Vanilica (Little Vanilla Cookie) is a traditional cookie from the Balkans. Vanilica (pronounced VAH-ny-ly-TSAH) is a nutty and buttery sandwich cookie with a soft jam filling between two biscuits. There are numerous recipes for this simple cookie. Every family has its own recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation (kind of an heirloom). And every family has the best one, of course.
Vanilica is the type of cookie that reminds you of your childhood, family gatherings and holidays. No wonder it was named Best Holiday Cookie from Anywhere in the World by the Food52.com culinary website.
I made my first vanilica when I was 9 or 10 years old (with the help of my grandma) and some 20 years later I have created my own, low-carb version of this delightful dessert. Vanilica is already pretty keto-friendly because it is pretty high in fat. However, you need to make a few alterations. Start with substituting wheat flour with almond flour or some other nut flour/meal. Since jam is used as a filling, you should stick to unsweetened or sugar-free berry jams like Nature’s Hollow Sugar-Free Strawberry Jam. The original vanilica cookie is rolled in confectionary vanilla sugar. So far, I haven’t found vanilla tasting sweetener, so I used powdered erythritol and the result was pretty similar.
Final advice – It is highly recommended to make these cookies 1-2 days before serving, to allow the flavors to meld together and the cookies to soften.