What do Estonians eat that we have so many unicorns?

e-Estonia holiday cookie

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Estonia is #1 in Europe in the number of unicorns per capita. We often get asked if there is something special in our food that has helped Estonia become a unicorn state. While Carlos Paniagua, the CTO and founder of one Estonia’s unicorns Glia, suggests moving to Estonia, the land of unicorns, to build one, we think that you could also start with eating the “right” food. We have come up with our very own e-Estonia holiday cookie recipe that includes ingredients typical for Estonian cuisine. If you make the cookies and find them delicious, you already have what it takes to become a founder of a future unicorn. Next steps? Visit our Briefing Centre to find out!


Cranberry-date paste Dry ingredients Wet mixture For extra taste
50g dates 200ml flour 150g melted unsalted butter 150g halva (halawa) chunks
50g dried cranberries 4 tsp cinnamon 60g brown sugar 100g chopped roasted almonds
50g condensed milk 1 tsp ground clove 30g white sugar
2 tsp ground nutmeg 1 big egg (at room temperature)
1 tsp corn starch 1 egg white (at room temperature)
1 tsp baking soda 2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Melt the butter and set aside to cool off.
  3. Roast the almonds by placing the almonds on the lined baking sheet and baking them for around 6-7 min or until you start smelling a nice smokey scent. Make sure not to leave the almonds into the oven for too long. When taking them out, let cool and then chop coarsely.
  4. To do the date-cranberry paste, chop the dates and dried cranberries into tiny pieces so that it would be easier for the hand blender to smush everything together. Once chopped, put them into a smaller bowl, add condensed milk and start blending ingredients together. The paste will be quite thick.
  5. Take the cooled melted butter, pour it into a bigger bowl, add sugars and with an electric mixer mix for 3-4 minutes until nice and smooth. Once you’re happy with the sugar and butter mix, beat in the egg and egg white, one at a time until fully combined.
  6. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients (the flour, cinnamon, ground clove and nutmeg, corn starch, baking soda and salt), and add to the wet ingredients in patches. Mix with an electric mixer until combined, but don’t over-beat at this stage, this could make your cookies tough.
  7. To finish your cookie dough, fold in the chopped roasted almonds and halva chunks (whatever is your preference, we prefer a little bigger chunks of halva in our cookies, gives a pleasant salty kick to this sweet cookie). Try not to over-mix here.
  8. Portion the cookies out with a tablespoon, add a teaspoon of date-cranberry paste to the mix and blend just a bit with your fingers, leaving pieces/chunks of paste to the cookie dough portions instead of folding it all together. Place those cookie mounds onto the baking pans making ca 20-25 ‘balls’ – don’t push them down or try to shape them at all, if the cookie mixture is tall now it’ll help the cookies keep some height when they’re baked. Also, the cookies should be at least 4cm apart – they’ll need space to spread. (PS! If you prefer your cookies to have some more height, place them into the freezer for an hour before baking.)
  9. Bake the cookies for 8min for softer and chewier cookies, or ca 12min for more cooked through ones. Take them out of the oven and leave to rest on the baking tray for another 10-15min (try to resist eating them right away) before transferring to a wire rack or a plate. They look undercooked when taken out of the oven – this is okay, they’ll harden as they cool.


Have loads of fun with this e-Estonia holiday cookie recipe!

Bon Appétit! // Head isu!



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Valukoja 8
11415 Tallinn, Estonia