Nut Horns Holiday Cookie Recipe

In a recent discussion about favorite cookie recipes I shared that my favorite holiday cookies were nut horns. A few members of the group had not heard of them before, so I wanted to share the recipe.

Being from Pittsburgh where the language tends to be all it’s own and having a Slovak grandmother I figured that might not be what they’re called in the rest of the world, so I also poked around a Google search and found that they are also sometimes called Polish Foldovers or Kolaczki, and I’ve also heard them called rolled-doughs.

Holiday Nut Horns Recipe

Dough Ingredients:

2 cups butter, softened
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
2 egg yolks
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

Nut Filling Ingredients:

4 cups finely chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups sugar (you can also use 1 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar, depending on your taste preference)
6 tablespoons evaporated milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cream together the butter and cream cheese first. Add the egg yolks and blend. Combine flour and baking powder and then gradually add that the creamed mixture. Cover this and chill it overnight.

The next day when you’re ready to make cookies combine the filling ingredients in a mixing bowl before you start. Split the dough up into 3 or 4 chunks so that it’s easier to work with. You don’t want to over handle the dough, so work in chunks according to how much space you have to work on.

Throw down some sugar and roll dough out into rectangles and cut the dough into 2 inch squares (a square cookie or biscuit cutter helps this go faster! and if you use a square cutter with a rippled edge your cookies come out very pretty too) Spoon some filling into the middle and fold two opposite corners over, sort of as if you were making an envelope, overlap those to seal.

Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks and then enjoy!

Traditionally these are made with the nut filling or an apricot preserve filling, but I’ve also seen them with raspberry preserve filling and pineapple preserve filling fairly often. You could use just about any kind of preserve that you enjoy and I imagine they’ll be pretty yummy. The nut and apricot fillings are my personal favorites, which is funny because I don’t really like apricot otherwise.

I remember baking these every year with my grandmother and my mom, it was usually my job to chop up all those walnuts and I’d sit there with the nut chopper and chop away while they cut out the dough squares.

I’ve tried on a few occasions to make these myself during the holidays and I usually end up asking my mom to make them, because they are tricky little devils. You have to get the dough just right, not too thick and not too thin, and then there’s the fickleness of the oven to consider as well.

They’re not the easiest cookie to make, but they are so yummy and worth the extra time you put into them. A box from the grocery store bakery counter usually just doesn’t compare in flavor at all.