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Cooking: Borekitas kon Kalavasa - Bulgarian Squash Filled Cookies
by Tina Wasserman

1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup water
10 ounces frozen cubed butternut squash or 1 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup granulated sugar
½ cup finely ground (1/16th inch pieces) walnuts
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 Tablespoons unflavored dry breadcrumbs
1 egg mixed with 1 Tablespoon water |
Sugar for topping (optional)

  1. To prepare the dough, Place flour, sugar and salt in a 2 quart bowl and stir to combine.
  2. Place the stick of butter in a 1 cup glass measuring cup and microwave on high for 45 seconds or until butter is melted. Add the water to the cup until the foam line comes to the one cup line.
  3. Stir the butter/water mixture as you pour it into the bowl of flour.
  4. Using a wooden spoon or spatula quickly combine the flour/butter mixture until a smooth, slippery soft dough is formed.
  5. Refrigerate dough for 15 minutes or longer while you prepare the filling.
  6. Cook squash in the microwave for 4 minutes with no additional water.
  7. Blot the squash dry with a towel and then mash with a fork until no lumps remain. You should have 1 cup cooked squash.
  8. Combine the squash with the sugar, walnuts, cinnamon and bread crumbs.
  9. Remove dough from the refrigerator and roll out on a floured surface to about 1/8 inch thick. Cut 2-3 inch circles from the dough.
  10. Place a teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle and fold dough over filling matching edges and pressing down to seal with the side of your pinkie. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  11. Using the tines of a fork, crimp the pinched edges together to seal and make a decorative design. Bend the cookie slightly to form crescents.
  12. Brush the tops of the cookies with the egg/water mixture and, if desired (but not traditional) sprinkle some additional sugar on top.
  13. Bake in a pre-heated 375F oven for 18-20 minutes or until golden. Makes about 2 dozen cookies

Note: There will be some filling left over which can be frozen for future use or used to stuff ravioli.

Tina’s Tidbits:

  • Squash can be very watery so use only butternut or pie pumpkin to make this filling
  • Bread crumbs are often used in European baking to absorb excess liquid whether it is in a filling or in between filo layers in a strudel
  • This dough is like the classic pate a choux or cream puff dough except there are no eggs in this batter at all
  • Pressing edges of pastry with the tines of a fork is effective in creating a seal so the filling will not ooze out during baking.

Tina D. Wasserman, a member of Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, teaches at her own cooking school, writes a kosher cooking newsletter on the Internet, and serves as a culinary scholar-in-residence throughout the U.S.


Union for Reform Judaism.