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“Yugoslavian” Christmas Cookies

"Yugoslavian" Christmas Cookies

“Yugoslavian” Christmas Cookies

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"Yugoslavian" Christmas Cookies
5.0 rating based on 12,345 ratings
5/5 (9)
Course: BarsCuisine: Yugoslavia, Balkans, Serbia, CroatiaDifficulty: Medium



Shortbread base topped with jam and a chocolate-nut meringue. This recipe hails from a time when Yugoslavia was made up of many different countries (see note, below*) and the naming of this recipe is somewhat vague.


  • For the base:
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 3/4 cup seedless red raspberry jam

  • For the topping:
  • 4 egg whites at room temperature

  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 3/4 cup ground walnuts

  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature

  • 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts


  • Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Grease a 15 x 10-inch jelly roll pan. To prepare cookie base, combine flour, nuts, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Stir in flour mixture; blend well. Turn into prepared pan and smooth the surface. Evenly spread jam over dough; set aside.
  • To prepare topping, beat egg whites and cream of tartar in a large mixing bowl at medium speed until soft peaks form. Increase speed to medium-high; add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until egg whites form very stiff glossy peaks. Gently fold in ground nuts and melted chocolate. Spoon dollops of meringue over jam, spread evenly. Sprinkle meringue with chopped nuts.
  • Bake 5 minutes, remove pan from oven. Using a very sharp or serrated knife, lightly score surface of meringue into 2-inch squares (8 x 5). Continue baking 20 to 30 minutes or until meringue is firm to the touch. Cool in pan on rack. Cut into squares. Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.


  • Adapted from The Joy of Cookies by Sharon Tyler Herbst (1987).
  • * Alternate names: also known as Zora Kolači, Damen Kapric, Zagorje Kolach, or London štanglice, Docci Bojai. I have found various versions of this recipe where people claim them as “Definitely Croatian!” and even “Exclusively Croatian”…but then also “My Serbian grandmother made these” and other such claims. This makes it difficult for me to truly place them under one country or another regardless of who claims these as exclusively theirs. The truth is probably that they were popular throughout much of that region. I have chosen to retain their historical name for now and classify them under those three countries.
  • Photo by Nikola Smolenski under Creative Commons license.


Name & Location
(example: Sue in LA)

Definitely Croatian! My baba made these for my mom as a child and she's now been making them for me for almost 45 yrs. Christmas would not be the same without them! We always use apricot jam :)
- Susie
I made this for a friend from Dubrovnik. It was wonderful to see his eyes light up when he tasted them. It is flavorful, but not too sweet, cookie that his grandmother used to make. I am making again for his birthday today. These are too good to only have at Christmas!
- Cindy
Serbs do bake these cookies as do many others....Koljivo isn't mixture of some cereals BUT cooked wheat which is ground and mixed with nuts and dried fruit, sweetened with honey and spiced with clove, very special. Cesnica is a pie made with again dry nuts, fruit and honey.This cookie isn't exclusively Croatian. It is rather universal as you can find it in many other countries.
- Mina
i heart this cookie it is soooooo delicious i would eat it for breakfast lunch and dinner
- A Baker
Definitely Croatian. Old family recipe, had them every year!
- A Baker
Lovely. Absolutely loved it.
- Stephanie Hongell
My mom used to make these for times other than Christmas. They are so good without the chocolate in them. Now that I have relocated the recipe, I will be making this year as well.
- Zina McCullough
I got so many compliments when I made these for my work. People thought I should sell them they were that good. This is a recipe I would highly recommend and I may try to make them without the chocolate too, just to see the difference.
- A Baker
These are Croatian and they are a family tradition. EXCELLENT
- A Baker
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