15 Romanian Cookies You Absolutely Have to Try
If you’re visiting Romania, you’ll want to fully immerse yourself into the local culture and try out all the traditional Romanian foods you can get your hands on. You might already be familiar with things like sarmale, zacuscă, and gulaș, or delicious desserts such as papanași or găluște cu prune.
But did you know that Romania also has a very strong cookie culture?
There are various types of cookie that people around here enjoy, especially on special occasions or during the holidays, when households overflow with flavors and aromas. The Romanian cookie cuisine is sprinkled with Austrian, Hungarian, Polish, and Russian influences, but with a distinct local twist.
We’ve selected some of our favorite Romanian cookies that are worth trying out at least once. If you’re not in Romania and are not planning a road trip anytime soon, don’t worry, you can find recipes for these cookies online as well, so you can get a taste of the local cuisine.
1. Biscuiți Șprițați | Classic Spritz Cookies
One of the most popular traditional cookies in Romania is the classic spritz cookie that are enjoyed every year during the holidays. A meat grinder is usually used to achieve the unique shape of these buttery lard cookies, but they can also be cut by hand.
All it takes to make them are some eggs, flour, lard or butter, a bit of baking powder, and a touch of vanilla. Bake them to perfection and sprinkle them with some powdered sugar, and voila! The perfect holiday treat to go with your coffee.
2. Nuci Umplute | Walnut Cookies
These delicious walnut-shaped cookies, also known as oreshki in Russian-speaking countries, are filled with buttery-soft cocoa cream, and are a staple in many Eastern European countries, including Romania. You’ll notice them at weddings and other special occasions such as birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Easter.
In some countries, these cookies are filled with dulce de leche, but in Romania, they’re usually filled with cocoa cream and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
3. Fursecuri cu Stafide | Raisin Cookies
These raisin cookies are a great and delicious alternative to the classic chocolate chip cookies we usually leave out for Santa along with a glass of milk.
They’re a popular treat in Romania, made with either golden or brown raisins mixed into a simple batter of eggs, vanilla extract, flour, baking soda, butter, and milk. Sometimes the mix also includes rolled oats, which makes the cookies even more soft and crumbly. Melt-in-your-mouth goodness!
4. Paleuri cu Ciocolată | Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
Does anything sound better than a chocolate sandwich cookie? We don’t think so.
These chocolatey delights are another staple of Romanian cookie cuisine, and they’re instantly recognizable by the zig-zag design of the chocolate glaze on top. The filling consists of a simple chocolate ganache made with dark chocolate and cream, and the dough features butter, eggs, flour, and vanilla extract.
5. Fursecuri cu Unt și Gem | Butter and Jam Thumbprints
Butter and jam thumbprint cookies are extremely popular in Romania.
These finger-liking cookies are made from a simple sugar cookie dough that’s rolled in sparkling sugar. You just create a little cave, with your thumb, and fill it with whatever type of jam you prefer. We love freshly-baked apricot jam thumbprints with a glass of milk in the morning!
6. Coșulețe cu Gem și Nucă | Walnut and Jam Tarts
Walnut and jam tartlets are another beloved treat in Romanian cuisine, and it’s usually one that’s served during the holidays, at weddings, or given to friends or family as gifts.
They’re usually made in small muffin trays, filled with a mix of grated walnuts, sugar, egg whites, and a bit of jam, topped with a fluffy, perfectly baked walnut mousse. Our mouths are already watering.
7. Cornulețe cu Gem/Nucă/Rahat | Romanian Rugelach
Rugelach cookies are extremely popular in Poland, Israel, and most Eastern European countries. In Romania, they’re basically crescent-shaped cookies made with cream cheese dough and usually filled with Turkish delight, walnuts, or jam.
All it takes to make them is some yeast, eggs, sugar, flour, butter, baking powder, sour cream, a filling of your choice, and last but not least, some icing sugar.
8. Minciunele | Angel Wings
Angel wings are another favorite in Romania, especially around the winter holidays. These intricate-looking cookies are also known as Chrusciki, and they simply melt in your mouth.
They’re also easy to make; a dough with sour cream, milk, sugar, eggs, flour, and salt is twisted into bow-tie shapes and deep-fried. The final cherry on top is a generous sprinkling of powdered sugar – simply delightful!
9. Ișlere | Ischler Cookies
Ischler cookies date back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and they’re hugely popular in Romania, as well, which carries heavy Austrian and Hungarian influences. They’re usually made with chocolate or vanilla shortbread, filled with almonds, hazelnuts, or walnuts mixed with sugar, butter, jam, and a little bit of rum.
They’re topped with chocolate and a little blanched almond or walnut. Making these cookies requires a bit of skill and patience, especially if you decide to go the piping route for the filling, but it’s definitely worth the effort in the end.
10. Salam de Biscuiți | Chocolate Salami
This one might not sound (or look) particularly appetizing, but trust us, this salami-looking cookie is one of the best things to enjoy while in Romania.
It’s basically a no-bake roll with biscuits (usually Petit Beurre or Leibniz), milk, butter, sugar, rum essence, and unsweetened cocoa powder. You just mix it all together and shape it into a rough sausage, refrigerate overnight, and enjoy it with coffee or tea in the morning.
11. Fursecuri Piersicuțe | Peach Cookies
These cookies are adorable to look at, and a great dessert to impress friends and family when they come visit. They’re also pretty easy to make, using eggs, sugar, flour, milk, peach or apricot jam, and a bit of food coloring.
Shape the dough into little balls, then scoop them up to insert the jam filling, and sandwich them together to make them look like peaches. If you want to go all the way, you can decorate them with mint leaves, to make it seem like they’ve just been plucked from a tree.
12. Madeleine | Madeleines
Madeleines are small sponge cakes that hail from the Lorraine region in northeastern France, but they’ve made their way into Romanian cuisine, as well.
They’re made with génoise cake batter and very finely ground nuts, and a lot of people integrate a bit of lemon zest as well, to really bring out the flavor. They’re a delicious treat enjoyed in Romania year-round, and they go great with coffee!
13. Fursecuri ‘Papucei’ | Chocolate-dipped Butter Cookies
This is a great option for chocolate lovers and they’re also really cute, looking a bit like fuzzy slippers, which is where their Romanian name comes from.
They’re not complicated to make, either. You just make little dough balls, press them slightly with a fork to create indentations, and bake them before sticking them together with a delicious chocolate filling. The final step is to dip them into chocolate ganache and top them with coconut sprinkles.
14. Fursecuri ‘Boabe de Cafea’ | Coffee Bean Cookies
Well this one is perfect for coffee aficionados, because these cookies literally look like giant coffee beans. They’re slightly crispy on the outside, but deliciously soft on the inside, made with eggs, butter, flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and a bit of instant coffee.
You just mix all the ingredients together, create little oval shapes, and press a toothpick along the length to get that coffee bean look. You can enjoy them with your morning coffee, or if that’s a bit too much caffeine for your taste, enjoy them with a nice hot cup of tea.
14. Cornulețe cu Nucă și Untură | Walnut Crescent Cookies
Walnut crescent cookies are must-haves in Romania during the holiday season, but they can be enjoyed year round, as well. They last a pretty long time, if stored properly, so they’re great to have around just in case friends or family drop by for the holidays.
They’re egg-free, quick and easy to make, and great for the entire family. Mix flour, sugar, ground walnuts, butter, shape into little horns or crescents, and bake for about 8-10 minutes. Coat the cookies in powdered sugar and you’re good to go.
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