Roczki (Slovak Walnut Cookies)


by Elayna Salvador


For the Pastry:

2 ¼ cups of all purpose flour

½ tsp. salt

8 oz. cream cheese (room temp)

1 cup unsalted butter softened


For the Walnut Filling:

3 egg whites, from medium sized eggs

1 cup sugar

½ pound walnuts finely ground



½ cup granulated sugar for rolling

* You can use powdered sugar (about 2 cups) instead

Steps to Make It

For the Pastry Dough:

Sift flour and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.

Beat the cream cheese and butter together with a stand mixer or a hand mixer until completely incorporated and creamy (3-5 minutes).

Reduce the speed of the mixer and slowly add in the flour. I used 5 additions and completely mixed in the flour each time. The dough will be soft but not sticky.

Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and flatten each to ¾” thick. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until hard, at least 2 hours.



Meanwhile, beat the egg whites until fluffy. Add ⅓ of the sugar at a time and beat until well blended and the mixture is stiff.

Gently fold in the ground nuts.


Assembling the Walnut Rolls:

Pre-heat the oven to 375F. Move the oven rack one setting higher than the center.

Dust each side of the dough with flour. Generously coat a flat surface (countertop, marble board, etc.) with granulated sugar. Plop the dough on top and press gently to push some crystals into the dough. The sugar will keep your dough elevated off the rolling surface enough to keep it from sticking. Lightly coat the rolling pin with flour throughout the process, using as little as possible.

With a pastry wheel or sharp knife, trim the dough into a square and then cut the square into 16 smaller squares. My dough never rolled out into a perfect circle so I would just cut as many 1 1/2 “ squares a possible, saving the scraps for later.

Place a dollop of filling in one corner of each square. I used ½ teaspoon.

Starting in the corner with the filling, roll the dough around the filling from corner to corner, gently pressing down as you roll. Grab the roll on both sides and pinch as you bend the roll to create a crescent shape. Gently move it to a parchment covered baking sheet, placing the Rolls no closer than 1” apart.

Repeat with all remaining squares.

Sprinkle the middles of the Rolls with just a touch of granulated sugar.

Bake 12-14 minutes or until the bottom edges are a golden and you can smell them. They should puff up slightly in the middle. With experience you can see when the dough is cooked. Let cool slightly on the pan on a wire rack and then move them gently to a wire rack to cool completely.

Repeat with all remaining dough. Refrigerate and re-roll your scraps. Amazing.

For a more traditional cookie, you can omit the granulated sugar and dust the final, cooled cookie with powdered sugar. I will warn you that it won’t be as divine.