Prepare yourselves: this is going to be one of the most addicting recipes I’ve ever posted on this blog.
We all know by now that the sweet/salty combination is insanely good. It keeps us coming back for more – kind of like chocolate-dipped bacon or salted caramel cake. Your mind says ‘no’ but your tastebuds are screaming ‘OH YES!’
These cookies are inspired by the fabulous California Walnuts I was sent a couple weeks ago. I sat there looking at them, trying to decide how to best take advantage of their buttery goodness. I could make a really great walnut-crusted fish dish, a fabulous walnut-based pesto, or even toss them in as a star ingredient in our Thanksgiving stuffing. But truth be told, my favorite way to have walnuts is in baked goods. They just add the perfect texture and a depth of flavor that you just can’t get from anything else!
These cookies are amazing as-is, but if you make ’em a little saltier (which I suggest) then you should dip ’em in some melted white chocolate and then just be prepared to not eat anything else the rest of the day. I also have to add that, in addition to making normal-sized cookies, you could roll them into little balls (think about the size of a marble – or a tad bigger) and bake them off as little bite-size balls. Perfect for a little snack or a tiny dessert or for filling in that empty space on your holiday cookie plate!
Inspired by and slightly adapted from these almond thumbprints.
- 4 cups raw walnut halves
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 cups white chocolate chips
Pour the walnuts in one even layer on a sheet pan and place in the oven. Turn the oven on to 350 and set a timer for 5 minutes. When the timer goes off, toss the walnuts around on the pan – if they are starting to smell fragrant and nutty, remove them immediately and pour onto a cold plate to stop the roasting process. Let cool for about 10 minutes. When they are mostly cool, toss them in a food processor and pulse into a fine meal – basically you want to stop processing right before it starts to pull together into a nut butter. Stir together the processed walnuts, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and sea salt. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper or a Silpat. Roll the mixture into balls – about 1 inch in diameter – and place on the prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes; remove from oven and let cool. To dip, melt the white chocolate slowly over a double-boiler until smooth. Remove from the heat and dip the cookies in to cover with the chocolate. Let sit at room temperature to harden. Devour.