12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Day 2 – Nut Horns

On the Second Day of Christmas, My True Love Made for Me: Two Nut Horns

Today, on our second day of Christmas Cookies we share the story of the famous Cookie Grandma and the memory she creates for  her friends and family every year.

Early in the morning each day before Christmas, the Cookie Grandma awakens to her kitchen to prepare the dough for the Christmas cookies. Cold-dough nut cookies are her specialty. Cookie Grandma makes her “cold-dough cakes” dough, places it in the refrigerator and leaves it at least 12 hours or better than that – over night. When she is alert and aware, full of a espresso-enhanced latte with lots of flavoring cream, she begins her day of cookie baking making these most wonderful of nut crescents.

Being a good friend of Cookie Grandma, I was allowed to acquire her secret recipe for her specialty, the Slovak cold-dough nut horns. These cookies have been a favorite for generations upon generations. My family and friends can’t wait for their dozen or so to arrive at their homes. I make these way ahead of Christmas, store them in the freezer in air-tight container and dip into the container with my evening coffee, making sure to restrict myself to only one each night.  Don’t tell my family, please.

Thank you Cookie Grandma, where ever you are!

Slovak Cold Dough Nut Horns

Dough Ingredients:
8 cups all purpose flour
2 cups butter cut into small cubes
3 whole eggs
1 tsp salt
6 T sugar
1/2 pint of sour cream (1 cup)
3 pkg dry yeast

1 bottle of honey (A Honey Bear is Preferred)
Extra flour and sugar for rolling

Nut Filling Ingredients:
2 pounds ground nuts
1 can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups brown sugar

Directions:

Making the Dough –
Mix flour and butter cut into small chunks in mixing bowl with regular beater until crumbly, as for pie crust.  Mix in dry yeast to flour mixture.

In another mixing cup mix the eggs, salt, sugar and sour cream.  Add to flour mixture.  Mix well then knead for 7 minutes.

Form dough onto a plate, cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator over night or for at least 12 hours. While chilling the dough, make the filling.

Making the Filling –
In food processor grind the nuts fine.  Combine with the brown sugar and evaporated milk in a mixer.  Mix well.

This step is the most difficult because you are going to want to take a spoon and just eat the filling.  But to make sure you have enough for the cookies, place all but a scant teaspoonful taste into a plastic container, cover and refrigerate until ready to bake.

Making the Cookie –
Next day remove nut filling and dough from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 2-3 hours.

Mix a mixture of flour and sugar to be used for rolling out the cookies.  The proportion should be  2/3 sugar to 1/3 flour.  Keep aside until ready to roll out cookies.

Divide dough into 10 equal parts and form each part into a ball.

Spread 1/10th of flour/sugar rolling mixture onto your counter.  Roll ball of dough out to 12 inch round on top of the rolling mixture.  Drizzle honey from your honey bear out onto the rolled dough to make it easier to spread the nut mixture (and add incredible flavor).

Spread with thin layer of room-temperature nut mixture.

Cut into 12 equal wedges (as for pizza or crescent rolls).

Roll each roll into a crescent roll, forming with narrow end in center of the crescent.

Place on parchment-covered cookie sheets about 2 inches apart and let raise in a warm place for 15 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees until lightly brown, about 10-12 minutes.

Enjoy and say thank you to Cookie Grandma!

Roseddy

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Slovak Cold Dough Nut Horns

Yield: 10 Dozen

Early in the morning each day before Christmas, the Cookie Grandma awakens to her kitchen to prepare the dough for the Christmas cookies. Cold-dough nut cookies are her specialty. Cookie Grandma makes her "cold-dough cakes" dough, places it in the refrigerator and leaves it at least 12 hours or better than that - over night. When she is alert and aware, full of a espresso-enhanced latte with lots of flavoring cream, she begins her day of cookie baking making these most wonderful of nut crescents.

Being a good friend of Cookie Grandma, I was allowed to acquire her secret recipe for her specialty, the Slovak cold-dough nut horns. These cookies have been a favorite for generations upon generations. My family and friends can’t wait for their dozen or so to arrive at their homes. I make these way ahead of Christmas, store them in the freezer in air-tight container and dip into the container with my evening coffee, making sure to restrict myself to only one each night. Don’t tell my family, please.

Ingredients:

Dough Ingredients:
8 cups all purpose flour
2 cups butter cut into small cubes
3 whole eggs
1 tsp salt
6 T sugar
1/2 pint of sour cream (1 cup)
3 pkg dry yeast

1 bottle of honey (A Honey Bear is Preferred)
Extra flour and sugar for rolling

Nut Filling Ingredients:

2 pounds ground nuts
1 can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups brown sugar

Directions:

Making the Dough -
Mix flour and butter cut into small chunks in mixing bowl with regular beater until crumbly, as for pie crust. Mix in dry yeast to flour mixture.

In another mixing cup mix the eggs, salt, sugar and sour cream. Add to flour mixture. Mix well then knead for 7 minutes.

Form dough onto a plate, cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator over night or for at least 12 hours. While chilling the dough, make the filling.

Making the Filling -

In food processor grind the nuts fine. Combine with the brown sugar and evaporated milk in a mixer. Mix well.

This step is the most difficult because you are going to want to take a spoon and just eat the filling. But to make sure you have enough for the cookies, place all but a scant teaspoonful taste into a plastic container, cover and refrigerate until ready to bake.

Making the Cookie -

Next day remove nut filling and dough from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 2-3 hours.

Mix a mixture of flour and sugar to be used for rolling out the cookies. The proportion should be 2/3 sugar to 1/3 flour. Keep aside until ready to roll out cookies.

Divide dough into 10 equal parts and form each part into a ball.

Spread 1/10th of flour/sugar rolling mixture onto your counter. Roll ball of dough out to 12 inch round on top of the rolling mixture. Drizzle honey from your honey bear out onto the rolled dough to make it easier to spread the nut mixture (and add incredible flavor).

Spread with thin layer of room-temperature nut mixture.

Cut into 12 equal wedges (as for pizza or crescent rolls).

Roll each roll into a crescent roll, forming with narrow end in center of the crescent.

Place on parchment-covered cookie sheets about 2 inches apart and let raise in a warm place for 15 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees until lightly brown, about 10-12 minutes.

Enjoy and say thank you to Cookie Grandma!

The matriarch of Live Pretty, Roseddy, lives with her husband and children in Orlando, Florida. She is a native of Waynesburg, PA, but she has called the Sunshine State home for over thirty years. In addition to being a fantastic cook, Roseddy is an accomplished seamstress and former Home Economics instructor. Her flower arranging talents are the stuff of legend, and she is a valued member of her church’s altar guild. Roseddy enjoys entertaining, traveling with her husband, and, of course, a good martini.

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15 Responses to “12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Day 2 – Nut Horns”

  1. Lisa — December 14, 2012 @ 8:27 pm (#
    1
    )

    My mother used to make these cookies every Christmas and Easter. She now is unable to remember most things. I made these for her and it brought a smile and a hint of memory. Thanks a bunch from Pittsburgh.

    [Reply]

    • Roseddy replied: — December 14th, 2012 @ 9:18 pm

      Dear Lisa,

      Your response is so kind. I want you to know that I have a friend here in Florida that cries every time I bring these nut horns to a Christmas Tea. She says her Mom made them just this way. She misses her so much. My friends in Bethel Park and West Mifflin still make these cookies just this way. My Mom and I used to bake together for Christmas. I miss her too.
      Oh, Christmas memories! Tucked into that special place in our hearts.
      Merry Christmas to you and yours,
      Roseddy

  2. Brandy — December 14, 2012 @ 11:29 pm (#
    2
    )

    My grandmother would make these cookies every year for Christmas until she passed in 2001. I have been searching for this recipe since then. These bring back such great memories from home and will make a wonderful addition to my cookie tray this year. Thank you

    [Reply]

    • Roseddy replied: — December 16th, 2012 @ 6:34 pm

      Brandy,
      This recipe is a cherished memory for so many of us. I’m so pleased you will be making the recipe. Wishing you a blessed Christmas for you and yours.
      Roseddy

  3. Dan Murphy — December 17, 2012 @ 3:00 pm (#
    3
    )

    In the ingredients it calls for evaporated milk. In the directions it calls for condensed milk. Should I use evaporated milk or SWEETENED condensed milk?

    Thanks,
    Dan Murphy

    [Reply]

    • Julia replied: — December 17th, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

      Dan, Thanks for the note. We’ve corrected it — it is evaporated milk. Let us know how they turn out!

  4. Cj Lewis — December 20, 2012 @ 6:28 pm (#
    4
    )

    These cookies were our Christmas favorite
    growing up in Pgh. Now retired in Nevada,
    made the dough this morning. Can’t wait till tomorrow to make them.

    [Reply]

    • Julia replied: — December 20th, 2012 @ 8:46 pm

      I think I ate 6 of them when they came out of my mom’s oven this weekend. 🙂

  5. Beth Smith — December 14, 2013 @ 9:40 am (#
    5
    )

    Why does the dough have to be refrigerated for 12 hours and then left out at room temp for 3-4 hours. Can I make them the same day?

    [Reply]

    • Julia replied: — December 17th, 2013 @ 9:50 am

      Beth, That is just what we have found to work over the years. You want it cold, then softened a bit to roll.

  6. Roseddy — December 18, 2013 @ 3:29 pm (#
    6
    )

    They’re called Cold dough cakes in Croatia. If grandma and great grandma did it this way, so do I. My theory is not to mess with a good thing. Enjoy.

    [Reply]

  7. Roseddy — December 18, 2013 @ 3:33 pm (#
    7
    )

    My mother was Slovak. Dad was Croatian. Just wanted to clarify that little detail. Both families make these cold dough nut horns. Yum!

    [Reply]

  8. Sandy T — December 14, 2015 @ 1:27 pm (#
    8
    )

    Such a wonderful memory for me as well! It must be a Pgh thing as my mother and grandmother both had made these cookies every Christmas too! Now that I live in Florida I make them here for my company and visiting guests and they just love them! Thank you for this recipe!

    [Reply]

  9. Sandy C — December 23, 2016 @ 9:37 am (#
    9
    )

    Thank you so much for this recipe. My Mom always made these for the holidays, we lost her recipe and she can’t remember now so this will be a perfect way to make her happy. Happy holidays

    [Reply]

  10. Angela B — January 10, 2017 @ 2:31 pm (#
    10
    )

    What size can of evaporated milk? I just made these and I think my filling was too wet. I ended up adding extra ground nuts.

    [Reply]

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