Walnut Acorn Cookies

Autumn, Cookie, Desserts / Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

I used to take my cookie decorating very, very seriously.

I’d spend hours painstakingly applying fondant and days layering each color of royal icing on some complicated design. I’d break out the sprinkles and the sanding sugars and the edible pearls. I’d use TWEEZERS on COOKIES.

The cookies were pretty. I’m not knocking that sort of edible art. But no one would EAT them! It drove me crazy. They looked too fussy, too labored over.

No one wants to eat a doily.

So now, I lean towards foods that look edible. And I love recipes that produce natural beauties, like these Walnut Acorn Cookies.

To form the acorns, you make a batch of walnut shortbread dough, divide it, and roll it between your hands into small egg shapes. Then, bake the cookies, and make the acorn caps by dipping half of each cookie in melted chocolate and rolling that half in chopped walnuts.

The walnut shortbread would be melt-in-your-mouth good on its own – buttery and sandy, with an intense walnut flavor – but that little bit of chocolate takes it to another place. And the extra chopped walnuts on the outside give the cookie lots of texture and crunch.

Best of all, people EAT them. And they don’t require tweezers.

Walnut Acorn Cookies

Adapted from “The Gourmet Cookie Book”

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts (4 ounces)
    For Decoration:

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts (2 ounces)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter, brown sugar and vanilla until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add the flour mixture at low speed, then stir in the walnuts.
  5. Form 2 teaspoons of dough into an egglike shape the size of an acorn. Arrange the “acorns” about 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets lined with parchment paper or Silpat®.
  6. Bake in batches, one sheet at a time in the middle of the oven, until undersides are light brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool. (If your dough starts going really soft while it’s waiting to go into the oven, pop it into the refrigerator to chill for a few minutes.)
  7. To Decorate: Dip half of each cookie in melted chocolate and then in chopped nuts. Place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper to set, about 15 minutes.

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26 thoughts on “Walnut Acorn Cookies

  1. Making the 'edible art cookies' has intimidated me for a few years now — they look impossible to do (but I'll try anyways ;-) These on the other hand look approachable and delicious while still looking fancy. Kudos!

  2. Oh, gorgeous. I make maple-leaf cookes every fall (not to mention cheesy crackers in maple-leaf shapes, now, thanks to you!) Can you imagine how cute a platter of these both would be?

  3. I'm 100% guilty of breaking out the tweezers and laying my holiday cookies with intricate frosting designs. Its exhausting! Honestly, I'd like to take a pass on the insanity this year … but I know folks will be expecting them and for some reason my people eat the pretty cookies. Le Sigh.

    That said, I'm always on the lookout for a new cookie for the holidays and this is going to be my choice this year. They look scrumptious! Thanks!

  4. So cute and perfect for Thanksgiving!! I want to decorate cookies with royal icing and sugars and cutesy things, but I have little patience and I would probably cuss throughout the whole process!! These seem cuss free!!

  5. Oh, geez! I don't have the patience to bake plain cookies let alone fancified ones that need tweezers. I agree. With these you get looks and flavor. I'm almost tempted to give 'em a try.

  6. I just made these, they did not set but spread out flat. I could have made a mistake with the ingredients as I made the dough late last night. I just drizzled with the chocolate (sprinkled with flaky salt). They are delicious though.

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