This cookie dough is conveniently made in a food processor, just as you might make pastry dough. The stars have a delicate crunch and lovely earthy-nutty flavor from toasted walnuts. (Using toasted nuts is important, so don’t skip this step!) The chocolate drizzle is icing on the cake…I mean cookie.
Cookie cutters are needed. They should be star shapes that measure from about 1 3/4 to 2 1/2 inches across the “arms.”–Lisa Zwirn
LC Holiday Schmoliday Note
These walnut cookies may be billed as holiday fare, but we say break loose from tradition. Every day could use a little stardust.
Walnut Stars Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 35 M
- 2 H
- Makes about 36 cookies
- 1 cup (about 4 ounces) walnuts
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 8 slices
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 tablespoons cold water
- For the chocolate drizzle
- 3 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).
- 2. Spread the walnuts in a single layer on a small baking sheet. Toast in the oven for about 8 minutes or just until you start to smell them. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature. Turn off the oven.
- 3. Pulse the cooled, toasted walnuts and the granulated sugar in a food processor until the nuts are finely chopped (not quite finely ground). Transfer the mixture to a small bowl.
- 4. Add the flour, confectioners’ sugar, baking powder, and salt to the food processor. Pulse once to combine. Add the butter and pulse a few times until it’s chopped into tiny bits. Add the walnut mixture and pulse twice to combine. Add the egg yolk, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon of water and process just until the dough feels moist when pinched. Add 1/2 to 1 tablespoon more water, as needed, and pulse a few more times until the dough just starts to clump together.
- 5. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and gather into a ball. Press into a disk shape, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until firm enough to roll out, at least 1 hour.
- 6. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- 7. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a 1/4-inch thickness. Use star cutters to stamp out cookies, arranging them about 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared sheet. Re-roll the scraps. Bake the cookies for 11 to 12 minutes or until light golden. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
- Make the chocolate drizzle
- 8. Melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe glass measuring cup or bowl in the microwave in 20- to 30-second bursts on medium power, stirring after each interval, until melted and smooth.
- 9. Let cool at room temperature for a few minutes. Place the cookies close together, but not touching, on racks set over wax paper. Pour the chocolate into a small plastic bag or squeeze bottle. If using a bag, seal it and make a tiny cut in one corner. Working quickly, drizzle the chocolate in a zigzag pattern to make diagonal lines over the stars. Let the chocolate set completely before storing the cookies.
- 10. Store, layered between sheets of wax paper, in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
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Walnut Stars Recipe © 2008 Lisa Zwirn. Photo © 2008 Corinne Planche. All rights reserved.
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