The only way I can really describe these treats – kartoshka is translated as potato, as they are playfully shaped to resemble potatoes – is as giant Russian chocolate rum balls. Or giant truffles. Needless to say, they are delicious.
Very traditional and, traditionally, very unhealthy. This is a slightly lighter take on an extremely addictive and nostalgic childhood treat for me.
Traditionally decorated with a buttercream frosting, these are topped with slivers of almonds.
Tips: The original recipe uses what are essentially sweet vanilla breadcrumbs. Here, I added vanilla extract and ground up biscotti/toast cookies, thus eliminating the need for further sugar in the recipe.
(makes about 10-12)
- 1/2 cup warm 1% or 2% milk
- 2 heaping T cocoa powder + 2 T more for coating
- 119 g butter (one stick), softened and at room temperature
- 162 g (5.7 oz) crushed biscuits (aniseed toasts or other mild sweet italian biscuits work well here)
- 1/4 t vanilla extract
- a handful of slivered almonds
- optional: 1 t brandy or cognac
1. Grind the biscuits finely in a food processor or coffee grinder. Prepare the extra 2 T cocoa in a large plate, easy for rolling.
2. Combine all the ingredients, adding the milk in slowly, until well combined. Shape into ‘potato’ shapes – you can, of course, also shape these into smaller truffles.
3. Roll in cocoa and top with a few slivers of almonds. Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before serving.