Turkish Cookies (Elmali Kurabiye) are delicious melt-in-the-mouth pastries made with crispy cookie dough filled with apple, cinnamon, and walnuts. These traditional cookies are commonly sold in almost every pastry shop in Turkey.
This is the perfect time for apples and I love the smell of them when cooked with cinnamon and sugar. It is a great reminder of my childhood memories as my mom used to make these delicious Turkish cookies quite often! What makes my Apple Crumble recipe so special and delicious is probably the same reason: Cooking the apples with cinnamon and sugar!
This simple recipe was given to me by my mom years ago and it never let me down. The delicious and crispy pastry is very similar to a pie pastry but much easier to shape. Lemon zest is optional and you can replace it with vanilla paste or orange zest if you prefer. I chopped the walnuts very finely but you can chop them in chunky bites if you want to achieve a crunchier texture.
Why This Recipe Works?
- This recipe is very easy to follow with step-by-step instructions.
- It's the perfect combination of apples, cinnamon and walnuts.
- You only need a few pantry ingredients that you might already have in hand.
- They freeze beautifully!
Ingredients & Substitutes for Turkish Cookies
- Apples - You can use any sweet cooking apples such as Braeburn, Honeycrisp, Bramley and Cox's are best for these cookies. Peel or keep the skin on and grate them before cooking.
- Sugar - I use caster sugar but granulated or brown sugar would work perfectly too. Adjust the amount of sugar to your taste and the apples you use.
- Cinnamon - I love adding a spoonful of cinnamon powder to the apple filling for intense flavour. You can omit it if you find it too strong or use it just a little.
- Walnuts - Baking with nuts is a great way to add flavour and texture to your crumble. Use pecan or hazelnuts if you prefer. Lightly toast them for a more intense flavour before adding them to your baked goods.
- Butter - This recipe recalls softened butter. Keep your butter at room temperature for a couple of hours (depending on the room temperature) until it is soft.
- Yoghurt - Use plain or natural yoghurt with no sugar & flavour added. Yoghurt gives the pastry a fluffy and light texture.
- Baking powder - It helps to increase the volume and lighten the texture of the pastry.
- Plain white flour - It is also known as all-purpose flour. It is perfect for making cakes, cookies, pastries and thickening sauces.
- Icing Sugar - It has a tiny bit of cornstarch and a powdery consistency which gives a more crumbly texture to the pastry.
- Lemon zest - It is the yellow outside of its peel without going to the white part which is bitter and unpleasant. It adds a tangy flavour and a citrusy smell to the cookies. You can replace it with vanilla paste.
This is a very simple recipe and to achieve the best results, you need to follow a few simple steps:
Prepare the Apple Filling
Peel and grate the apples. Place a pan on medium heat and add the grated apples, cinnamon and sugar to the pan and cook them until soft, for about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the filling cool down while preparing the cookie dough. Add the walnuts when the filling is cooled down and mix well.
Prepare the Cookie Dough
Preheat the fan oven to 170 °C. Place the flour in a large mixing bowl and add the softened butter, baking powder, icing sugar, yoghurt and lemon zest. Mix them with your fingertips gently until combined. Return the mixture to a worktop and form a nice soft dough.
Shape the Cookies and Bake
Roll the dough into a log and then cut it into 5 equal pieces (approximately 140 grams each) and turn them into balls. Lightly flour the worktop, sprinkle some flour on a dough ball and roll it out into a 20 cm (8") dia circle (approximately ½ cm thick).
Cut the circle into 8 equal triangles and place a teaspoon of apple filling on the wide side of each triangle. Roll them up into a cylinder and place them on a baking paper-lined tray.
Bake for 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Sprinkle some icing sugar on top when they are still warm.
For more scrumptious sweet treats why not try:
The best way to store these lovely cookies is at room temperature for up to 3 days. If you want to keep them longer, refrigerate them for up to 5 days or freeze them for up to 3 months in an airtight container.
Top Tip From the Chef
To save some time, you can prepare the filling in advance and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days until you need it.
I hope you enjoy the process of making these delightful Turkish Apple Rolls as much as you enjoy eating them!🙂
Bon appétit! / Afiyet Olsun!
Did you make this recipe?
Turkish Cookies (Elmali Kurabiye)
For the Apple Filling
- 3 medium apples (any apples you like cooking with) (400 grams)
- ¼ cup sugar (50 grams)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 80 grams walnuts (finely chopped)
For the Cookie Dough
- 250 grams butter (room temperature)
- 1 tablespoon natural yoghurt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 400 g plain white flour / all purpose flour
- 1 lemon zest
- 30 g icing sugar (plus extra for dusting)
Preparing the Apple Filling
- Peel and grate the apples.
- Place a pan on medium heat and add the apples, cinnamon, and sugar to the pan.
- Cook the apples until soft, for about 10 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let the filling cool down while preparing the cookie dough.
- Add the walnuts when the filling is cooled down and mix well.
Preparing the Cookie Dough
- Preheat the fan oven to 170 °C.
- Place the flour in a large mixing bowl and add the softened butter, baking powder, icing sugar, yogurt, and lemon zest.
- Mix them with your fingertips gently until combined.
- Return the mixture to a worktop and form a nice soft dough.
- Roll the dough into a log and cut into 5 equal pieces (approximately 140 grams each) and turn them into balls.
- Lightly flour the worktop, sprinkle some flour on a dough ball, and roll it out into a 20 cm (8") dia circle (approximately ½ cm thick).
- Cut the circle into 8 equal triangles and place a teaspoon of apple filling on the wide side of each triangle.
- Roll them up into a log shape and place them on a baking paper-lined tray.
- Bake for 20 minutes, until lightly browned.
- Sprinkle some icing sugar on top when they are still warm.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
See more guidelines at USDA.gov.
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