TheseHoliday Nut Rolls have a soft and buttery pastry-like crust, and the filling is a combination of warm cinnamon, vanilla, and walnuts. The combination makes you want to just sit and savor them with a cup of coffee.
I had to get permission to post this recipe from my mother-in-law. She learned how to make these Nut Rolls from John’s grandmother and has been showing friends and family how to make them ever since. We only make them before Christmas so they stay a special Holiday treat.
These Nut Rolls aren’t difficult to make but because of the amount that they make they can be time-consuming. That makes them all the more fun to make when you have 2 or 3 sets of hands to
visit work together.
These Holiday Nut Rolls make great additions to a cookie tray and we give some of them away as gifts. I must confess though you have to be pretty high on the gift list to score a dozen. John gets very obsessive because I make them only at Christmas time. He hides any extras in the freezer so he can make them last as long as possible. They warm perfectly in the microwave in just a minute.
These Nut Rolls have a soft and buttery pastry-like crust, and the filling is a combination of warm cinnamon, vanilla, and walnuts. The combination makes you want to just sit and savor them with a cup of coffee.
A few things that we’ve discovered over the years include:
- We grind our own nuts. I think we grind them a little finer. The store-bought seem to be coarser and sharper so they tend to cut through the pastry but will work if that’s what you have to work with.
- We roll all of our pastry into balls at one time and just put them on a rimmed baking sheet.
- The filling can be thinned by stirring in hot water or milk if it gets too thick.
- Don’t overfill. They will just ooze or break. (Sad face inserted here).
Don’t have time to make them now? Pin it for later!
- 1 lb walnuts ground fine
- 3 cups white sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp vanilla
- 1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup milk lukewarm
- 1 pkg yeast
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 lb butter 4 sticks
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp vanilla
- 7 egg yolks well beaten
Combine sponge ingredients and set aside until bubbly (10-15 minutes).
In a medium-sized saucepan combine filling ingredients. Cook until thick. Remove from the stove. If filling gets too thick while you make your rolls, stir in additional hot water or milk.
Combine dough ingredients as you would pie dough. Add the sponge to flour mixture and mix with your hands until crumbs form. Roll walnut-sized balls of dough and put them on a rimmed baking sheet.
Dust working surface with flour. Roll each ball into approximately a 4-inch circle. Spoon a tablespoon of filling onto the dough and spread it out. Don't overfill or your roll will break open or ooze out in the oven.
Roll into a crescent shape. Brush with egg white
Bake at 375°F 10-15 minutes or until golden. Cook on a wire cooling rack.
Store at room temperature in an airtight container. Can also be frozen.
We always have some filling leftover. John loves to spread it on his toast in the morning.
Looking for cookies for your holiday baking? Check these out!
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I’m often asked about the supplies that I use in my kitchen. For your convenience, I used my favorite rimmed baking sheet for this recipe.