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 Star Cookies
- Quick Glance
- 45 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
- Prepare the oven
- 1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).
- Toast and grind the walnuts
- 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, transfer to a plate, and let cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes. Turn off the oven.
- 3. Pulse the cooled, toasted walnuts and the granulated sugar in a food processor until the nuts are finely chopped but not finely ground. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl.
- Make the dough and bake the cookies
- 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. It may be necessary, in order to form a cohesive dough, to add 1/2 to 1 1/2 tablespoons 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 8 to 12 minutes or until light golden. The cookies are fragile when warm so let them cool on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a wire 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 several 20- to 30-second bursts on medium power, stirring after each interval, until melted and smooth. It may take as many as 6 bursts in the microwave to melt the chocolate. Let cool at room temperature for a few minutes.
- Decorate and store the cookies
- 9. 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.