Nadia’s Nut Surprise

Biscotti nella forma di Noci

Cookies in the Shape of Nuts

Pine Cone Tartlet MoldNadiaFor years, my favorite molds have been those which are commonly used to make tasty Hungarian Spice Cookies, and German walnut shaped cookies with scrumptious caramel and nut fillings. I love to use our pine cone shape molds, in which I have also made delightful shortbread cookies.

However after using our new stove top Nut Surprise iron from Italy, I discovered how much quicker and easier I was able to get a large quantity of evenly baked shells.

Noci-Filled-with-Raspberry-Whipped-CreamI love the traditional manner of making the pastry shells with the iron, and I love the deep cavities that can hold larger quantities and more types of fillings.

The nut shape is not only beautiful and delicious, but also suitable for all kinds of desserts, appetizers, and whatever else.

Nut Surprise Cookies are surprisingly easy to make and the possibilities of fillings are only limited by your imagination.Noci-Filled-with-Chocolate-IceCream-Rolled-in-Cognac

My warm weather treat will be to fill them with ice cream and roll them lightly in Cognac or Amaretto. Or maybe I’ll fill them with raspberry whipped cream cheese for a delicate fresh twist. Yum!


Rolling-The-DoughThe Plain Noci recipe uses simple ingredients and the dough is relatively easy to roll and cut into ¾” pieces, for shaping into a ball.

Rolled-Noci-Dough-ballsThe neutral taste of this cookie goes well with any filling. Consider also using the shells as caps on sorbets and ice creams, and as texture enhancing garnishes on cakes, and so many other foods.

The recipe for Delicate Noci With Ground Walnuts results in a lighter and crumblier textured shell, and requires a bit more attention to detail to get excellent results. Here are some of my shells:


I ground the walnuts with a food processor.

The dough is soft, similar to the consistency of shortbread dough, and you can easily form the balls by hand.


The dough also spread a bit more than the plain recipe, during baking, as you can see at left. This is normal and the cookie can be trimmed using a blunt dinner knife before lifting them from the iron, or can be trimmed afterwards.

Prepare your recipe before working with the iron.


Here are some pointers for using your CBE Nut Surprise Cookies Stove Top Baker.

CBE Nuts Surprise Cookies Stove Top Baker● To season the iron, lightly coat the inside of both plates of the iron with Canola Oil. I use a 1” boar bristle brush, which works quite nicely. You should only need to season it at the beginning.

● Preheat the iron over Medium-to-High heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Should smoking occur during this process, lower your burner’s heat setting.

● Once the iron is heated, open and quickly place a dough ball (no larger than ¾”) in each cavity. Gently close the iron to press the dough into the forms. Heat for about 10-15 seconds, and then rotate to heat the other side of the iron. Repeat this rotation several times to bake the cookies evenly.

● The cast aluminum plates of the iron hold and distribute heat remarkably well. Medium heat should be sufficient throughout the cooking process. If the plates are too hot, you’ll notice browning and uneven coloring.

I overcooked a batch to show you what happens when the heat is set too high:
What-Happens-when-You-over-Heat-your-Iron What-Happens-Noci-Burning

● After a couple rotations, slightly open to see if the nuts are sticking to the upper projections; a good indication of being fully cooked. Then you can brown them a bit, if you like. Taste test batches for desired texture.


● To remove the cookie shells, turn the burner off, open the iron, and carefully lift out the cookies using small tongs or a dinner knife. Place them on a cooling rack to cool completely.

● If you work quickly, the iron will remain hot and the entire process will be relatively quick and easy.

Noci-Smoothing-Edges-to-Perfection● Should your nut cookies have slightly rough uneven edges, and you prefer a more pristine look, trim them with a blunt dinner knife while they’re still hot. Or after they’ve cooled, I like using my Kuhn Rikon peeler to shave off the excess.

● Unfilled Noci pastry shells can be baked in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a couple of weeks.

● Use a small spoon to insert filling such as jelly, preserves, or caramel based fillings, into the shell. A pastry bag with a large round tip works especially well for dispensing whipped cream and other soft fillings.


Plain Noci
Makes about 225 Noci halves

1 Cup Salted Butter, Softened
½ Cup Sugar
4 Large Eggs
2 Teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
3 Cups All-Purpose Flour

Combine the flour and baking powder together. Set aside.

In a separate mixing bowl:
1. Cream the softened butter, add the sugar, and mix well.
2. Add eggs 1 at a time, mixing well in between.
3. Add the vanilla extract, mix well.

Gradually add the flour and baking powder mixture a cup at a time to the batter, until a soft dough is achieved. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes, as this will make the dough less sticky and easier to roll. Roll dough into a ¾” log, then cut into ¾” pieces, roll into balls.

Can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.


Delicate Noci Made with Ground Walnuts
Makes about 85 Noci halves

1 cup Salted Butter, Softened
¾ cup Granulated Sugar
¼ cup Confectioners Sugar
1 large egg
2 ½ Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Cup Ground Walnuts
½ tsp Baking Powder

In a bowl combine flour, ground walnuts, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a separate mixing bowl:
1. Cream the softened butter; add the granulated and confectioners sugars, and mix well.
2. Add the egg.
3. Gradually add the flour mixture a cup at a time until well combined.
4. The dough should be soft, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
5. Remove from the refrigerator and take pieces of dough and form into ¾” balls.

Can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.


Filling Options for Noci

Frozen Bites:
Can be made in advance and stored for several days in airtight container in freezer.

– Fill with Chocolate Ice Cream and roll Noci lightly in Cognac.
– Fill with Vanilla Ice Cream and roll Noci lightly in Amaretto.
– Fill with your favorite flavor of Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt.

Raspberry Whipped Filling:
Fills about 48 shells.

½ pint heavy Whipping Cream
1 packet (0.35 oz) Whip-It Stabilizer for Whipping Cream
2 Tablespoons Super Fine Sugar
2 Tablespoons Seedless Red Raspberry Jelly
2 ounces of Softened Cream Cheese

Mix the cream cheese and raspberry jelly until well blended and smooth. Set aside.

Using a whisk attachment and mixer, beat ½ pint of heavy cream and 1 (0.35oz) packet of Whip-It stabilizer until stiff peaks form. Mix the sugar with the cream cheese, and incorporate into the mixture.

After filling, keep Noci Cookies refrigerated.


CBE Nut Surprise
Cookies Stove Top Baker


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