“Kartoshka” No-Bake Cookies

OK, so here we go — the sweet treat I’m going to make today. The title in Russian sounds like “Kartoshka” (картошка), which can be translated as “Potato”. The cookies got their name due to enormous fantasy of Soviet designers, who decided to make these cookies somewhat roundish and decorate them with “buds” of white cream. This is how it looks like:

Kartoshka No-Bake Cookies

Kartoshka No-Bake Cookies

Similar cookies are also popular at Balkans, they are called “Rum Kasato” and look much more decent — plain chocolate-glazed “fingers”.

This way or another, ingredients are pretty much the same:

  1. Bread crumbs — 400 g. Plain bread crumbs, but if you have dried buscuit or maybe ground almonds, feel free to improvise.
  2. Milk — 1/2 cup.
  3. Sugar — 1/4 to 1/2 cup.
  4. Raisins or chopped nuts — 1/2 to 1 cup. If raisins are chosen, soak them in rum (couple of tablespoons) for 15 minutes.
  5. Butter — 150 g. Margarine works fine, vegetable oil does not (unfortunately 😦 ).
  6. Grated chocolate or cocoa powder — start from 2 tablespoons. We like chocolate and sometimes add as much as 1/2 of the bar (which makes 50 g).

What else will you need? Perhaps disposable gloves, if you want to make cookies nice and firm. Some free space in the fridge. Let’s assume you have it all and begin.

  1. Combine milk, sugar and cocoa/chocolate in the pot. Cook over medium heat. When mixture starts to boil, add butter and stir until it melts fully.
  2. Take off the fire, let it cool for couple of minutes. Use the time to combine bread crumbs and nuts/raisins with rum in a bowl.
  3. Add liquid mixture to bread crumbs, mix thoroughly and give it some time. Bread crumbs will absorb liquid and you’ll get nice and easy-to-shape stuff.
  4. Time to sculpt 🙂 Ball-shaped, “kartoshka”-shaped cookies would be the easiest options at home. If  you want, you can roll cookies in cocoa powder, grated chocolate, or you can perform step 5 and after that glaze them with chocolate.
  5. Put in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!

I want you to pay attention to the fact, that proportions might not be correct all the time. Different bread crumbs absorb different amount of liquid. I usually start from listed amount and add more, if mixture doesn’t seem plastic enough. It’s very hard to totally ruin this recipe, so relax and try this time-proved treat.


5 responses to ““Kartoshka” No-Bake Cookies

  1. I tried one of these beauties last night at a Kazakhstani restaurant in Brisbane, Australia. It was simply awesome – almost a meal in itself. I had no idea a dessert could be made soooooo heavy. I can’t wait to go back and have another.

  2. Sergey Shelukhin

    Hmmm… I have been cooking these cookies without heating and with completely different proportion of ingredients (more sugar & milk).

    First I mix 100g butter with full (Russian, 200ml iirc) glass of sugar, into solid mass, then add glass of milk, 50g of vodka and 4 table spoons of cocoa powder, Mix it into more solid mass; then add breadcrumbs (I always use Russian “dried bread” vanilla cookies, “vanilniye sukhari”) in small batches while mixing thoroughly (there should be no pockets of non-mixed breadcrumbs or butter), if it looks too bread crumby add a little more milk. Then I put them in the fridge for 20 mins, then sculpt and put into fridge more.
    It’s the only thing I can cook at all, but I heard only positive reactions 😉

  3. Sergey Shelukhin

    Eh… 300-400g breadcrumbs, I put these cookies thru good meat grinder so that the crumbs are really small; then, yeah, some people also make this potato looking things or roll them in more cocoa powder.

  4. 2 Chris
    Does it really appear heavy, eh? I don’t know of precise energy value and am too lazy to count, but seems like it should be well within 400-500 kcal per 100 g limits. Some brownies reach 1000 easily.
    Anyway, isn’t it just great that our sweet treat, first offered to our professional cookers as a way to utilize remains of bread and cakes, has found its way all over the world? I think it is 🙂
    Thanks for the comment, and good luck with kartoshka!

  5. 2 Sergey
    As with every popular “narodniy” recipe, there are variations. Will try yours one day, it seems easier than mine 😉 Mine I think is stolen from some 40-50’s cookbook, you know, of this style: “What can we, proletarian cooks, do to assist the great cause of communism”.
    Thanks for the comment, and don’t be afraid to cook! Take it as some experiment — I assure you, “real geek” can totally find him/herself in this process 🙂 I’m currently reading most interesting book about culinary chemistry, and there are lots of aspects more.

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