Italian Walnut Pillow Cookies
[These cookies were originally posted wayyyyy back in February 2009. I wanted to revive them from the archives because they deserved some new and improved pictures, and, most importantly, because these were always a Thanksgiving tradition in our family.]
I rarely associate Thanksgiving dessert with anything other than things like pie (pumpkin, pecan, apple, oh my!), pumpkin rolls, carrot cakes and gingerbread trifles. The cookie baking tends to ramp up the week after Thanksgiving when all of the Christmas baking kicks off, but there is one cookie that will forever and always remind me of Thanksgiving… These “pillow” cookies.
In our family, they were simply referred to as pillows; I have no idea how they got that name, but I guess is that it’s because they’re little puffs of deliciousness :) These are essentially little nut rolls that have been baked and dipped in a basic powdered sugar icing. Growing up, Thanksgiving was a huge deal. All of my grandfather’s family lived outside of Chicago and many of them would travel here to Pittsburgh for the week to celebrate the holiday. The week before they showed up, my grandma made batch after batch of these cookies, on top of all the other cooking and prepping that was required for a house full of people for a week plus hosting a major holiday for well over 20 people. Somehow though, my grandma never, ever made it look like actual work. She was absolutely in her glory.
While these little nut rolls might look a little high maintenance, they really couldn’t be easier to make. If you have a food processor, the filling comes together in less than five minutes. In keeping with my grandma’s tradition, I make the dough using a hand mixer and keep the stand mixer on the shelf. After the dough and filling are made, it’s a simple process of rolling out the dough, spreading the filling and rolling it up and cutting into slices.
I always remembered my grandma’s cookies being smooth on top, but last year my mom was at my house when I was making them and said my grandma always baked them cut-side-up. No matter how I bake them, I can’t get them to look exactly like my grandma’s, but they still taste just like hers!
Since my grandma passed away, I’ve made sure that these cookies have been on my Thanksgiving dessert menu every year. It just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without them! The best part is that whatever we don’t finish after Thanksgiving dinner can be frozen for Christmas trays.
Italian Walnut Pillow Cookies
For the Dough:
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (205 g) vegetable shortening
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup (244 ml) milk, whole, 2% or 1%
- 4½ cups (562.5 g) all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) salt
For the Filling:
- 1½ lbs. (680.39 g) walnuts, very finely chopped or ground in a food processor
- ½ cup (113.5 g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
- 4 egg whites, lightly beaten
For the Icing:
- 2 cups (240 g) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 tablespoons milk
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Make the Dough: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the sugar and shortening. Add the egg and vanilla and combine well. Add in the remaining ingredients, alternating between the flour mixture and milk, starting and ending with the flour mixture and making sure all of the ingredients are well incorporated. (The dough will be soft.) Divide the dough into four even pieces, wrap each in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Make the Filling: In a large bowl, stir together the chopped nuts and the sugar. Add the melted butter and stir until evenly moistened. Add the egg whites and mix well until completely combined.
- Assemble the Cookies: On a well-floured surface, roll out a piece of dough into a rectangle measuring about 6 inches by 18 inches. Using an offset spatula, spread one-quarter of the nut filling onto the dough, leaving a small border around the perimeter of the dough. Roll up as you would a jelly roll, with the short ends to the left and right of you, and seal the ends. Cut the roll into 1-inch pieces and place on the prepared baking sheet cut-side-up. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough and filling (you should be able to fit all of the cookies on two baking sheets.) Bake until the cookies are a light golden brown, about 30 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.
- Ice the Cookies: Once the cookies are cooled, whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk in a small bowl. Dip the tops of the cookies into the icing and let any excess drip off. Allow the icing to set completely before storing. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. These cookies also freeze incredibly well.
Did you make this recipe?
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These cookies are yummy & so easy to make. My friends & family are waiting for the next batch 😋. Thank you for sharing your recipes.
Family new favorite
Hi! My husband is allergic to walnuts, could you use a different nut?
Love these cookies, made half the recipe ,used 1/2 butter /shortening . Refrigerated it for 2 hours I think next time over night It is a very soft dough. After spreading the nuts ( I added dark chocolate to 1 roll) I put the whole roll in the freezer for 20 min before cutting . Standing the cookie up is a prettier cookie , I thought. I sprinkled them with powdered sugar after cooling for 5 min. I’m from Western PA , Aliquippa, they remind me of nut roll without the yeast . Will make full recipe for Christmas , maybe adding almond or orange zest as suggested .
I absolutely love these! They are even better than the sum of their parts and I love to keep a big bag in the freezer for unexpected company. I’m about to make them again but will try adding some orange zest this time. These are a favorite in my family!
Question…When you measure flour for the itilian pillow cookies. Do you spoon flour in cup. My dough was super soft. Thank you
Yes, very soft dough. I refrigerate it really well to help with rolling. :)
Delicious! Great recipe that makes ALOT of cookies. Perfect for Thanksgiving Day! You are my go to site for recipes that never fail!
Can you use margarine in the place of shortening for the Italian Walnut Pillow Cookies?
I’ve made the walnut pillow cookies several times and they are excellent. One gentleman at a party I took them to asked who made them, tasted just like what his mother use to make. Thank you for the recipe. I’ve made many of your dishes and never any complaints. Thank you!
Can you substitute butter if you cut it in as for pastry in the cookie dough?
You could do that! I might also try room temperature and creaming.
These look fantastic. My husband loves walnuts and I love all cookies! These will be on my Thanksgiving menu too.
Sorry – forgot to rate! We say 5 stars.
I had never heard of or seen these cookies that I recall but I’m a big fan of nut rolls and cookies so I was anxious to try this “mash-up” of the two. I was not disappointed! I did use 1/2 c. Butter 1/2 c shortening in place of 1 c of shortening in the dough. I also used 1 c granulated sugar and 1/2 c dark brown sugar in place of 1 1/2 c granulated sugar in the filling. The cookies were surprisingly tender and we thought the flavor was just right. And the cookies bake up super cute! This one is a total keeper for my family!!! Thanks for sharing your family recipe with us!
I must say, this cookie is fantastic! Actually, EVERYONE who ate them claimed they were AMAZING!! Now it is requested that I make them for my sons wedding in a couple of weeks. These are very easy to make, and it makes a good bit…..they freeze well also…….You don’t see these on everyone’s cookie tray, truthfully I NEVER saw these before, which makes it such a nice change from the run of the mill cookies I use to……Thank you so much for the wonderful, easy, and delicious recipe. I had zero problem making these at all….quite simple to make
Is the 1 -1/2 lbs walnuts accurate? Or should it be 1-1/2 cups walnuts? Seems like the lbs is too much?
I have saved this recipe three times now but haven’t made them as yet and DO want to. They do look fantastic! I love cookies with nuts in them but am wondering if I could use butter instead of the shortening?
I baked these exactly according to the recipe. The only change I made was that I baked them dough side up. The first batch I baked some cut side up and some dough side up. I enlisted my husband to tast-test and we both agreed that the dough side up cookies had a moister filling which we preferred.
I have never used shortening before and I am not sure that I liked it. The filling was delicious but the cookie part was a bit bland and I think lacked the richness that butter would have added. These are pretty plain cookies already so I think it would have been better to have some more butteriness. I know some people like plainer cookies but I was hoping that these would be more flavorful. If you like plain sugar cookies then you might really like these.
The recipe was very easy. I made the full batch and actually got 5 dozen cookies (16 cookies per quarter round of cookie dough). They look very cool and its nice to see the layers when you bite into it–I’ve never made a cookie like them before! I am not sure I would make these again unless they are a hit with the family (a lot of people in my family like plainer cookies ). I could see making them again but adding a stronger flavor, like lemon, orange, or chocolate. I like cookies with a strong flavor like lemon or chocolate–but I know many people love just plain sugar cookies!
Just wondering why shortening instead of butter? Is there some sciencey reason to use shortening? Thank you for sharing this recipe!
Hi Kasia, Thank you for sharing your experience with the cookies! As for why using shortening – it’s simply what my grandma always used!
In the comments you say bake standing up, but in the photo they appear to be lying on their sides with the spiral facing up? Am I misunderstanding how they bake? Thx.
Hi Ellen, They should be standing up!
I made these cookies today and they are delicious! Had to halve the recipe, there are only two of us, and someone here complains that I am making him fat. I will definitely make these again. Thanks for the recipe.
My mother use to make a cookie very similar to these. We use to STUFF the walnut mixture into the dough . So when you took a bite the delicious walnut filling was in the middle. We also just covered the dome shaped cookies with plain powdered sugar.
I am thinking of baking your Italian Walnuts Pillow cookies. I never do well with rolled and cut method. Seems like everytime the stuff comes out during baking. Do you think it would work if I hand stuffed each cookie with the walnut mix? Balls. Cooking time the same? Thanks.
Hi Chrissy, I’ve never had an issue with the filling coming out of these cookies, and I really don’t know at all how they would work by “stuffing” them?
Just made these and they are wonderful! I had NO issues with the filling oozing out. I didn’t have to chill the dough after slicing. I did use a food processor to make the filling. It is a paste and I used an off set spatula to spread onto the dough. Great cookie and this is going on my Christmas cookie tray😃
These cookies are Deeelicious….yum yum. Thanks again for another great recipe.
I wanted to know can you roll them out and place the cookies on the tray (ready to bake) and leave in the fridge over night then cook in the morning.
I’m making them for my sons birthday and wanted them super fresh…..
Hi Maroula, I’m so happy that you enjoy these cookies! Yes, I think you could prep them and then bake the next day. Happy birthday to your son!
Thank you so much :)
These cookies taste great! The only negative thing I could say is that I burned the bottom of two batches of them because they only needed 20 minutes to be done. I’m an experienced cook, and normally eyeball things well. I went against my better judgement, thinking maybe I didn’t know what I was talking about since this was my first attempt at these cookies… I cut a tiny layer off the bottom and they are fine. It was a hastle, though.
I definitely recommend making these, just watch the first batch or two, because they may not take as long to bake as the recipe states.
I made these for the third time today. The first time around (almost a year ago) they spread into what was described by another poster as ‘cow patties’. Tasty, but ugly. The second time I returned the cookies to the fridge after rolling and assembly; but only for 30 minutes. They spread again. :(
Each time my ingredients were fresh and measured by weight. I took care along the entire process so was disappointed they weren’t quite up to presentation par.
Third time is the charm; however, and this time I left the assembled raw cookies in the fridge for 2 hours before baking and they didn’t spread at all. I’m not sure why this is the case; probably something sciency, but I’m glad to have figured out how to make them tasty AND pretty.
Also if you don’t have a rolling pin like me, a wine bottle works swell.
I made these today to add to my Christmas cookie plate (made them up through baking and they’re going in the freezer tonight, planning to ice them on Christmas Eve). I never use shortening, so I swapped in butter as my main fat instead of shortening. I also halved the recipe and used 1 egg yolk instead of a full egg in the dough.
I took previous commenters into account and refrigerated the formed cookies on the cookie sheet while the oven preheated to 350 F. I strongly recommend against skipping the extra chill time; I think it helped the cookies keep their shape in the oven. I know my oven runs a little hot, so these beauties were done by around the 20 to 25 mark. I’d definitely start checking after 20 minutes of baking! The cookies did spread and puff, but an inch of space between cookies on the sheet was sufficient. They very much resemble the photos you provided, actually. Even without the icing, these cookies are seriously yummy — I taste tested one that I accidentally battered and looked less-than-pretty.
I can’t wait to serve them up for dessert!
Hi Michelle~ I made these cookies yesterday, and the question I have is in regard to texture. My cookies turned out somewhat biscuit-like. When I rolled my dough out, it looked just like your pictures. I baked them for slightly less than the 30 minutes called for . . . 15 minutes then switched the trays around, then baked for 12 min longer. My cookie looks a little more “dry” than your finished cookie does and reminds me of a biscuit. Your finished cookie has a “softer” look in the picture than mine do. Could you explain this cookie to me? In spite of thinking my cookie’s texture is off a bit, the flavor is excellent, and this is an easy recipe to make.
Hi Michelle, They’re really not biscuit like, but they are tender and can have a little bit of a “shorty” bite. Were they overbaked at all? If they get overdone they can be crisper than intended. I’m glad you liked them, regardless!
In looking for something else I came across these cookies. The story of them in your family attracted me at first more than the recipe. I’ve always wished I had lots of family to come visit at the holidays. I have a fair number of aunts, uncles and especially cousins (I have 17 girl cousins alone and 3 boy cousins on my mom’s side (yea, I don’t know what it is about those Kline but they sure do like to produce girls) and no cousins on my dad’s side) but despite great attempts at summer picnic family reunions and a Christmas party each year the family just is NOT close. (It has a lot to do with jealousy and that’s other long stories not meant for a baking blog). I’m always envious of people who have this joy of LOTS of family at Christmas and other holidays in their life. Anyway, on my mom’s side she has the recipe for the cookies her mother ALWAYS made at Christmas just called “Filled Cookies” which are essentially two rounds of a more shortbread type dough (I’ve always thought it a rather dry dough) encasing a mixture of raisins, walnuts and filling. I’ve never been a fan of raisins so I don’t tend to eat many of them but to my mom they’re the greatest cookie on earth. I think its a more emotional response to the cookie rather than one based on taste and quality. To my mom these cookies, along with oysters are the epitome of Christmas. I think next year I may try to make this one for her. It won’t take the place of the ones she makes but she may like these too. It always fascinates me how emotionally strong our ties are with food to family memories and holidays. As an old psychology major I know they say that smells and food can be some of THE strongest triggers of emotions and feelings. I guess as long as that’s the case there will always be people like us there to bake and cook these family memories to keep passing down through the generations. It’s one reason on the holidays (in which I often have the family all here to my house for the meal) that I make the family recipes, use special family dishes and items. After my brother and I are gone its up to the next generation to tell their children about this Christmas memory or that Easter memory of searching for eggs here and this so and so used to always make this. It’s one of the ways we know “who we are” in the universe. It gives us an identity in massive world we live in.
I made these cookies and sent them with my husband to his work and took some into my work. They were very well received, I was told more than once they were “to die for ” and was asked to share the recipe! I wasn’t sure if I could pull them off at first since I’ve never made anything like them before but I will definitely be making them again!!!
if i bake these and freeze them for christmas do they freeze well? also freeze with or without the icing?
Hi Nikki, Yes, they freeze really well! I usually make a big batch at Thanksgiving and whatever is left I freeze for Christmas. I freeze with icing.
We make them all the time I use unsalted butter and after I ice them I roll them in ground nuts. I’m from Pittsburgh also and ny mom friend taught us how to make these.
I made these over the weekend & they are very tasty. They really spread though, enough that my husband said they looked like cowpies! I mixed the dough up Saturday eve, & rolled them Sunday. I had trouble rolling the dough, it was soft & kept breaking apart. Needless to say, I couldn’t get a good rectangle shape. I then couldn’t roll them tight so I had to use 4 trays. I cooked the first 2, & worked on the second 2 trays while those cooked. I then put them in the fridge until the oven was free. They seemed to spread as much as the first trays. Any clues on what I did wrong?
I made the Italian Pillow Cookies today. I chilled the dough over 1 hour. What I need to know is how to keep them from spreading. My cookies spread to about 3 inches wide especially the ones in the middle. They do no look at all like your cookies. Please help me.
Hi Marcie and Barbara, I’m sorry you had issues with the cookies. I would try refrigerating the sliced cookies before baking and see if that helps.
Aahhhh, so sorry for misspelling your name!!! So used to autocorrect!
Hi Micehlle, I just made these today…couple questions, do you use butter flavored Crisco or regular? And then I know you say to bake for 30 minutes–I baked 20-25 & they were very crisp and some even burnt on the bottom. I wouldn’t consder my oven running “hot” at all. I really expected them to be soft- like pillows- but they came out really hard. Did I do something wrong or just bake too long? Thank you & Merry Christmas!!
Hi Elizabeth, I use regular Crisco. They are not soft cookies, apologies if the name is misleading, but they are a crisper cookie.
My dear departed mother in law–who sounds exactly like your grandmother -tried and tried to teach me to make nut roll but I am yeast-dough impaired I miss her and her nut roll she would make for everyone during the holidays so when I found this recipe I couldn’t wait to make them. Oh wow!!!! They are delicious and not only will they be made every year, but with the memory of someone who showed her love by feeding yummy food to people. thanks!!!
Love your walnut pillows! Did you alter the recipe from last year? Last year, I made the ones that you slice and bake standing up. Do you recommend using this recipe or the one from last year. Thank you so much. Love, Love, Love These!
Hi Kelley, There is currently a discrepancy in my family about how my grandma made hers; I’ve made them both ways and either will work!
I consider myself a good baker. Made this recipe and the Italian pillow cookies turned out AWFUL. When I rolled out the dough it kept cracking. The cookies tasted TERRIBLE. The taste was very floury.the 1″ch cut was too thick, the were not flacky.Any suggestions to what I could have done wrong. Joanne
Hi Joanne, The dough should definitely not crack when rolled, it’s a very, very soft dough. They are also not meant to be flaky, but rather tender once baked.
I may or may not be able to eat a whole plate of these right now! YUM!! Pinned! :)
hi. i made these over the weekend. but i kept them in a loaf and sliced them and baked them that way. they took longer to bake but they were really good, more life a biscotti. my question, when you slice them from the loaf, do you lay them on the dough side down on the cookie sheet or the nut side on the cookie sheet, and do you frost the dough side??? your pictures show laying them on the nut side but the baked ones look like the dough baked over them. answer please. hope i made myself clear on my questions.
Hi Elizabeth, You can honestly bake them either way – different people in my family actually prefer them different ways. Either one works!
I have a quick question about the recipe. From what I can tell from your photos and from the description, both sides of most of the cookies have cuts sides. Only the end slides will have only one side cut. So, I’m not sure which side to turn up when you say to place the cookies “cut side up”. Both sides are cut. Please clarify. They look great. I was going to make them this weekend, but was stumped so I decided to wait until I had a chance to write to you. Thanks much.
Either side is fine, and over the holiday my aunt said that they can also be baked right side up, just as you cut them. So, any way you want to place them on the baking sheet will work!
I love all your family recipes. These cookies look delicious.
Those make me think of little cinnamon bun cookies. :) I think I’ll make them as some of my Christmas cookies this year!
I absolutely love walnuts in dessert, these look delicious! And pillowy cookies are my favorite, I love it when cookies have the texture of a dense cake, instead of just crunchy cookie texture.
I am wondering like Snow if the shortening you are using is the solid version or the liquid–I have both but normally cook with the liquid kind–also I don’t normally have unsalted butter in the house–can I just delete the additional salt in the recipe and use salted butter–will this make a difference? Happy Holidays to all from Sunny San Diego
Hi Norma, Solid vegetable shortening (Crisco). And yes, you can make that substitute with the salt.
Hi, I was wondering what I can substitute (if I can) the shortening with. This cookie looks delicious and will be made this year!
My grandma never made them with anything other than crisco; you could try using butter but I think they would end up much more crumbly and flaky and not as tender.
Isn’t it great to have certain food memories that make everything sweeter? I’m from a large italian family also and most of my memories are around food and holidays. I’m going to give these a try!
Baking these today. Last year before Christmas I baked these for the first time & MY FAMILY LOVED THEM! Husband likes them without the icing. Happy Thanksgiving BEB!
These look amazing! I want to make them so bad!!
I’m so happy you posted this recipe! Once I tried a cookie called: Walnuts Melt, but I couldn’t figure out a way to make them myself. These cookies look exactly like them and I think they will taste like them as well. So I’m definetely going to give them a try!
SO DELICIOUS MY ITALIAN MOTHER IN LAW MAKES THESE ALSO, SHE SAID IT WAS GRANDMA LUCHETTI’S RECIPE…. WILL HAVE TO MAKE JUST FOR ME HUSBAND DOES NOT LIKE ANYTHING WITH NUTS…
these bring back memories of my grandma’s date-nut pinwheels. They have always been one of my fav cookies. Will be trying these very soon.
I was so excited to see this recipe – and my honey bunny adores them! He said they “taste like home”. Thank you, thank you!
These cookies are out of this world. They are so delish! Thanks for posting this recipe.
Heyo! These look great! My family is such a fan of nut rolls.
Can I bake these ahead of time and freeze them for Christmas?
Hi Sara, Yes, I think these would freeze well. I would wait until you thaw them to ice them, though.
Yummaroo! The filling is really similar to Potica, Yugoslavian Holiday Bread. My mom was given the recipe by Velma whose family survived the concentration camps, and she made it for our family and the office, my dad worked for her husband, it was the same tradition and looked forward to every year before she passed. It does takes 24 hours to make, the dough has to sit overnight, and though it is super delicious, these would be so much easier and still have the comfort feeling with the walnut filling. Thank you!
This will be my third year making these cookies. They have become a Thanksgivng tradition in my family now. They are delicious and a huge hit in my italian family. I love recipes passed down from one generation to another. I have a question. Have you ever prepared the rolls ahead of time and froze them before slicing and baking? I’m trying to prepare whatever I could ahead of time to make the holiday go a little smoother.
Hi Lori, I have never tried doing that, but I think it’s worth a shot! If you try it this year, let me know how it goes.
Can’t wait to try these! One question…how many pieces of dough do you divide the recipe into?
Hi Nancy, Four pieces (it’s in the second paragraph).
Thanks so much… right in front of me and didn’t see it! Having been born and raised in Pittsburgh this recipe reminds me so much of home! Can’t wait to add these to my cookie tray this year. Happy Thanksgiving!
This is probably a stupid question…do you bake these standing up or do you lay them on their side? After reading some getting pinwheel looking pillows, could this be why? Cant wait to make these and your nutroll! Thanks!
Hi Kelley, You bake them standing up.
can you use pecans instead of walnuts?
Hi Hannah, I’ve never tried them like that, but I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t!
I think you can probably use any nut you want. A local store .makes them with almonds.
I made this for my annual Christmas Cookie gift tins. I love them! I didn’t make as many cookies as the recipe says because I ate so much of the dough before baking it! Thanks for the recipe!
Congratulations on 2 exceptionally deliciously yummy years. Many more, please!
Sooo excited to try this recipe next week for Thanksgiving! I am more of a cookie fan than a pie fan so these will be a perfect addition to our dessert menu. I have been trying a TON of your cookie recipes and they are so good! I wondered a long time ago while slaving over a batch of “kolach” (what we call nut roll in our family here in Youngstown, OH) if there was a cookie version of that holiday treat. Thanks for sharing all the great recipes!
I’m long overdue in writing to you about these cookies. Think I stumbled across this recipe and your website over a year ago when doing an internet search for Italian cookies to add to our Christmas baking repertoire. Disclaimers first: I’m 100% Italian, a life-long Pittsburgher and the granddaughter of a professional baker who for many years was the cookie baker at Kaufmann’s Department Store in Downtown Pittsburgh. Now for my real reason for writing: these cookies are amazing! Delicious, easy to make, pretty on a tray, makes a lot without a lot of trouble — you name it. I love this recipe and just wanted to thank you for sharing something so precious. I’ve even made these for a celebration at my church for one of our former Italian priests who was elevated to Cardinal and shipped off to Rome. But I had to hide them from my husband first, as they have become his favorite cookie, right up there with cranberry biscotti. Would have loved to make them for my own Grandma. Thanks again!
Carolyn, Thank you so much for writing, so happy to hear you have enjoyed these cookies. Always great to hear from a fellow Pittsburgher as well! :)
cookies are great! do they freeze well?
You know Joan, I’ve never tried freezing them – our family always gobbles these up! I imagine they would though, can’t see why not.
thanks for your comment…will try freezing and see how they work out!
I wanted to make these delicious cookies now for Christmas. Was wondering whether you did freeze it worked out, Thanks
Joan and Toni T, if freezing, don’t frost them yet as the icing will get so hard and can break-up or chip pieces off of the cookies. When ready to use, thaw the cookies to room temperature and then frost them.
Also, forgot to say that I used pecans – didn’t have any walnuts – I would probably still use the shortening and not butter.
This recipe looked so good I had to try it. My cookies did not turn out at all. They spread so much while baking. Did not hold shape at all. Any suggestions???
Thanks! Followed recipe exactly. Did you ever try baking whole roll and then cuting?
Hi Nancy, I’m so sorry that these didn’t turn out for you. I’ve never baked them in an entire roll and cut them, but it’s certainly something you can try. The only thing I can think is that the dough may have been too warm/soft. Next time try assembling the cookies and then popping the baking sheet in the refrigerator and chill them for about 30 minutes then bake. If you try again let me know how it turns out, this is one of my grandma’s old recipes and one of my favorites!
Hi, I just tried these again today after receiving your email on your 2 year blog. These cookies look delicious, but I just can’t make them right for some reason!! I think maybe I’m rolling them wrong. I’m starting at the short end and rolling up. I slice them about one inch like it says, but they fall over and look like pinwheels. The taste is great, but your picture of them they look smaller. Any suggestions. Thanks again!!
I had the same problem, I can’t roll these cookies right.
Mine look like pinwheels too.
Exactly how are you supposed to roll these?
Can you post some step by steps pictures? This would be so helpful.
I LOVE this recipe :)
Hi Lisa, If you look above at the photos, I basically take that long piece of dough with the filling spread on top, and roll it, long side facing me. I roll it jelly-roll style, as tight as I can.
I made these little wonders this morning…they are delicious. Brought them to work and they went crazy over them. Thanks for another great recipe. I’m so glad I found you.
Chelle, I will absolutely try it and let you know the results. Thanks for answering my question!
these look amazing! i will be making these very soon:)!
I think a podcast or two added to the mix would be really cool.
(Recipes like this make me so jealous of all of you people who don’t live with people with nut allergies. Pout.)
Those pillows look delicious! My mother-in-law make some just like them at holiday time. Good stuff!
Those look amazing!!!
Awww! A grandma recipe! I love it! They look insanely delicious and congrats on two years blogging!! :)
OVENHAVEN — I’m sure you could substitute in the butter for the shortening without issue – I would use unsalted butter and have it at room temperature to make sure it creams well.
Chelle, I was going to ask this same question about the butter sub. I have read that sometimes you might have to add a bit more flour to keep the cookies from spreading when subbing butter for shortening. However, this is a thicker dough so it might not be that prone to spreading. I might add 1/4 cup more flour to be on the safe side. What do you think?? I’ve never been a fan of shortening but since they’ve re-formulated it to eliminate trans fats, it just doesn’t “act” the same when baking. These cookies remind me of my mom’s Hungarian cookies that have an egg white and walnut filling but they contain yeast and the dough has to be refrigerated over night like yours. Love your blog and recipes.
LYN — I totally sympathize with grandmas who don’t write down their recipes! I think you could definitely make this into a nutroll, but I think the dough recipe will probably be more of a shorty/pastry dough than your typical nutroll dough. I would divide the dough into 2 pieces rather than 4 and make two medium-sized nutrolls. If you decide to give it a try please let me know how it turns out!
Congrats on two years!! I love your blog, I don’t think you need to change anything, but I know change is good and fun:) I love your sweet recipes! Keep them coming!
Congrats on 2 years! These look delicious!
Happy blogiversary! :D Those walnut pillows look really good! I’ve never came across them before. Do you think I could substitute the shortening for the dough with butter?
Congrats on 2 years! Can’t wait to see what’s in store for your site, and those cookies sound wonderful – I love walnuts in cookies.
Not to be unhelpful, but I love everything about your site! You have wonderful photography and delicious recipes :)
Congratulations on 2 years!!
My husband’s grandmother used to make nut rolls and poppy seed rolls whenever we visited. She has now passed and her recipes went with her (she never wrote a recipe down). Could I use this recipe to re-create the nutrolls without slicing them into cookies and omitting the icing? And if so, if you had a recipe for the poppyseed filling my husband would be estatic!
I too am from PA and I make the Kiffles. did you ever get the recipe? I will send to you if you like.
Will you send me the recipe please?
Happy blogiversary!! Your blog is so wonderful! And these pillow cookies…YUM. Can’t wait to try them.
I miss your updates! They are so rare now! More please :)
Congratulations on 2 years. It’s only a few days late… Better late than never right? :) These cookies look tasty!