Belarus 🇧🇾 Oreshki (Caramel walnut cookies)

My awesome friend, Katrin told me these cookies remind her of her childhood in Belarus. And then she lent me the special pan needed to make them! I’m a sucker for kitchen gadgets so I had to make these immediately. And look how cute!

They’re shaped like walnuts! And they’re filled with a dulce de Leche cream and of course, chopped walnuts. You’ll need this special skillet called an Oreshnitsa for these cookies, it looks like this:

Fun, right? Now grab a helper and let’s get to it!

*Naptime Tip: You can store the cookie shells in a zip top bag for up to 2 days before filling. And the extra cookie bits are awesome on ice cream!

Oreshki (Caramel walnut cookies)

Recipe from Olga’s Flavor Factory

Makes about 60 small cookies

For the dough-

1 large egg

3/4 cups granulated sugar

1 stick (8 Tbs.) butter, melted and slightly cooled

1 and 3/4 Tbs. mayonnaise

1/4 cup sour cream

1/2 tsp. baking soda dissolved in 1/2 tsp. vinegar

2 cups all-purpose flour

For the filling-

1 can dulce de leche (cooked sweetened condensed milk)

1 stick (8 Tbs.) butter room temp.

2 oz. cream cheese, room temp.

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup toasted and chopped walnuts

Method:

In a large bowl with a mixer, beat the egg and sugar together until pale yellow and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the melted butter, mayonnaise and sour cream until evenly mixed. Add the baking soda dissolved in vinegar and mix again.

Add the flour and mix, starting on low speed and gradually increasing the speed to medium, until all the flour is incorporated.

Shape the dough into little balls, slightly larger than marbles. Shape all of the dough, place on a sheet tray and cover.

Heat your Oreshnitsa on the stovetop over medium heat. Place a plate, a cutting board, 2 paring knives, and a bowl or basket nearby.

Once the Oreshnitsa is hot, quickly drop a cookie ball into each of the wells and close the lid. Squeeze the handles together and hold them tight the whole time the cookies cook, 1-3 minutes per side.

*WARNING!* If you over-fill the pan and the dough leaks out, it can start a fire on your stove! If dough starts to spill out, hold the pan over the plate and use a paring knife to trim it away before returning to the heat. Here’s the size of dough balls you’re going for:

If you peek in the pan and see that the cookie shells are lightly brown on both sides, they’re done! Grab your partner!

Open the pan and hold it over the cutting board and pop the shells out of the pan using a paring knife.

Now you (or your buddy) need to trim away the extra cookie bits until you have tidy little half shells. Put the shells in your bowl or basket and save the scrap bits for ice cream.

Return your Oreshnitsa to the stove to reheat before adding more dough marbles for subsequent batches.

We found it easiest and quickest to have one person cooking the shells and another helping to scrape them off the pan then trimming them.

Once all the shells are cooked and trimmed, make the filling.

Using a hand mixer in a medium bowl, combine the dulce de leche, butter, cream cheese and vanilla extract until smooth. Stir in the chopped, toasted walnuts.

Fill the inside of each half-shell with the dulce de leches cream. I recommend filling them not quite to the top so it doesn’t ooze out when you sandwich them. You want these really neat. Now pair up the halves (I tried to match baking colors) and squeeze them gently together to make a whole walnut!

Repeat until all of the cookies are assembled. You should have a total of 55-60 Oreshki. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. You can serve them immediately, but they will stay fresh for about 2 days.

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