Using her grandmother's recipe, she started small, making roughly 700 pierogies a week. Now, she and Harrah turn out 800 to 1,200 a day, selling four days a week at their booth at the Hartville Marketplace. They also sell at farmers markets and supply local restaurants.

Look for the duo's classic potato and cheese combo at Teschner's Tavern in Richfield and Harbor Inn in Portage Lakes, or head to Clifton Martini and Wine Bar in Cleveland for goat cheese and mushroom.

Or pick up an order to go, sold by the half dozen at Posh Pierogies' kitchen in the basement of the John F. Seiberling Federal Building at 2 S. Main St. in Akron This month's featured flavor is loaded baked potato — packed with potato, bacon, cheese and chives.

"People love the varieties," Johnston says. "The dough's really tender, and there's a lot more filling than other pierogies."

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