Kartoshka in Russian means potato and these delicious, rich and chocolatey truffle-like confections are named such because they are shaped like - you guessed it - a potato. According to Russia Beyond, they were originally prepared at the legendary Praga restaurant on Arbat Street in Moscow and since have been adapted in many ways.
This endearing dessert is one of the first Russian desserts that I tried - and another item on the long list of things I can longer eat - so as always, I have made them gluten-free!
You can use leftover gluten-free cake crumbs, dried in the oven, or cookies as in this version or even dried out gluten-free bread.
6 tablespoons good quality cocoa powder, plus more for sprinkling
2 cups chopped walnuts
1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
1.5 cups unsalted butter, melted
2-3 tablespoons of cognac, brandy or Irish Cream
Using a food processor or a rolling pin; process or crush the cookies until they are a very fine crumb.
Stir in the cocoa powder and walnuts.
Using gloved hands, mix in the condensed milk, butter and alcohol. Really mix this well, squeezing and making sure that every crumb is mixed in very well until all the ingredients are uniform and incorporated very well.
Shape the chocolate mixture into potato-shaped pastries and lay them in a pan lined with parchment paper. Don't worry if they are touching. You can vary the size and the shape, but traditionally it should be an potato-like shape. This recipe should make about 30 pieces.
Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. Right before serving sprinkle with a little bit of cocoa powder and decorate if desired.