Cookies are my one soft spot when it comes to sweets.
I love a good cookie, and since most are easy to pull off I feel pretty confident making them even with my limited baking skills. This recipe is one of the easiest I know of, and is so damn good I ended up making them about a dozen times before I posted this recipe. Research, ya know…
I used butternuts, Juglans cinerea, the first couple times I made them. I got mine from my friend Sam Thayer, a fellow author and forager who lives in Wisconsin. We don’t have butternuts here in the West, so it was a treat.
Butternuts are cousins of our local black walnuts, only they are a lot easier to crack and they taste a lot milder. They also tend to crack in a cool “wing” pattern, which looks neat. I don’t know of anyone who sells butternuts, but the good news is that these cookies are just as good with black walnuts and even regular, store-bought walnuts. Pecans are a great choice, too.
I like to use 50-50 regular flour and homemade acorn flour for these cookies, mostly because I have acorn flour around and I like the flavor and color boost it gives. Obviously that’s an esoteric ingredient, so feel free to use 100 percent all-purpose flour or split it with a brown flour like whole wheat, rye, barley or spelt.
I also like the crunch of using turbinado sugar, sold in my supermarket as “sugar in the raw.” It definitely adds something to the cookie, but feel free to use brown sugar if you want to. You’ll notice it isn’t much, which is because this is really a honey-nut cookie.
I have access to really good honey made by a Greek lady who lives down the road, and I love using her honey in anything I can. I tend to use her wildflower honey, which is almost black, but in these photos I used a lighter-colored orange flower honey. Doesn’t matter, just use good honey.
These are awesome cookies, easy to make and they keep for a long while. Definitely worth your time.
Butternut or Black Walnut Cookies
- 1 cup flour, or 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup acorn flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup turbinado sugar ("Sugar in the Raw") or brown sugar
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1/3 cup honey, preferably dark honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup chopped butternuts or walnuts
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease a baking sheet.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and soda, salt and sugar. In another bowl, whisk together the melted butter, honey and vanilla extract. NOTE: If your honey is stiff, do this step in a small pot set over low heat. Warm the honey so it flows, then add the butter and extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry and mix until about 3/4 combined. Add the butternuts and mix until everything's combined.
- Shape the dough into a log with wet hands (so they don't stick to the dough, which will be tacky), then cut it into a dozen equal pieces. Roll the pieces into a ball with your hands, flatten a bit and place them on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until they just start to brown on the edges. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes, then move to a rack to cool.