Walnut-Cardamom Cookies (Mutaki)

  • Serves

    makes 32

  • Cook

    3 hours 15 minutes


By SAVEUR Editors

Published on January 30, 2017

These raisin-and-nut-filled cookies bear similarities to rugelach, but the dough is finer, crumblier, and shortbreadlike. They are great right out of the oven, but even better the next day. For the most intense, perfumy spice, use freshly ground cardamom.

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The World's Last Great Undiscovered Cuisine , Anya von Bremzen

The wild, futuristic architecture of Baku, Azerbaijan—seen here at Zaha Hadid’s Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center—is just one reason why this city is ripe for exploration.


For the dough

  • 1 12 cups plus 1 Tbsp. sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 14 tsp. baking soda
  • 14 tsp. kosher salt
  • 12 stick (4 Tbsp.) cold unsalted butter, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 14 cup sour cream
  • 1 12 tsp. vodka, or substitute ice water
  • 14 tsp. pure vanilla extract

For filling and baking

  • 1 14 cups walnut pieces
  • 12 cup sugar
  • 12 cup (1 oz.) golden raisins, chopped
  • 12 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 14 tsp. kosher salt
  • 14 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, whites and yolks separated
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)


Step 1

Make the dough: In the bowl of a food processor, add 3⁄4 cup flour, baking soda, and salt; pulse briefly to combine. Add the butter and pulse until only fine crumbs remain. Add the sour cream, vodka, vanilla, and the remaining 3⁄4 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour; pulse just until a dough starts to form. Transfer to a clean work surface, knead into a ball, then slice into 2 equal pieces. Form each into a 1-inch-thick disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.

Step 2

Make the filling: In the clean bowl of a food processor, add the walnuts and pulse into small crumbs the consistency of coarse gravel. Transfer to a medium bowl and add the sugar, raisins, cardamom, salt, vanilla, and egg whites; stir to combine.

Step 3

When the dough is ready, preheat oven to 375°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the balls of dough to a lightly floured work surface; using a rolling pin, roll each into a very thin circle about 15 inches in diameter. Cut each round into 16 equal wedges (if dough is difficult to cut, re-chill for 10 minutes).

Step 4

Place 1 teaspoon of filling on the wide end of each wedge and spread evenly over the wedge, leaving about 1⁄4 inch bare around the border. Roll up the dough croissant-style to cover the filling. Transfer to the prepared baking sheets, leaving 1 inch between cookies. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

Step 5

Add 1 teaspoon water to the egg yolks and beat to combine. Brush the cookies with the egg wash and bake until golden and set, about 20 minutes.

Step 6

Remove the cookies and transfer to a rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

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