chocolate rolled cookie recipe
Photo credit Vered Guttman

These Cookies Are Helping Israelis Through Hard Times

A modern, chocolate-y take on classic rolled cookies.

After high school, Israeli kids go on to fulfill their compulsory military service for two to three years. For their parents, this means weekend travels to their childrens’ military bases across the country, carrying pots and pans filled with homemade food — freshly fried schnitzels, stuffed veggies, couscous with chicken and root vegetables — just to make sure their kids are eating well. 

And yes, the army feeds its soldiers. But still, no mother believes her kid is eating enough.

It’s no surprise that now, with a war waging in Gaza and with hundreds of thousands of reservists called up for duty, this soldier-feeding frenzy is reaching new levels.

From restaurants to high-tech offices, Israelis — Jewish, Druze and Arab —  are rallying to ensure their soldiers are well fed. Farmers are donating fresh produce; suppliers are offering meat, fish, cheese and more; and chefs and home cooks who cannot sit still while their country is at war have found their calling in feeding the masses of soldiers on Israel’s frontlines, both in the Gaza area and along the northern border.

A Druze mother of a soldier made dozens of flat pita with za’atar; one home cook managed to send challah rolls with schnitzel and harissa all the way into Gaza to feed the soldiers fighting there; and babkas and rugelach have been baked by the hundreds. 

Wartime cuisine is also affecting those on the home front, seeking to nourish their bodies and comfort their souls. Two new trends caught my eye as I scrolled through social media: Israel-shaped schnitzel and Kinder chocolate rolled cookies.

The former is easy to explain. Chicken breast, when sliced thinly to make Israeli-style schnitzel, does resemble the map of Israel including the inverted triangle of the Negev desert that ends in the Red Sea. It’s almost impossible to avoid posts of home cooks showing off their Israel-shaped breadcrumb-covered fried chicken breast, truly believing their schnitzel is trying to tell them something.

The Kinder rolled cookies are a more interesting phenomena. Rolled cookies have always been very popular in Israel. Back in the day, they were made with a margarine-based pastry, which, luckily, has been replaced since with a delicate butter shortcrust. The most popular filling is date spread, which you can buy everywhere in Israel, sometimes with the addition of chopped nuts. Halva spread is popular, too. All are delicious.

Kinder is an Italian chocolate brand best known for their chocolate eggs filled with collectible little toys, but they also produce a tender milk chocolate bar filled with smooth milk filling and a chocolate spread. The cookie has two variations: One is made with a thin chocolate shortcrust covered with hazelnut or Kinder spread, rolled up with a Kinder chocolate bar in the center. The other version is a plain shortcrust dough with Nutella and the same Kinder chocolate bar in the center. I’ve included both options in this recipe; each dough yields around 30 cookies.

Although I was initially doubtful, the cookies proved to be so good that I had to immediately make another batch for friends and family.

Notes:

  1. The unbaked roll of dough can rest in the fridge for up to a day; be sure to wrap the baking sheet with plastic wrap.
  2. The cookies keep in a sealed container at room temperature up to 5 days, or longer in the fridge.
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chocolate rolled cookies
Photo credit Vered Guttman

Nutella and Kinder Rolled Cookies Recipe

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A modern, chocolate-y take on classic rolled cookies.

  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 30 cookies

Ingredients

For the plain shortcrust cookies with Nutella:

  • 10.5 oz (300 g, 2 ¼ cups + 2 Tbsp) all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 4 oz (112 g, 8 Tbsp) cold unsalted butter, cut in ¼-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup neutral flavor oil, like avocado or corn oil
  • 34 Tbsp cold water
  • 13 oz Nutella spread
  • 8 pieces (1 pack) Kinder chocolate

For the cocoa shortcrust cookies with hazelnut/Kinder spread:

  • 9 oz (250 g, 2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 4 oz (112 g, 8 Tbsp) cold unsalted butter, cut in ¼-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup neutral flavor oil, like avocado or corn oil
  • 34 Tbsp cold water
  • 13 oz hazelnut or Kinder spread
  • 8 pieces (1 pack) Kinder chocolate

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. For the plain shortcrust dough: Put flour, powdered sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in the bowl of a food processor and mix until you get crumbs (alternatively, you can make the dough in a large bowl with your hands or with a pastry blender). Add oil and 3 Tbsp water and mix briefly to form a dough. If the mixture is too dry, you can add 1 more Tbsp water.
  3. For the cocoa shortcrust dough: Put flour, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in the bowl of a food processor and mix until you get crumbs (alternatively, you can make the dough in a large bowl with your hands or with a pastry blender). Add oil and 3 Tbsp water and mix briefly to form a dough. If the mixture is too dry, you can add 1 more Tbsp water.
  4. Have two large parchment paper pieces ready (about 12×16 inch). Work with half of the dough at a time. Flatten the first half into a disk with your hands, then put the dough between the two pieces of parchment paper and use a rolling pin to roll it to a very thin (1/16 inch) rectangle. Gently remove the top piece of parchment paper. 
  5. Place the long side of the rectangle close to you. Use an icing spatula to spread half the Nutella or hazelnut or Kinder spread all over the rolled dough. On the long side close to you, place a row of Kinder chocolates one next to the other.
  6. Starting from the Kinder side, roll the dough rectangle into a log and transfer to the baking sheet. Repeat with the second half of the dough. Put the baking sheet in the fridge for 1 hour (or up to a day, but be sure to wrap the baking sheet with plastic wrap). 
  7. Use a knife to mark ½-inch slices on the top of the log.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely for a couple of hours before slicing into cookies. Wipe the knife clean between each slice to keep the cookies clean.
  9. Dust cookies with powdered sugar. 

Notes

  1. The unbaked roll of dough can rest in the fridge for up to a day; be sure to wrap the baking sheet with plastic wrap.
  2. The cookies keep in a sealed container at room temperature up to 5 days, or longer in the fridge.
  • Author: Vered Guttman
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes + 1 hour resting
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Israeli

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