These Walnut Shaped Cookies are buttery and delicious. Not a good enough reason to try them? They are filled with dulce de leche!
Walnut Shaped Cookies
Hello, my friends. Happy Monday. I am not being sarcastic; these Walnut Shaped Cookies will beat any Monday blues.
Indeed, I am so thrilled about sharing this recipe because these are probably my most favourite cookies ever. Let’s be honest: I am in favour of any cookies with dulce de leche, but there’s nothing that can beat this recipe, in my book (Let’s be completely honest: give me a jar of dulce de leche and a spoon, and you can keep all the cookies for yourself.) Well, I also do love Alfajores, but I didn’t try them until recent years. Walnut Shaped Cookies, on the other hand, is my favorite dessert from my childhood.
This year has been marked by some Russian (Soviet) dessert classics I’ve introduced to you. First I made this Napoleon Cake. Then I made a no-bake dessert, this Chocolate Salami. The next step was making this Medovik – Russian Honey Layer Cake (One of my favourite layer cakes ever!) followed by a lavender twist on it. Indeed, there are two new twists on a honey cake waiting to meet with you; stay tuned. I also made these Peach Cookies which looked pretty cool. Technically speaking, chocolate salami and peach cookies are a common dessert in some other European countries while a Napoleon cake is an adaptation of the French recipe, but all these desserts were from the times I was a kid (Just a couple of years…decades ago). My theory is that I’ve hit a certain age this year which made me a little nostalgic. Otherwise, I don’t have a solid explanation why hadn’t I had a single Russian recipe on my blogs before (And I used to have a Russian food blog too).
Anyway, I don’t think you will be against some delicious old-fashioned desserts, right?
Let’s talk about these Walnut Shaped Cookies (Although I’d prefer to eat them instead. Practice is better than a theoretical part. Agreed?) The bad news is that you won’t be able to make them without special cookie molds (You can see them in a photo). The good news is that those molds are available online, and they’re relatively cheap. You can always invest a bit more money and get a special pan, like a waffle maker for these shells.
It also took me three attempts before sharing this recipe. Partially it was because I needed an excuse to enjoy more, but mostly it was because I was looking for the perfect recipe. Have I found it yet? Not yet. But I cannot wait longer. Besides, I can continue searching for perfection and update the recipe later.
I did like the dough and cookies when I made it the first time. However, the filling let me down as it wasn’t thick enough. I made dulce de leche at home (That’s very easy but take some time), and it would have been better if I had boiled it longer. As a result, I couldn’t marriage most shells. And those I could pair didn’t look particularly neat. That wasn’t a problem for me as an eater, but that wasn’t good enough as a blogger. In fact, there’s a little secret: most people separate the shells before eating – just like with Oreos.
My second attempt failed. While the dulce de leche turned out nice and thick, the dough wasn’t spot on; the shells extremely shrank while sitting in the oven. The third attempt happened on the same day. The shells turned out delicious although their look could have been better. I need some magic to combine the first and third attempts haha. I have also found some tricks which will help you to succeed, and they are included in the recipe. As you can see, I have uploaded the photos from two photo sessions.
You can always play with the filling, too. For instance, you can place a piece of a walnut with dulce de leche or stir in some chopped nuts in the filling. Also, you can whip dulce de leche with some soften butter for even a richer filling. You can certainly add some sea salt. Finally, if you are not a fan of dulce de leche (Although I might start doubting our friendship), you can grab some other filling like jam or Nutella. That won’t be an authentic treat, though.
Lastly, I encourage you to make your own dulce de leche which is not hard, and the can won’t explode if you follow my recommendations. Alternatively, you can always find delicious store-bought spread. I believe bulk stores might have the thickest you can find.
And I promise I will continue searching for the best recipe. In a meanwhile, make and enjoy some Walnut Shaped Cookies.
- 120 gr. unsalted butter, take from the refrigerator 10-15 minutes prior making the dough
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup fine sugar
- 2 tbsp. corn starch
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- About 1,5 cups of all purpose (or pastry) flour, maybe a bit more/less
- dulce de leche
- Using a grater, grate the butter in a bowl.
- Add the egg and sugar, and lightly beat with a spatula -you don't need them incorporated.
- Sift the corn starch, baking powder, and flour (Add one cup at once then gradually the remaining). Working quickly with your hands, make the dough. That won't be perfectly combined, and you might even see the pieces of butter which is fine.
- Take a small piece of dough and press into a mold. Don't make it too thick as it will slightly rise. You can always use a rounded part of an empty mold to press the dough shell; the pattern will be more visible.
- Repeat with the remaining molds. Place them in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes to firm. In a meanwhile, preheat oven to 200 degrees C (400 F).
- Remove the molds from the freezer, place onto a baking tray, and put in oven.
- Bake for 2-3 minutes at 200 C then remove the baking tray from the oven. Most likely you will find that the shells have risen and there's no much space for the filling in the middle. So, using a small spoon (rounded part), gently press into each shell to make a more visible hollow.
- Reduce heat to 175 degrees C, return the cookies in the oven, and bake for another 10 minutes or until they are golden (You can keep them a little less or longer to adjust the desired colour). Remove from oven, let cool for 2-3 minutes, then remove the shells from the molds.
- If you have more dough, let the molds cool then repeat the process.
- Once the shells are cooled, fill them with thick dulce de leche or other spread of your taste and enjoy.
- Place the can on its side in a large pot. Fill the pot with cold temperature water, making sure the water level is at 7-10 cm above the can. Set the pot over high heat and bring it to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for between two and four hours (For this recipe I'd recommend at least 3,5 hours). Regularly check the pot adding more (boiling or at least hot) water to ensure the water level is above the cans.
- Off heat and let the cans stay in the water for about 30 minutes, then using a pair of tongs, remove them from water. Let completely cool, I'd recommend at least 2 hours: opening still hot can might be dangerous.
- For fill about 30 Walnut Shaped Cookies, you will need one can of this spread. I always make 2 or 3 cans because it's so delicious even straight from the can.