NPR

This Soviet-Era Cookie Is Filled With Sweetness Amid Scarcity

With many foods in short supply, Soviet bakers had to be creative. And while the U.S.S.R. is gone now, the walnut-shaped oreshki cookie endures. Russian ex-pat Alina Selyukh shows us how to make them.
NPR journalist Alina Selyukh makes oreshki, a cookie from the former Soviet Union. The walnut-shaped cookies, which have a rich, nutty filling, were popular during a time when people had to make do with limited ingredients. Source: NPR

Alina Selyukh grew up in Samara, a city in southeastern Russia. One of her favorite childhood desserts is oreshki, a walnut-shaped cookie with a rich, sweet filling of highly concentrated condensed milk. Sometimes, nuts are also thrown in.

"They were a staple birthday party treat," says Selyukh, a tech reporter for NPR. "The thing I liked most about oreshki is that they come with really delicious scraps that can be consumed while you're 'helping' your mom make them."

Jump to the recipe

The cookie was also popular in other European countries that were once part of the Soviet Union. In Romania, people call it nuci and it's made with chocolate filling. In Georgia, they were available in bakeries.

"I don't think there

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