Russian Walnut Shaped Cookies – “Oreshki”

Oreshki-14-2Oreshki, these beautiful, walnut shaped Russian cookies, have so much meaning for me. They are an iconic Russian treat, especially during holidays, weddings and other special occasions. I can remember watching my Mom making them in our small Belarusian home. I would sit at the kitchen table, keeping her company as she would spend hours making these special but very tedious desserts. I couldn’t wait til I was big enough to help her.

Oreshki require a special skillet, called the oreshnitsa, to cook them. Mine is the same one my Mom used more than 25 years ago in Belarus, so it’s extra special and still works just as well. You can buy them online but I know there are electric oreshnitsa skillets too, which are probably easier to use. Just type in “oreshnitsa” into google, and I’m sure you will find some options. Maybe you’re lucky enough to already own one, passed down from your mom, or you’ve purchased an electric one.

The crisp, golden exterior of the cookies hold a very creamy, caramely filling. Slavic people love using cooked condensed milk in lots of desserts. You can use the excess cookie crumbs or crushed nuts in the filling, for added flavor and crunch. 

Ingredients:

Cookies:

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup (or 16 Tablespoons) butter, melted and slightly cooled

3 1/2 Tablespoons mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1 teaspoon vinegar

4 cups all purpose flour

Filling:

1 1/2 cans dulce de leche (cooked condensed milk)

1 cup butter (or 16 Tablespoons), room temperature

4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

Oreshki-1-23In a large bowl, using a standing mixer with a whisk attachment or a hand held mixer, mix the eggs and sugar until pale yellow and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. Oreshki-1-24
Add the melted butter, mayonnaise, sour cream until evenly mixed. Add the baking soda dissolved in vinegar and mix again until combined.Oreshki-2-2Add the flour and mix, starting on low speed and gradually increasing the speed to medium, until all the flour is incorporated.

Oreshki-3-2Here’s where the oreshki skillet comes to the scene. Shape little balls from the prepared cookie batter, about 3/4 of a teaspoon of batter for each walnut shape. Don’t make them any bigger, because the excess batter will ooze out of the skillet.Oreshki-4-2It’s very helpful to shape a lot of the cookie balls before you start cooking them. If you have a helper, it makes this process much faster and much more enjoyable. Otherwise, turn on a podcast or a show on tv or Youtube. It sure helps to pass the time. When you have a lot, or even all of the cookie balls shaped, (cover them with plastic wrap so they don’t dry out), heat the oreshki griddle on medium heat until hot.

Quickly place a cookie ball into each of the cookie wells, close the lid and tightly hold the two ends, squeezing them as tight as you can. Oreshki-11-2Cook each side until golden on both sides, flipping the griddle over halfway through. The time really depends on the type of griddle you are using and on your stove. I cooked mine for only 1 – 1 1/2 minutes per side, but you might need to cook them longer, up to 3 minutes per side.

Oreshki-6-2The cookie batter will spread when you’re squeezing the two sides together and that’s a good thing, since it makes sure that the entire walnut shape is completely covered and you will also use all the leftover cookie scraps in the filling.

Use a small and sharp paring knife to cut each of the walnut shaped cookies out, setting aside all the scraps. Crush all the cookie scraps into small crumbs, using a ziplock bag and a rolling pin, or a food processor.Oreshki-7-2

Cook all of the cookies, cutting them out into walnut shapes.

Oreshki-8-2For the filling, in a large bowl, using a standing mixer or a hand held mixer, combine the dulce de leche, butter, cream cheese and vanilla extract until evenly combined. Oreshki-9-2Add the cookie crumbs to the filling and mix again to combine. Instead of the crumbs, you can use crushed nuts, but I prefer the taste and texture of the cookie crumbs.

Fill the inside of two walnut shaped cookies with the filling and place two of the cookies, filling side down, toward each other, gently squeezing, and scrape off the excess filling with a small paring knife.

Oreshki-12-2Continue to fill the cookies, gently squeezing the two halves of the cookies together. Oreshki-13-2You should have a total of about 115 oreshki. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. You can serve them immediately, but they will stay fresh for at least 1 week.Oreshki-16-2

Russian Walnut Shaped Cookies - "Oreshki"
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sweets
Serves: 115
Ingredients
Cookies:
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (or 16 Tablespoons) butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 3½ Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
Filling:
  • 1½ cans dulce de leche (cooked condensed milk)
  • 1 cup butter (or 16 Tablespoons), room temperature
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, using a standing mixer with a whisk attachment or a hand held mixer, mix the eggs and sugar until pale yellow and fluffy, at least 5 minutes.
  2. Add the melted butter, mayonnaise, sour cream until evenly mixed. Add the baking soda dissolved in vinegar and mix again until combined.
  3. Add the flour and mix, starting on low speed and gradually increasing the speed to medium, until all the flour is incorporated.
  4. Here's where the oreshki skillet comes to the scene. Shape little balls from the prepared cookie batter, about ¾ of a teaspoon of batter for each walnut shape. It's very helpful to shape a lot of the cookie balls before you start cooking them. If you have a helper, it makes this process much faster and much more enjoyable. Otherwise, turn on a podcast or a show on tv or Youtube. It sure helps to pass the time. When you have a lot, or even all of the cookie balls shaped, (cover them with plastic wrap so they don't dry out), heat the oreshki griddle on medium heat until hot.
  5. Quickly place a cookie ball into each of the cookie wells, close the lid and tightly hold the two ends, squeezing them as tight as you can. Cook each side until golden on both sides, flipping the griddle over halfway through. The time really depends on the type of griddle you are using and on your stove. I cooked mine for only 1 - 1½ minutes per side, but you might need to cook them longer, up to 3 minutes per side.
  6. The cookie batter will spread when you're squeezing the two sides together and that's a good thing, since it makes sure that the entire walnut shape is completely covered and you will also use all the leftover cookie scraps in the filling.
  7. Use a small and sharp paring knife to cut each of the walnut shaped cookies out, setting aside all the scraps. Crush all the cookie scraps into small crumbs, using a ziplock bag and a rolling pin, or a food processor. Cook all of the cookies, cutting them out into walnut shapes.
  8. For the filling, in a large bowl, using a standing mixer or a hand held mixer, combine the dulce de leche, butter, cream cheese and vanilla extract until evenly combined. Add the cookie crumbs to the filling and mix again to combine. Instead of the crumbs, you can use crushed nuts, but I prefer the taste and texture of the cookie crumbs.
  9. Fill the inside of two walnut shaped cookies with the filling and place two of the cookies, filling side down, toward each other, gently squeezing, and scrape off the excess filling with a small paring knife.
  10. Continue to fill the cookies, gently squeezing the two halves of the cookies together. You should have a total of about 115 oreshki. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. You can serve them immediately, but they will stay fresh for at least 1 week.

38 Comments

  • Olga T

    OMG you call this tedious? LOL. We still do it with individual pieces that you shape with your hands and it takes days to make lots of them. I really need to buy myself one of these. I had no idea these exist. Thanks 🙂 They look so good now I want some!

    • olgak7

      I’ve made oreshki with the individual molds too, and they are really tedious, you’re absolutely right, Olga:). I’m not sure which is more work, since you have to take the time to shape the oreshki individually in the molds, but you have to stand there at the stove holding the skillet tightly closed the entire time you are cooking the oreshki, and then you still have to carefully cut out the oreshki. Either way, it’s totally worth it:). Lol. I prefer the texture of these, since they are really crisp. The recipe I have for the individual molds, the oreshki turn out softer and sandier in texture, which is great too, but I like the crisp ones best.

  • Olena@iFOODreal

    OMG I had to comment! THESE were my absolute TOP treats a kid. My mom never made them as she never baked but my grandma would make them once a year. OMG they are so good. These and Muravejnik I care for!

    • olgak7

      Since the one I use is my mom’s and is about 30 years old, you probably won’t be able to find the exact one that I have, but there are many oreshnitsi for sale that you can find online. Look on Google or Amazon; type in “oreshnitsa”.

  • Olya

    Ladies, just an advice if you ever want to buy yourself an electric oreshnitsa make sure to do so from them! http://www.oreshnitsa.net/Pages/default.aspx their oreshnitsa works the best, I have been making oreshke many times, with my mother-in-law recipie & always get compliments on them! I tried a few other brands of electric oreshnitse & they don’t last & don’t work as well as the one from the website. Also, would like to give you a tip to clean & shape each of the walnut best if you do after they cool off & using a potato peeler. It’s easier once the walnuts are cooled of bcuz they don’t break as easy when you’re trying to shape them out.

    • olgak7

      Thank you so much for sharing, Olya. I’m so glad that you took the time to write from your experience, especially since I’ve never used the electric oreshnitsa.

  • Barbara Rita

    I would love to try these but don’t see myself making these! But they look so tasty! I admire your patience! I have patience for knitting and crochet and cross stitch but not for baking!
    Love Barbara

    • olgak7

      They DO take some patience, Barbara. I prefer cooking to baking, and the only way I don’t mind some of the more tedious parts of baking is if I’m listening or watching something at the same time. It sure helps to pass the time.

  • Julie

    Now a days their is also an electric oreshki maker, I heard it’s a lot easier! I’ve been wanting to get one for a while now!!

  • Natasha

    Omg, the memories! I have exact same oreshniza that you have, passed down from my mom too. I look at it once in a while but hesitate to make oreshki. I might make them and feel some of them with peanut butter, my kids would love it.

  • Tzivia

    Mmmmm yummmm love caramel I remember my great aunt Shirley talking about her father buying cookies that were shaped like a walnut and had cream in the middle she remembers them @ walnut cookies and looking @ these beautiful stunning tantalizing cookies reminds me of aunt Shirley who has such a sharp mind for a woman her age she will be turning 95 this summer bless her must remember to order an oreshnitsa skillet sounds challenging and time consuming but would like to challenge myself and make these for her sometime thanx so much for sharing this really cool recipe olya u totally rock gurl have a gr8 week ahead cheers

      • Tzivia

        Ditto yup I think so Olga darlin just need that special skillet and then must most definitely gotta take the plunge whooshhhhh @ usual u don’t disappoint love this site lots

  • Inna

    Thank you for the recipe! Since the filling contains cream cheese, is it safe to keep the oreshki at room temperature for an extended period of time? Or is it safer to refrigerate them?

  • Inna

    Hello, for the filling is it supposed to be 1 cup of butter or 8 tablespoons? In the recipe says 1 cup ( or 8 tablespoons). If it’s 1 cup then it would be 16 tablespoons. Thanks!

    • olgak7

      It’s 16 Tablespoons, or 1 cup. Sorry for the typo in the printable version. It was correct in the recipe at the top of the post:).

  • Denis

    This is the best! I tried another recipe before this one and that was not good. These are amazing. I don’t have the oreshki maker that you use on the stove but I have a Teflon (my preference to aluminum) multi mold (a single mold with 12 oreshki holes) I found on Amazon and I do these in the stove.

    I wish I could attach photos for reference but here are a few tips if you do these in the oven. I used 350F placing the molds at the top rack (highest position) for 8 minutes and they come out golden brown. The times will vary depending on your oven and molds. Spread the dough fairly thin with your finger over the mold – if there is too much dough it will rise too high and you will not have a place for the filling (my first attempt). But I also adapted a technique where if I did use a bit much I would put one mold on top of the other right after I remove them from the oven (I have two molds) and press and that would actually compress the dough and create a dip for the filling but it’s even better to use the right dough amount for the molds (mine are about 1/2 a tea spoon worth of dough each).

    And let me tell you as much as I love the results and these sweets it takes forever: about 4 hours and I would never even finish all the dough. I’ve recently been on a roll making these for multiple friends and family occasions and boy was I tired – I have pictures with loads and loads of these things out of the oven.

    Another thing is I don’t mix the Dulce DE Leche with anything (I think this has enough butter) and it’s still super yummy. I take a slightly warm dulce de Leche put it in a small ZipLock bag cut out the corner and use it to fill the cookie halfs by squeezing the filling into each one.

    Unlike the other recipe where the cookies barely held together because they were too crumbly these are perfect and can be handled safely.

    I also learned that I can split the work load by storing the dough in the fridge for a couple of days (I have gone as long as five) and it didn’t really affect the result on any negative way.

    These are best after a day in the fridge and two even better. I love them but I am taking a break and pelmeni is the next experiment on my list.

    Thank you Olga this is the ultimate recipe for me.

    • olgak7

      I actually haven’t cooked condensed milk in years:). We have dulce de leche in all the stores in our area and I use it instead. However, when I was cooking condensed milk before, I poured the condensed milk into a mason jar and cooked it in a slow cooker. Check out natashaskitchen.com for all the details.

  • Masha V

    Hi,
    Ive made ur oreshki, the cookies turned out great, but the filling is a bit runny, followered the recipe to a t, and still runny

    • olgak7

      I’m not sure why Masha. It’s never been runny for me. Maybe the dulce de leche/cooked sweetened condensed milk was a thinner consistency.

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