Thursday, April 20, 2006

Turkish Apple Walnut Cookies (Elmali)

I first read about these traditional Turkish cookies on Portakal Agaci and I've been looking for a reason to bake them since then. My sister and mom tried them last weekend and sent me pictures and emails saying how wonderful they turned out, bla, bla bla... I hate that they bake together. But, they don't have a Kitchen Aid! La la la:)

So, I got into their trap of trying to duplicate these cookies. I had a reason already. Last weekend, Agnes asked me to bake something traditional and Sean said he's never tasted anything Turkish, so blink blink! It is tough to bake for your boss when she is owns a bakery! You can cut the dough into two and freeze one part. It makes so many. I took some to poker party, some to the bakery, some to work, some to the Turkish gang. So far so good and they are all gone!

Here is my sister's version, quite something huh??

This is a very common Turkish recipe, with the “classic” vague flour measurement”: as much as it would take!! @!@!@!@!@! That kills me! A random touch/feel measurement...It is against the whole idea of baking. How do I know what it is supposed to feel? I guess experience helps...Now that I've done so many cookies and cakes, I kinda got what it meant with that, and used about 5 cups of flour and thought it was fine. It could as well take one more cup, next time I will try it like that...

Try it, let me know how you like them…


2 sticks of butter, room temperature
1/3 cups of plain, non-fat yogurt
1/3 cups of canola oil
9 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of baking soda
3-4 drops of lemon
and here we go:
flour, as much as it could take...

Apple Filling:
3-4 grated apples, I used Golden Delicious and Pink Lady
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup hazelnuts, I used walnuts

Mix all the ingredients and cook under medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the apples get soft and your kitchen smells cinnamony, (is that a word?). Wait until the mixture cools and mix in the walnuts.


1. Mix the baking soda with the lemon juice.
2. Combine all the ingredients until it feels not sticky to the touch.
3. Form the dough into discs and wrap in plastic.
4. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
5. Roll the dough 1/4 inch thick and use cookie cutters, preferably round
6. Fill the cookies with a teaspoon of the filling.

Now, you have two options on the size. For a larger cookie, you can stack two rounds on top of each other or for a smaller bite, you can fold the rounds into half, creating a crescent shape. I liked the smaller versions better.

8. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes and cool on racks.
9. Once cooled, dust the cookies with powdered sugar with lots and lots of it.

Don't count how many you've eaten and just pack all that is left and leave the house!

More pictures on Flickr!


Anonymous said...

This is wonderful. When I was in high school, I used to drop off earlier from my school bus just to buy from these cookies and then head home. It is a true classic. But I always thought the sizes could be smaller. Yours are just the perfect size. They look delicious. Yum yum.

Unknown said...

This is awesome! I have been searching for this recipe. I was an au pair in Istanbul for a short time and the cook (for the household there)made these cookies a few times. Between her "english" and my "turkish" I was never quite sure if I had all the instructions/ingredients right. I'll be making these for a cookie exchange for my work. I am also a baker. I'll let you know how mine turn out, though I think I'll omit the nuts since the ones I had didn't contain any.

Unknown said...

So, I did make them. I changed the recipe a little bit because I also had another recipe that I found online and had it translated from Turkish. They turned out really good. I was a little surprised because of the kneading of the dough. I always think it'll make the cookie tough. I guess if you knead it just until it forms a nice ball, then it'll be OK.

I used:

2 cups of flour (to start with)
3 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 c. plain full fat yogurt
1/3 c. canola oil(or a little less)

1 large honey crisp apple
3 small macintosh apples
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
20 hazelnuts chopped

I added in about 1/3-1/2 c. more flour until the dough was somewhere between not too sticky and not too dry/tough, alternating flour additions with the canola oil.

I did not refrigerate the dough, but I will the next time I make this recipe. I did not use cookie cutters. I folded them up like little egg rolls.