The best Serbian Vanilla Cookie: Vanilice (Recipe)

Vanilice have been declared as the best holiday cookie in the entire world by the culinary portal Food 52. But in Serbia, vanilica is much more than the best cookie. That old-fashioned cookie made by our grandmothers only evokes the warmest feelings and reminds us of our childhood – because all the grandmothers in Serbia always had a ready-made cookie in a glass jar on the table. Vanilice was named because of the dominant aroma of vanilla, which combined with walnuts and apricot jam makes the cookie just melt in your mouth! Although vanilice is very easy to make, each serbian family has their own recipe that is passed on from generation to generation.

Vanilice

500 grams all-purpose flour
250g butter
200 grams powdered sugar
4 tbsp granulated sugar
2 small packs of vanilla sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon of grated lemon zest
250 grams ground walnuts
apricot jam 

Dough

  1. Mix the butter and sugar.
  2. Add egg and egg yolk and mix well.
  3. Add lemon juice together with the grated lemon zest and the ground walnuts.
  4. Continue mixing while gradually adding the all-purpose flour until an even dough forms.
  5. Leave the dough in the refrigerator for up to an hour.

Baking

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
  2. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured board to be 1.5 cm thick.
  3. Use a small glass to shape your cookies, to cut circles out of the dough.
  4. Place them on a baking sheet and put in the oven.
  5. Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes. The cookies should be slightly golden brown.
  6. Let the cookies cool and make sandwiches out of them with the jam. Take one cookie at a time, spread about ½ tsp of jam on it, and top it with another cookie.
  7. Roll it in the powdered vanilla sugar, until nicely coated.

Traditionally, these cookies are stored in glass jars and eaten only after two days. Enjoy the vanilla taste of Serbian traditional cookies, a dessert like no other!

Photo by James Ransom

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