These Walnut Cookies are crisp, buttery, and packed with walnuts. They are mildly sweet, and each bite gently crumbles in your mouth!
Traditional shortbread is made with one part sugar, two parts butter, and three parts flour. However, I tried switching up the ratio to make the walnut cookies less sweet and also added in as many walnuts as possible to let the texture and nutty flavor shine.
Although eggs and leavening are typically absent, like in almond flour shortbreads, I added half an egg to help with the binding. These have a whopping 2 cups of walnuts!ChatGPT
While eggs and leavening are typically absent, as seen in almond flour shortbreads, I adde half an egg to enhance binding. These cookies boast a generous amount of 2 cups of walnuts!
While rolling out and cutting into shapes allows for different designs and decorations, sometimes the dough is just easier to roll into a log and slice, like the cardamom shortbreads.
What are walnut cookies? They can typically be drop cookies, much like oat flour cookies, where chopped walnuts are stirred into the batter along with other ingredients such as chocolate chips, dried cranberries, or raisins.
Alternatively, as seen in this recipe, they can also take the form of a shortbread-based recipe, similar to almond flour lemon cookies or Christmas icebox cookies. In this case, minced walnuts are mixed into the dough, like in orange walnut cake.
Why you'll love this?
- Loaded with an impressive 2 cups of walnuts.
- Only 6 basic ingredients.
- One bowl cookie recipe.
- Tender, crisp and mildly sweet.
- Make into cutout cookies or slice and bake!
Scroll down to the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and amounts.
- Walnuts - I like to use raw walnuts for an earthy flavor like in walnut smoothie.
- Butter – Use room-temperature butter to ensure proper creaming.
- All purpose flour – All purpose flour helps bind the minced walnuts like in carrot walnut cake.
- Sugar – Just half a cup of white granulated sugar makes the walnut cookies not overly sweet.
- Egg - Like in my mini blueberry muffins recipe, you will need ½ an egg. I find it easier to add either the egg white or yolk.
- Chocolate - Like the Tree cookies, spread melted chocolate on top cooled cookies or drizzle using a piping bag like in almond joy cookies.
- Icing - Drizzle confectioners sugar icing. Check out the Finger cookies to learn how to make a simple confectioners sugar icing.
- Spices - Skip vanilla extract and use ground cinnamon as in healthy carrot cookies.
- Slice and bake - Roll the cookie dough into a log, chill overnight, slice into ¼-inch thick rounds and bake, as in Santa's whisker cookies.
- Sandwich - Like the skull sandwich cookies, spread Nutella or melted chocolate between two cookies.
How to make?
You can find full printable recipe below, but here is a quick overview of the procedure along with step-by-step photos.
1 & 2. Cream butter and sugar using an electric beater for about 1 minute or until smooth and creamy. Add egg white or yolk and vanilla, cream for another minute.
Pro tip: Egg white or yolk? Yolks are relatively high in fat and rich tasting, resulting in softer and tender cookies. At the same time, egg whites are leaner and make crispy and crumbly cookies.
3 & 4. Add minced walnuts, flour and salt. Continue mixing until it forms a dough.
Tip: To mince walnuts, add walnuts into a food processor and process until they are finely minced.
5. Shape dough into a flat disc and roll between two sheets of parchment paper, until about ⅛ inch thick. Transfer dough, along with parchment papers, onto a baking sheet and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (up to one day), until firm. Cut circles using a 3-inch round fluted cookie cutter.
Bake walnut cookies at 325 degrees, until deep golden around the edges and cool completey on a wire rack.
The secret to achieving the perfect balance of crispness and tenderness:
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Maintain the correct ratio of butter to flour and walnuts. This contributes to the tender and crumbly texture.
- Overmixing can lead to a tougher texture. Like in all homemade cookies, mix the dough until just combined.
- Allow the walnut cookies dough to chill in the refrigerator before baking. This helps solidify the fats in the butter, creating a firmer texture and also prevents any spreading during baking.
- Roll the dough to a uniform thickness to ensure even baking.
- Allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheet. This helps them firm up without becoming too brittle.
- Walnut cookies are best when they are golden brown on the edges. Overbaking can result in a harder texture and also might alter the taste.
- Allow walnut cookies to cool completely before storing in a tightly sealed container.
How to store?
The best way to store walnut cookies to maintain freshness is in a tightlye sealed air tight container for up to a week.
If you'd like to store them for a longer period, then freeze the baked cookies for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight at room temperature.
Tip: These walnut cookies are perfect companions for a cup of coffee or tea, and they make a wonderful addition to your holiday cookie tin.
- Chill dough – I recommend chilling both the rolled dough and shaped Halloween trees for several hours, which gives ample time for the dough to firm up before baking.
- Chop walnuts very fine - Ensure that no walnut pieces are larger than ¼-inch , avoiding coarse pieces and preventing making them into a fine powder.
If your cookie dough appears dry and crumbly when rolling, incorporate 1 or 2 teaspoons of milk. Conversely, if the dough is sticky, add a bit more flour.
I opted to showcase the pure walnut flavor by using only walnuts. However, feel free to add mini chocolate chips, chopped dried cranberries, shredded coconut, or a blend of various nuts. Just remember to adjust the quantity of walnuts to maintain the perfect ratio.
Sure can! Walnut cookies can be versatile, and you can experiment with different nuts to create unique flavors. You can experiment with toasted pecans, cashews, toasted almonds or hazelnuts.
Absolutety! To freeze the cookie dough, divide the dough in half and then roll each half into logs, wrap in parchemnt paper and the freeze for up to 2 months. Transfer the cookie dough to the refrigerator overnight, before baking cookies.
I love how the walnuts and vanilla flavors combine in one cookie, without any additional flavorings or spices needed, sort of like pecan snowball cookies with added pecans.
- Mini Food processor
- Fluted cookie cutter
- Cream butter and sugar using an electric beater for about 1 minute or until smooth and creamy. Add egg white or yolk and vanilla, cream for another minute.Pro tip: Use egg white if you like a light and crisp cookie. And egg yolk if you want a tender and softer cookie.
- Add minced walnuts, flour and salt. Continue mixing until it forms a dough.Tip: To mince walnuts, add walnuts into a food processor and process until they are finely minced. Don't make them into a fine powder!
- Shape dough into a flat disc and roll between two sheets of parchment paper, until ⅛-inch thick. Transfer dough, along with parchment papers, onto a baking sheet and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (up to one day), until firm.Trouble shooting - If your cookie dough appears dry and crumbly when rolling, incorporate 1 or 2 teaspoons of milk. Conversely, if the dough is sticky, add a bit more flour.
- Preheat oven to 325°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove dough from refrigerator, cut circles using a 3-inch fluted round cookie cutter.
- Place cut circles in prepared baking sheets, about an inch apart.
- Bake cookies, one sheet at a time, until deep golden in color (22 to 27 minutes). Place baking sheet on a wire rack to cool completely.Pro tip: Refrigerate the second baking sheet of cookie dough while you bake the first batch.
Nutritional information, based on third-party calculations, should be seen as estimates, not guarantees, as various factors like product types, brands, processing methods, and more can alter the nutritional content in recipes.