Milk ‘korzhik’: Crumbly cookies from a Soviet childhood (RECIPE)

Just one bite of this cookie with ribbed edges transports Russians back to their youth.

Just one bite of this cookie with ribbed edges transports Russians back to their youth.

Yulia Mulino
They look like sugar cookies but taste like biscuits - meet the Soviet “korzhik”. Learn how to make this sumptuous snack that only requires simple ingredients.

A milk 'korzhik' is a pastry made of a sweet crumbly dough. It's something between a biscuit and a sugar cookie. 

Anyone who grew up and went to school in the Soviet Union is familiar with this cookie, and even today it’s still on the menu in school cafeterias. Every Russian will easily recognize the round, thick pastry with ribbed edges – it’s the cookie from their childhood that they eagerly lined up for in the cafeteria. 

Korzhik contains only the basic ingredients for sweet baked goods, but there’s one peculiar thing about the preparation that gives that smooth and puffy consistency, making them similar to sugar cookies. However, unlike the latter, korzhik is crumbly rather than soft inside.

The dough for korzhik is easier and quicker to make than that used for custard. The flour is not boiled in syrup. I add flour, egg and butter in the cooled milk syrup and mix all the ingredients. Also, before baking, I put the dough in the freezer for an hour so that it rolls out more easily. Otherwise, the recipe is quite simple and quick, so you can ask children to help.

Korzhiks are suitable for breakfast, school snacks or an afternoon snack (poldnik in Russian). I gave my korzhiks to a few of my friends who remember the original from their childhood. And my efforts were successful because they indeed had an association reminiscent of what they enjoyed as children. 

Ingredients (10 servings, 20-25 korzhiki):

For the dough:

  • Flour - 420-440 g 
  • Sugar - 200 g
  • Butter - 100 g
  • Milk - 100 g
  • Egg - 1 pc
  • Vanilla sugar - 1 tbsp 
  • Baking soda - 1 tsp
  • Salt - pinch

For the icing: 

  • Yolk + 1 tbsp milk


1. Heat the milk, add the sugar and vanilla sugar, and heat until dissolved. 

2. Allow the milk syrup to cool until warm and add the egg and butter. Stir thoroughly. Add flour and knead into a soft dough. The recipe calls for 420 g of flour, which I did, but I added an extra 20 g. 

3. Wrap the dough in cling film, flatten to chill faster, and place in the refrigerator.

4. Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking paper and sprinkle with flour. 

5. The dough should be 7-8 mm thick. The impressive thickness and large diameter distinguishes korzhiki from cookies. If prepared properly then they'll turn out crispy outside and rather soft closer to the middle.

6. Cut out circles with a biscuit cutter. A classic mold should have ribbed or wavy edges and measure about 9 cm. Mine are 7 cm in diameter.

7. Whisk the egg yolk and milk, and then brush the shortcrust pastry with it.

8. Bake in an oven preheated to 190-200°C for 10-12 minutes. It is important not to overbake. Then, cool on a rack.

9. Serve with milk or tea. Enjoy!

READ MORE: 10 popular and delicious Russian baked goods (PHOTOS)

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