Secrets of the Soviet kitchen: A homemade treat inspired by iconic chocolates (RECIPE)

Go ahead and try to make these tender dome-shaped cookies.

Go ahead and try to make these tender dome-shaped cookies.

Victoria Drey
Have you ever used boiled yolks to make shortcrust pastry? These cookies are your best chance to try and enjoy the delicious result.

When it comes to candies, it’s hard to imagine something more popular and enjoyable than chocolate ‘truffles’. The USSR was no exception. The Soviet version of these faux truffles had a signature cone shape, solid rich chocolate filling and was generously coated with fine cocoa powder. My grandmother remembers how truffles were, hands down, the most delicious candies in Soviet times. They also weren’t cheap and so, not many people could afford them. 

That’s why it was common for Soviet housewives to experiment with truffle recipes. During the years when many food items and ingredients were scarce, housewives made truffle-like candies using cocoa powder, dried milk and even baby formula. Chocolate truffles also inspired people to make so-called “truffle cookies” – another realistic shortcrust pastry, along with popular homemade “peaches”, “mushrooms”, etc. 

This recipe is interesting not only because of the realistic truffle cookie shape, but also because of the unusual shortcrust pastry. One of the main ingredients is – surprise – boiled yolks. In my culinary experience this is actually the first time I’ve come across such a unique recipe. Many experts overwhelmingly agree that pastry based on grated boiled yolks has the most tender texture after baking. 

Ingredients for the pastry:

  • 3 boiled yolks
  • 200 g plain flour
  • 120 g butter
  • 70 g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar or extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt

Ingredients for decoration:

  • 2 tbsps cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsps icing sugar

Preparation:

1. Start by grating boiled yolks into a bowl. Add sugar, vanilla sugar or extract, a good pinch of salt and mix together.

2. Next, pour in cooled melted butter and stir until smooth consistency.

3. Sift flour with baking powder and finally add into the mixture – always keep in mind that you may need to add less or more, depending on the flour quality.

4. Starting with a spatula and continuing with hands, knead the soft and non-sticky pastry – it should have the consistency of your classic shortcrust cookie base. 

5. Divide the pastry into many small pieces; round each into a ball.

6. Then, gently shape balls into cone “truffles” with pointed tops. Put your future cookies onto a plate and leave in the refrigerator for around 20 minutes – freezing prevents cookies from losing their cone shape while baking.

7. Next, spread the cones on a pan covered with a sheet of parchment and bake at 200°C for 15-20 minutes. 

8. Meanwhile, prepare a signature “truffle” coat for the cookies: in a bowl, mix cocoa powder with icing sugar, and add more cocoa if needed.

9. When the cookies are ready, take out from the oven and immediately dip in the coating while still warm. Repeat this step after cooling if you want a denser cocoa coating.

10. Let the cookies cool completely and enjoy your Soviet-style shortcrust “truffle” pleasure – priyatnogo appetita!

READ MORE: Tsvetaeva strawberry pie: A summer twist on a Russian poet’s favorite dessert (RECIPE)

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