Chocolate Kolbasa (Russian No-Bake Fudge Cookies) Recipe (2024)

Recipe from Bonnie Frumkin Morales and Deena Prichep

Adapted by Julia Moskin

Chocolate Kolbasa (Russian No-Bake Fudge Cookies) Recipe (1)

Total Time
30 minutes, plus 3 hours’ cooling
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The chef Bonnie Morales Frumkin upgraded this recipe from a treat her Russian family often made during the Soviet era as a way to stretch precious supplies like cookies and cocoa powder. By adding bittersweet chocolate and toasted hazelnuts, she has made it positively luxurious. The treat gets its name from its resemblance to a salami, with bits of nuts and cookies studding each slice. —Julia Moskin

Featured in: Russian New Year’s Eve: Christmas, the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving, All Rolled Into One

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Yield:About 3 dozen cookies

  • About 4 ounces/110 grams plain cookies, such as shortbread, tea biscuits, chocolate wafers or graham crackers (store-bought is fine), to make 2 cups cookie bits
  • cup/3 ounces/85 grams chopped toasted hazelnuts, walnuts or pecans
  • 8tablespoons/120 grams unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • ¾cup/6 ounces/180 milliliters sweetened condensed milk
  • ounces/125 grams bittersweet chocolate, in bars or chips
  • 1tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1teaspoon kosher salt or ½ teaspoon table salt
  • ¼cup/30 grams confectioners' sugar

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (36 servings)

89 calories; 6 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 3 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 8 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 6 grams sugars; 1 gram protein; 42 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Chocolate Kolbasa (Russian No-Bake Fudge Cookies) Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    Place cookies in a bowl and use a masher to crush them into bits. (The biggest pieces should be no larger than ½-inch square.) Dump mixture into a colander and shake to remove most of the tiny crumbs. You should have about 2 cups pieces remaining. Return to bowl and add nuts.

  2. Step


    In a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Whisk in condensed milk. If using bar chocolate, break into medium-size pieces. Add chocolate, cocoa powder and salt, and whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes.

  3. Scrape chocolate mixture into bowl with cookies. Stir together and set aside at room temperature for 15 minutes to firm up.

  4. Step


    Meanwhile, lay 2 sheets of aluminum foil, each about 18 inches long, on a work surface. Top each with a sheet of waxed or parchment paper. Divide cookie mixture between the two. Using paper and your hands, shape and roll mixture into two cylinders of dough, each about 12 inches long and 1½ inches in diameter. Roll dough up in the paper, then again in foil. Roll on the work surface to make sure the log is even, then twist the ends of the foil to secure.

  5. Step


    Refrigerate the logs until firm, at least 1 hour. After 1 hour, check to make sure they are setting evenly. If necessary, roll on the work surface again until smooth (no need to remove the foil and paper). Refrigerate until fully set, another 2 hours or up to 3 days.

  6. Step


    When ready to serve, remove logs from refrigerator and unwrap them on a work surface. Sprinkle confectioners' sugar over them, turning to coat. Shake off excess and use a serrated knife to slice into ¼-inch rounds. Plate and serve, or refrigerate up to 2 hours.



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Cooking Notes


In Italy this is called: “salame di cioccolato” and it’s flavored with a dash of rum.


How about adding a bit of espresso coffee to the mix?

John Yearwood

My father used to add chopped dates, then a splash of bourbon, and wrapped the log in a slightly moistened tea towel covered in wax paper and foil. After two weeks in the refrigerator, it would have firmed up. He’d roll the entire log in powdered sugar, then slice. I’m sorry he did not leave his recipe, but my childhood memories are rich with this Christmas treat.


An Eastern European staple, I'm sure that there were many variations. Good memories from long ago. Rum- or cognac-soaked raisins were always in the mix. They were plump, soft and aromatic, and obviated the need for condensed milk or cream. My mom used to make this delectable sweet all the time, much to my and my family's and friends' delight. She would grind at least part of the biscuits quite finely, mix in the crumbled ones.


Made it last night with my kids. Added orange zest to the mix. Used Walker shortbread cookies, roasted walnuts and roasted hazelnuts. Unbelievable.


Made this to take to a Christmas dinner. Doubled the recipe but halved the butter. Added a healthy dose of cinnamon. It was a huge hit. For those of us unlucky enough not to have enjoyed this as a traditional treat, I can think of lots of variations - splashes of liqueurs, cayenne for a spice, chopped dried fruits, etc. This will be my holiday gift next year for my office mates.

Kathy Watson

I made this dish for the first time nearly 20 years, a recipe I found in an old Italian cookbook. It makes we wonder at the recipe's provinance: Is it Italian? Russian? Or ...?

Kristen in Maine

I used graham crackers, toasted pecan pieces and Ghiradelli 60% cacao chips. Because I didn't have any plain sweetened-condensed milk, I used dulce leche, which is pretty much the same thing except it's been cooked to the point of caramelization and is a lovely dark color. Yum.


These are very rich and flavorful cookies. After following the recipe I was happy I didn’t make any changes.


In my family we've used to add some halva (helva) instead of sugar and no nuts and butter


A friend who grew up in Croatia and Germany always adds Kirschwasser to a nearly identical recipe.


I served these yesterday to race reviews. Used Amaretto cookies as that was what I had on hand. This combination is a transformation into some sort of fudge cookies with nuts.


I added 1 tblspn instant expresso with enough water to dilute and added to mixture. Added a depth of flavor to it. Also added 2 eggs. They made no difference though.


Does anyone know if I can store these for a few days, in the refrigerator?

Monica Wolfe

I was born in Romania. My mom used to make this with the addition of raisins soaked in liquour then drained. However, not with condensed milk which would not have been available. Perhaps heavy cream?


When I made these I used oreo cookies with the filling scraped off, and hazlenuts. The texture, when they were freshly made, was fabulous: soft chewy cooky with crisp bits of oreo cookie and nuts. Not intensely sweet, and fairly salty. Delicious! After a few days in the fridge the oreo cookies absorbed some moisture, so the texture wasn't quite as varied, but even so they disappeared really fast.


I used a mix of Rice Krispies and graham crackers from my pantry, which worked out fine. If you’re dairy free like I am, most supermarkets will sell condensed coconut milk in the international foods section and it does work for this kielbasa roll.


Nice, and I think best when straight out of the fridge/freezer. Made with tea cookies, a dark chocolate bar, and pecans. Used 100 gr of butter. The weight measurements for the sweetened condensed milk did not align (I compromised with 2/3 cup / 7 oz). It was more than sweet enough (maybe 6 oz or 1/2 cup of the sweetened condensed milk would be better).


Also a long-standing Greek treat that my mother remembers from the 1940s!


I used graham crackers, 1/2 can of condensed milk, 6 tablespoons of butter and the rest according to the recipe. Skipped the sugar at the end. It came out very well, next time I will use 5 tablespoons of butter.


I guess I need to read this again. I don't get the part about removing them from the freezer. Do you thaw them and then unroll them? You have to get the paper out somehow but what's the point in rolling them in paper in the first place?


I added candied cherries and hazelnuts, but any add-ins would be good. Mine didn't firm up enough to slice, so I rolled them into balls and they were rich and delicious.


I love this recipe. Can you tell me any way to make this without milk? And I have seen recipes that say put it in the freezer. Does it make a difference?

Annette, Oakland

For those who don't like bittersweet, does milk chocolate work?

HM Kidd in MN

I had a hard time getting the slices to hold together. Any advice on this? Delicious nonetheless and would make again. I'd love to get the presentation right next time.


Unlike the previous commenter, I didn’t have any issues peeling the parchment off. Could have been because I’d frozen the logs for a few weeks. These were much easier to make than I expected and enjoyed by my family. The shortbread stayed crisp and it all tasted a lot like toasted hazelnuts.


I was surprised at how difficult this was to peel off of the parchment but, otherwise, this is an amazing new recipe to be revisited in our household.


I was lazy so I blitzed the cookies and walnuts in a food processor instead of crushing and chopping by hand. The result was them being in much smaller pieces which I think is worse. It didn't look as pretty in the end and doesn't have as much texture. That being said, it's a pretty easy recipe and makes a very rich, sweet little treat.


Delicious. Easiest To cut after a decent amount of refrigeration. I’d go for fewer cookies so you can have more of that fudgy taste. Toasted walnuts are ideal but any toasted nut would work


Made it last night with my kids. Added orange zest to the mix. Used Walker shortbread cookies, roasted walnuts and roasted hazelnuts. Unbelievable.

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Chocolate Kolbasa (Russian No-Bake Fudge Cookies) Recipe (2024)
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