Hungarian Nut-Filled Cookies

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I wish I knew the true heritage of this cookie because it’s one of my favorites.  My mother and aunts have been making this hearty and gratifying cookie as far back as I can remember. I’d like to think that this delicious cookie is of Italian origin; however, rumor has it that the recipe hails from my cousin’s mother-in-law who was Eastern European.  Whether Italian or Hungarian, this is an awesome cookie for any occasion and one that you should try.

Makes approximately 7 dozen cookies




 

Ingredients


For the Filling:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 cups walnuts (finely ground)
  • 2 large egg whites (or enough to make a good spreading consistency)


For the Dough:

  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk

 

For the Browned-Butter Icing:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 evaporated milk (or whole milk)



 


Instructions


Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2: For the Dough: Place all dry ingredients in large bowl and whisk until well-blended.

Step 3: Add butter and shortening to dry ingredients. Cut in shortening and butter (with a pastry blender) until size of small peas.



Step 4: In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk and eggs. Beat until combined.

 

Step 5: Make a well in the flour mixture, then add egg-buttermilk mixture. Using pastry blending, mix until dough forms into a soft ball. Dough should be soft but not too sticky.  If dough is sticky, liberally add flour to your work surface when rolling dough out.  



Step 6: Divide dough into 6 equal pieces (approximately 9.5 ounces each). 

 

Step 7: For the Filling: Combine sugar, finely ground walnuts and 2 egg whites in a bowl. Mix well and set aside.

Step 8: Roll dough into a 4" X 14" rectangle.  Arrange approximately 1/2 to 3/4 cup of filling in a 3-inch-wide log lengthwise down the center of each strip leaving approximately 1/2 inch free around the edges. Roll up dough as you would a jellyroll.  Turn the rolls seam-sides down and press gently to flatten the seams.

      

Step 9: Chill the logs, covered with plastic wrap, for about 1/2 hour before slicing and baking.

 

Step 10: Slice into 1/2 inch slices. Bake on cookie sheet 350°F oven until light golden brown.

  


Step 11: For the browned-butter icing: Heat two tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat until golden brown. Add 2 cups of sifted powdered sugar and 1/4 cup evaporated milk (or whole milk) and beat until smooth.

Step 12: Ice cookies once they are cool.




 

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