Authentic Polish Walnut Cookies (Ciasteczka Orzeszki)

walnut-shaped cookies

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Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Chilling Time: 30 mins
Total: 105 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 24 cookies
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
474 Calories
31g Fat
45g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 474
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 31g 40%
Saturated Fat 11g 56%
Cholesterol 57mg 19%
Sodium 44mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 45g 17%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 27g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 3mg 13%
Calcium 45mg 3%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 156mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

These traditional Polish walnut-shaped cookies, or ciasteczka orzeszki (chahss-TETCH-kah aw-ZHESH-kee), are made in molds and then sandwiched together with creamy fillings. There are individual walnut-shaped molds for the oven and there are some that resemble a waffle iron and are baked on top of the stove, and yet other styles exist.

What remains the same is a delectable filling either made of cream or chocolate or a combination of the two and usually mixed with finely ground walnuts. The cookies are a bit time-consuming but worth it. Store the walnut "shells" and fill at the last minute for best flavor.

This recipe can be doubled if desired.

Ingredients

Dough:

Filling #1:

  • 1 teaspoon cocoa

  • 1 teaspoon dark rum

  • 1 cup apricot jam

  • 3/4 cup walnuts, ground, not chopped

  • 1 tablespoon milk

Filling #2:

  • 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened

  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 1 shot vodka

  • 7 ounces walnuts, ground, not chopped

  • Milk, as needed, to make a moist filling

Steps to Make It

To Make the Dough: 

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a large bowl, beat together unsalted butter, salt, sugar, confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and large egg. Add all-purpose flour and mix until well combined. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

  3. Preheat oven to 375 F. Do not grease walnut molds. Press 1/2 teaspoon dough into the bottom and up the sides of the molds. (Dip the finger you use to press the dough into the mold in flour to prevent sticking.)

  4. Place filled molds on a baking sheet and bake 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are brown around the edges of the molds. Cool a few seconds and then tap them out of the molds. Repeat until all the dough is gone.

  5. It's a good idea to store the "shells" in an airtight container until ready to serve and then fill at the last minute, otherwise, they could become soggy.

To Make the Fillings: 

  1. Gather the ingredients depending on which filling you decide to make.

  2. For both fillings, in separate bowls, mix all the ingredients together, or use preserves or prepared almond paste or nut fillings. Spread 1 teaspoon filling on half of the walnut-shaped cookies and top with a second cookie. Dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired.

  3. Serve and enjoy!