Holiday Nut Roll (Americanized Croatian Nut Roll)

Recipe by Just Garlic
READY IN: 1hr 20mins




  • Scald milk in small pan, set off burner and cool to warm. In large mixing bowl combine warm milk and yeast with wire whisk. Beat eggs in separate bowl, then add to milk. Beat milk-egg mixture by hand for 2 minutes. Mix in sugar and margarine. Add flour slowly, mixing as you go (my grandmother insists this should be done with a wood spoon). Do not rise, do not chill. Set aside.
  • Chop walnuts (food processor or very finely by hand). In large mixing bowl, combine walnuts, white sugar, and milk. Mix thoroughly. Add remaining ingredients (butter, brown sugar, salt, vanilla, whiskey), mixing thoroughly. Filling should be thick and moist, but not stiff.
  • Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Separate large dough ball completely into 10-12 equal balls (simple method is to cut dough to equal portions on a cutting board with a lightly floured butcher knife then reform portions to balls).
  • On a rolling board or clean counter, roll each dough ball to about 1/4 inch thickness in an oblong-oval shape. Spread nut mixture over rolled dough, covering the entirety with a thin layer, and keeping the mixture about 1/2 inch to 1 inch away from the edges of the dough.
  • Form the roll first by folding the horizontal edges of the dough inwards on both the left and right sides. Then fold up the bottom of the dough about 1 1/2 inches. Each side and the bottom of the dough should now be folded in towards the middle of the rolled dough so that the nut covering is enclosed by the folded sides. Begin rolling from the bottom of the dough (where you just made the fold) towards the top. When you reach the top, fold the edges into a wide triangular flap (so that the roll will end with an overlapping wide "V"). Place the roll "V" down on a greased cookie sheet. This sounds complicated, but the basic idea is simply to close off the edges to prevent leaking--if you simply roll it like a jelly roll, the filling would ooze out and burn on the pan.
  • Brush top with beaten egg (makes the roll pale gold-brown when baked).
  • Repeat process to form other rolls. If nut mixture becomes thick and difficult to spread add more evaporated milk.
  • Keep rolls at least 2 inches apart on baking sheets, and bake each for 20-25 minutes or until tops appear golden-brown. Cool at least 20 minutes before moving.