Monday, January 7, 2019

Nutty for Nuts Cookies

Toasted Nut Cookies, Nut Cookies, Christmas Cookies, Holiday Baking Ideas, Cookie RecipesDuring the holiday season, I always make sure to stop at the grocery store and fill a bag with assorted nuts in their shells to keep at home for snacking.  Phoenix was especially intrigued by the nut bowl and the cracking-of-nuts process, and asked for tastes of little pieces of nuts every time we cracked a few.

After Christmas was over, our company gone, the decorations put away and the carpet vacuumed clean of all the stray glitter and tree needles, I really wanted use of that bowl again, so I spent some time and shelled what was left of the nuts.  Several hours (and several blisters) later, I had three cups of shelled walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts and Brazil nuts, and I thought about cookies, rich, buttery, and absolutely loaded with toasted nuts.

This recipe is similar to my chocolate chip cookie recipe, with a few little changes, and of course, the nuts are the star, rather than chocolate.  When I make a cake, I can usually have a little piece and then move on, not really missing it too much when my husband takes it to work the next day.  But cookies are another matter, and I have a really hard time resisting cookies, especially when they're as fantastic as these.




Toasted Nut Cookies, Nut Cookies, Christmas Cookies, Holiday Baking Ideas, Cookie Recipes

Toasted Nut Cookies, Nut Cookies, Christmas Cookies, Holiday Baking Ideas, Cookie Recipes

Toasted Nut Cookies, Nut Cookies, Christmas Cookies, Holiday Baking Ideas, Cookie Recipes

Toasted Nut Cookies, Nut Cookies, Christmas Cookies, Holiday Baking Ideas, Cookie Recipes

Toasted Nut Cookies, Nut Cookies, Christmas Cookies, Holiday Baking Ideas, Cookie Recipes





I like to sprinkle a little extra coarse salt on top of cookies before baking them, and it's especially good on these.  The buttery nuttiness with the sweet and salty combo is cookie perfection.  Phoenix agreed, and he couldn't get enough of them.  Actually, while I was photographing them, he was standing at my elbow, face streaked with tears and the most pathetic look you've ever seen, because I wouldn't give him a cookie until after he ate lunch.

These cookies are thick, perfectly balanced between soft and chewy, and of course full of crunchy toasted nuts.  You can use any nuts that you like and have on hand, but the more variety, the better.  The distinct flavors of all the different nuts, not to mention toasting them in the oven to bring out even more flavor, is what makes these so damn delicious.  And you won't miss the chocolate chips one bit.





Toasted Nut Cookies, Nut Cookies, Christmas Cookies, Holiday Baking Ideas, Cookie Recipes

Toasted Nut Cookies, Nut Cookies, Christmas Cookies, Holiday Baking Ideas, Cookie Recipes

Toasted Nut Cookies, Nut Cookies, Christmas Cookies, Holiday Baking Ideas, Cookie Recipes





Nutty for Nuts Cookies
  • 2-3 cups assorted shelled nuts (see note)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons coarse Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk, if needed
Notes:
  1. The more variety of nuts you use, the better.  I used five different nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts and hazelnuts); cashews and macadamia nuts would also be great in these cookies.
  2. You can skip the toasting of the nuts, if you like, but it really extracts such a nice flavor from them.
  3. Depending on how many nuts you use (I added three full cups to my cookies), your dough may be a bit dry and/or crumbly, so you can stir in the milk at the end, just enough to bring the dough together.
  4. The corn starch can be left out, but it yields a more tender cookie that stays soft and chewy for longer.

Preheat the oven to 300 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Spread the nuts over the baking sheet, and toast for about 12-15 minutes, until fragrant.  Turn off the oven; set nuts aside to cool slightly, and then roughly chop the nuts so that none are bigger than a quarter inch.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, white sugar and brown sugar on medium speed for about 4-5 minutes, scraping the bowl down several times.  Beat in the vanilla and eggs until well combined, and scrape the bowl down again.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, corn starch, salt, baking soda and nutmeg.  With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined.  Add the nuts, and use a spatula to incorporate the nuts and bring the dough together, adding the milk if needed; the dough will be thick.

Use a large cookie scoop to portion out 2 dozen balls of cookie dough.  Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Set the cookie balls two inches apart on the baking sheet, and flatten them slightly with the palm of your hand so they bake evenly.  Bake for 9 minutes, then let cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet before carefully transferring them to a cooling rack.  They will appear uncooked in the centers, but will set up as they cool.

Yields 2 dozen large cookies.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

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