Russian Walnut Shaped Cookies – “Oreshki”
Oreshki are Russian walnut shaped cookies, made by cooking them in a special skillet. The crisp, golden exterior of the cookies hold a very creamy, caramely filling made with dulce de leche.
Oreshki, 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.
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.
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
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
What Do You Need To Use To Cook The Cookies?
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. Maybe you’re lucky enough to already own one, passed down from your mom, or you’ve purchased an electric one.
Here’s one that is similar to the one that I have.
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.
Add the melted butter, mayonnaise, sour cream until evenly mixed. Add the baking soda dissolved in vinegar and mix again until combined.Add the flour and mix, starting on low speed and gradually increasing the speed to medium, until all the flour is incorporated.
Here’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.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.
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 – 1 1/2 minutes per side, but you might need to cook them longer, up to 3 minutes per side.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Continue to fill the cookies, gently squeezing the two halves of the cookies together. You should have a total of about 115 oreshki.
Storing the Cookies
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.Print
Russian Walnut Shaped Cookies
Oreshki are Russian walnut shaped cookies, made by cooking them in a special skillet. The crisp, golden exterior of the cookies hold a very creamy, caramely filling made with dulce de leche.
- Prep Time: 180 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 220 minutes
- Yield: 115 cookies 1x
- Category: Dessert
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup butter (melted and slightly cooled (16 Tablespoons))
- 3 1/2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 (14 oz) cans dulce de leche (cooked condensed milk (21 oz total))
- 1 cup butter (or 16 Tablespoons, room temperature)
- 4 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 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.
- Add the melted butter, mayonnaise, sour cream until evenly mixed. Add the baking soda dissolved in vinegar and mix again until combined.
- Add the flour and mix, starting on low speed and gradually increasing the speed to medium, until all the flour is incorporated.
- Shape little balls from the prepared cookie batter, about 3/4 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.
- 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. 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 – 1 1/2 minutes per side, but you might need to cook them longer, up to 3 minutes per side.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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!
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.
I have been looking for the Crispy crunchy version!!!!!!!! I’m so happy right now! Definitely making today! Perfect timing, thank you! (I’m going to use the individual molds, hoping to get a crunchy cookie)
Can I have recipe for the softe one i like softer.Please!!
I haven’t posted that recipe yet, Lidiya.
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!
They are such a treat, aren’t they?
P.S. I love Muraveinik too:).
Where could I find this griddle that you use?
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”.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!!
Yes, there are. I wrote about it in the post. I haven’t tried it myself, but I’m sure it is easier.
I have one and LOVE it! My dad ordered it for me on Amazon:))
electric oreshki maker is so easy, quick, and gives your oreshki even cooking. I finally found one with US plug (I’ve been looking for a while). This is the link, if anyone’s interested. I tried the recipe that came with the item and it was delicious but I want to try other recipes to be able to compare to. https://tophomeplus.com/products/nuts-oreshki-mold-oreshnitsa-electric-walnuts-maker-top-home-plus-us-plug
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.
That’s a great idea, to make a peanut butter filling, Natasha.
Stephanie @ Velez Delights
Looks deliciously amazing! 🙂
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
That would be so sweet and thoughtful of you, Tzivia. I’m sure your aunt would really appreciate it.
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
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?
Yes, you can leave them at room temperature, Inna.
Usually the dairy fillings make baked goods soft, is that true in this case?
You can also fill them with Nuttela spread. I have also hidden a nut inside the “nuts” 😉
Nutella is a great idea! I would mix it with cream cheese first:).
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!
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:).
So beautiful! I have never seen these before. thanks for sharing!!
Is the butter salted or unsalted.
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.
Can you use this same recipe for an electric oreshnitsa?
Where to get good quality Walnut Cookie Mold in America?
I found mine on ecrater.com:
It’s a bit pricey, but I love that you can make 40 halves at a time and it’s for in the oven, not on the stovetop.
What’s the best way to cook condensed milk without having it explode?
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.
Hi. Can I freeze some oreshki shells and defrost in like 2 weeks and then fill them? Please let me know
Oreshki freeze very well. I usually make them ahead of time, fill with cooked condensed milk and freeze until the day of the party. I just take them out an hour before serving.
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
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.
This is the best oreshki recipe I found online. Thanks dear. To made oreshki extra soft I also added secret ingredient 2 spoons of VODKA😁
I’m so glad you enjoy the Oreshki recipe, Vicki. Thank you for sharing your tip:).
Is there a way I can make these less crispy? growing up in ukraine I am used to eating the softer ones. I tried these for my parents and they agreed that it is too crunchy. I let them sit in the fridge for a few days and they got a bit less crunchy but they still are not soft. Any suggestions for how I can alter it to make them more soft? The filling is great!
There is a completely different recipe if you want to make them soft. You would also need to use a different mold for the cookies, individual molds that are baked in the oven, not on a skillet, like I use. The skillet contributes to them being really crispy.
I don’t have the recipe for the soft cookies posted on my website yet. Maybe I’ll post it when I have some time.
These are so delicious. I’ve made them twice already and definitely thinking about a third time haha.. I love that the filling is not super sweet! I do have a question though, are they supposed to be super crunchy? Seems like I have a hard time biting into them so I wonder if it’s because I overbake them? I have an oreshnitsa from nakkitchen.com that goes in the oven and I do about 30-35 min at 375 degrees.
I’m so glad you are happy with this recipe, Lidiya.
The cookies should be crunchy, but definitely not too crunchy to bite into easily, especially after you add the filling. I use the oreshnitsa that you use on the stovetop, so I don’t cook them anywhere near that long. When I use the mold that goes into the oven, I actually use a different recipe and I don’t bake it that long either.
Love these! They have the most perfect soft texture and they’re so delicious. Thank you for this recipe! The only one I’ll ever use!
I’m so glad that you enjoyed the Oreshki, Sorina. Thank you for taking the time to write.
Hello, many thanks for the recipe. Just a few questions. Is there a replacement for the mayonnaise? Also: could I freeze these once they are finished? Would like to make an extra large batch and then have them handy.
Yum! I also wanted to try the soft version if you have it 🙂
Excellent recipe. I made these for a reception held after a piano concert with a Russian theme. I bought the stove top iron because the size was correct for a 2-bite cooky, while the individual molds were much too large. I will use the individual molds sometime for a stocking stuffer size treat but not for dainty tea cookies. I made the dulce de leche from scratch from Alton Brown’s online recipe with a quart of whole milk, 1-1/2 c sugar, 1 vanilla bean, and 1/2 tsp soda. It takes about 2-1/2 hours of careful simmering but it’s worth the extra time to be sure there are no preservatives or residue of heavy metals that you may have when using canned mills. The Russian pianist at the event shared with me that the finest version of this traditional cooky is when you place a walnut inside.
I’m so happy to hear that you were happy with this recipe, Peggy. What a lot of dedication to make the dulce de leche from scratch – good job! I remember that episode from Good Eats by Alton Brown too:).
Thank you for taking the time to write.
I prefer soft oreshki over crispy. How can I make the oreshki soft? Please advise me.
You need to use a different recipe and use individual molds for the cookies that are baked in the oven instead of the traditional stovetop skillet.
Olga, you state that this recipe makes 115 oreshki. Is that 115 oreshki put together or does it account separate halves so for a total of 58 cookies put together?
Put together, Oksana.
Absolutely the best recipe!!! Thank you for pouring your heart into it! Love the oreshki, made it for the first time ever, and I can’t wait for my kids to try it. Best ever.
I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed this recipe, Iryna. Thank you.
I was wondering if the recipe makes 115 cookies or 115 cookies halfs?