This is an in-depth review and comparison of an electric oreshnitsa vs the stovetop oreshnitsa, the walnut shaped cookie mold and pastry maker.
If you are looking for an oreshnitsa to make Oreshki, I have 2 different options to share with you. Oreshki are a classic Slavic cookie that are made for many holidays and special occasions. They are walnut shaped cookies with a dulce de leche (cooked sweetened condensed milk) filling.
In order to make these delicious and beautiful pastries, you need an oreshki mold or pastry maker, which is called an “oreshnitsa” in Russian. It’s a very similar concept to a waffle maker – you put the batter/dough into the waffle maker and it bakes it into a waffle shape, only in this case you get walnut halves.
The Classic Stovetop Oreshnitsa
I have always used my mom’s oreshnitsa, which is older than I am:). This is the classic version that you heat up on the stove, you press it manually with your hands, squeezing the two sides together, flip the skillet to the other side and you get beautiful oreshki.
The one I have I obviously can’t link for you, but here is a similar option (affiliate link). Since I haven’t used it myself, I can’t personally vouch for it, but the concept is the same as the one that I use.
If you want to look for one yourself, here are a few things to note about the oreshnitsa that I have:
- It holds 16 halves of walnuts (8 total cookies)
- Each cookie is 1 1/2″ wide
- The diameter of the actual pan is 6 1/2″ wide
- I was not able to find one exactly like it. All the designs I found, the cookies were slightly smaller in the description. The one I linked is stated to be 1 1/3″, although the skillet is also 6 1/2″ wide. If you know of a good one that is exactly like the original Soviet version or if you have one that you use and can recommend, I’d love to hear from you.
The Electric Oreshnitsa
I decided to purchase an electric oreshnitsa and test it out so I could give you an in depth review and share another option for making oreshki besides the classic stovetop skillet.
- Electric Oreshnitsa that I bought (affiliate link) (the exact one that I bought.)
- *Every year around the holidays, this is a hot commodity. The companies selling them increase the prices and the oreshnitsa sells out. Since I wrote this post, the same exact one that I bought just a few weeks ago for $49.99 was $75 when I published this post and is now sold out and not even available to be shipped before Christmas. There are a few other sellers on Amazon. The oreshnitsa looks the same. Here’s one that should ship quickly. (I’m adding this note on 12/09/23, the price is $71.90 and says will ship in 2 days.)
The model I got was by the “Mixdor” brand and it makes 24 walnut shaped halves.
This option reminds me of an electric waffle maker. The process is very similar.
I used the same cookie dough to test both versions of the pastry makers, the stovetop skillet and the electric walnut pastry maker. I spent several days testing them and comparing them side by side. Here are my observations.
For the stovetop version, I used slightly more than 1/2 teaspoon of dough per each ball and I used closer to 3/4 of a teaspoon of dough for the electric oreshnitsa.
I overfill them because I use the excess cookies in the filling. I thinks it cuts down on the sweetness and we enjoy the texture. It also gives you more perfect results when you trim the cookies around the edges. If you don’t overfill them at least a little bit, there will often be gaps, the cookies won’t look as nice and the filling will leak out.
Pros and Cons of the Stovetop Oreshnitsa
- Very durable.
- As I mentioned earlier, the one I use is my mom’s and has lasted more than 3 decades so far.
- Takes up less storage space.
- Cooks very evenly – the color of the cookies is very consistent.
- You can also regulate the level of crispness and the color of the cookies by adjusting the heat and it’s also easier to “peek” and see if the cookies are the right color or not.
- The shape of the cookies has the iconic “Oreshki” look.
- They have a deeper etching/grooves in the cookies. The shape of the cookies are more round.
- More room for filling. (See photo below to compare the filled cookies side by side.)
- Cumbersome to use. It takes practice to get it right. It can be messy if you’re new to making them. You need to be vigilant about cleaning up any melting butter or oozing batter if you overfill the molds.
- You need to manually hold the skillet closed and flip it over mid way through cooking.
- Not an option if you have an electric or induction stove. It only works with a gas stove.
Pros and Cons of the Electric Oreshnitsa
- Easier to use and better for beginners.
- Can set it up anywhere there’s an outlet.
- No need to hold it shut or flip it over.
- Less messy. (Although, if you overfill the electric oreshnitsa, it will be almost as messy.)
These cookies were all cooked at the same time, from one batch of dough. You can see the inconsistent coloring very obviously.
- Inconsistent results – the color of the cookies is very inconsistent and varies from cookie to cookie. The cookies around the edge get much less color than the ones in the center, although even those are inconsistent too.
- No option of adjusting the heat level.
- Harder to “peek” in to see if the cookies are done or not. The lid shuts very tightly and is more difficult to open mid process.
- Takes up much more space to store.
- The cookie shape is more flat and oval. It also doesn’t have the deep ridges and lines as the classic “Oreshki”.
- Less room for filling, the outside of the cookie is thicker as well.
- I used more dough per cookie for the electric oreshnitsa, yet the cookies hold less filling.
I hope this review is helpful and gives you a clear picture of what to expect. If you’ve used either of them, please share your experience as well.
No matter which version you choose, the cookies themselves are so delicious and totally worth the effort that it takes to make them for special occasions and holidays:).