Top Eastern European Nut Cookie Recipes

Eastern Europeans use nuts in every course but they really star in desserts and cookies. Almonds (which are actually seeds or drupes and not nuts), chestnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios and walnuts are the most commonly seen nuts used for culinary purposes and eating out of hand. But, macadamias and others are sneaking onto the scene. Here are top Eastern European nut cookie recipes.
  • 01 of 09
    Kifle. © Barbara Rolek licensed to, Inc.
    This old, traditional recipe for walnut crescent cookies is common throughout the Balkans and throughout the world. The dough doesn't contain nuts but the filling does. Some fillings, however, are just jam and no nuts at all.
  • 02 of 09
    Russian Tea Cakes
    Russian Tea Cakes. © Barbara Rolek licensed to, Inc.
    Russian Tea Cakes is a misleading name since these are actually cookies and exist in one form or another in almost every culture. This version is made with walnuts, while my Polish family made them with pecans (see recipe below).
  • 03 of 09
    Polish Pecan Crescent Cookies
    Polish Pecan Crescent Cookies. © Barbara Rolek licensed to, Inc.
    The traditional way to prepare Polish pecan cookies is by enveloping a pecan half in the fragile dough. My family took a shortcut by adding ground pecans to the dough and forming it into crescent shapes. They usually were made only at Christmas because they were time consuming and pecans were (and still are!) so expensive, thus we called them "Christmas crescents."
  • 04 of 09
    Roszke or Nut Horns
    Roszke or Nut Horns. © Bixpandar on Flickr

    So many countries claim roszke or nut horns as their own -- Croatians, Czechs, Slovaks, Hungarians, and the spellings include roski, rozky, rosky, roscici, among others. There is a town in Hungary named Roszke, so they may have originated there, even though Hungarians call these kiflik. Poles call them rogaliki and Croatians call them roscici or "little horns" and that's exactly what they look like when baked.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09
    Polish Florentine Cookies or Florentynki
    Polish Florentine Cookies or Florentynki. © Barbara Rolek licensed to, Inc.
    This recipe for Polish florentines is made with candied orange peel (and other candied fruits, if desired), almonds and a smear of chocolate on the bottom.
  • 06 of 09
    Vanilla Crescent Cookies
    Vanilla Crescent Cookies. © Flickr by Thorsten (TK)

    This recipe for Czech vanilla crescents is popular year-round, but especially at Christmas time when they become part of vánoční cukrový or Christmas sweets. They can be made with almonds or hazelnuts/filberts.

  • 07 of 09
    Polish Almond Cookies or Amaretti
    Polish Almond Cookies or Amaretti. © Barbara Rolek licensed to, Inc.
    This Polish almond cookie recipe calls for no flour but ground almonds instead. They come together quickly and are ideal with tea or coffee.
  • 08 of 09
    Polish Walnut-Shaped Cookies or Ciasteczka Orzeszki
    Polish Walnut-Shaped Cookies or Ciasteczka Orzeszki. © Barbara Rolek licensed to, Inc.
    Polish walnut-shaped cookies are made in molds and then sandwiched together with creamy fillings, usually with ground walnuts. There are individual walnut-shaped molds for the oven, which I use, and there are some that resemble a waffle iron and are baked on top of the stove, and yet other styles exist.
    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09
    Czech Bar Cookies
    Czech Bar Cookies. © Barbara Rolek licensed to, Inc.
    Czechoslovakian cukrovi is the generic term for confections, and cookies, shortbread and biscuits (as the English use the word) are known as susenky. This recipe was given to me in the early '70s by a lovely Czech woman. The base and topping are made with walnuts or pecans.