Wild Black Walnut Cookies

by | Cookies, Dessert

Wild Black Walnut Cookies are earthy, bittersweet and somewhat exotic tasting, but definitely not just for grandma’s recipes!

Wild Black Walnut Cookies
Wild Black Walnut Cookies

Walnuts and Black Walnuts

One of the most unusual tasting nuts, and not very often shared in recipes, is the Black Walnut. There is an almost smoky, earthy flavor to them, and they lend themselves beautifully to the richness of a shortbread type of cookie.

My Swedish grandmother couldn’t cook the way my Syrian mom could, which I am sure was what first snagged my dad, but at Christmas each year, she made Black Walnut Cookies.

Since I was a little girl and only tasted this unusual nut around the holidays, I came to think of it as exotic and for special occasions.

Exotic Flavored Black Walnut Cookies

Wild Black Walnuts

What makes black walnuts wild? Well, unless a nut is a ground nut, like peanuts, they are most often found in trees.

Black walnuts are native to America and grow wild throughout the central and eastern regions.

Slightly smokey and definitely earthy, the black walnut tastes nothing like the mild and gentle flavor of the English walnut. It’s flavor has an almost wild taste to it; exotic, if you will.

Black Walnut Cookies
Black Walnut Cookies

Cooking With Wild Black Walnuts

Did you know that nuts are not just for sweets or baking recipes? That’s right! Having grown up in a Mediterranean influenced home, many of the dishes used nuts in place of meats.

Furthermore, nuts were used in meat dishes to contribute to a thicker texture to the broth or gravy of a dish.

For instance, a popular Iranian dish, called Fesenjan, a chicken stew, uses ground walnuts to add texture to the stew. Black walnuts would make for the perfect exotic tasting nut to use in this dish.

On a lighter note, and definitely American, black walnuts pair perfectly in Autumn’s Fancy Apple Cabbage Bowls. Toss some leftover turkey in that salad, and you’ve got a complete meal!

Wild Black Walnut Cookies

Not sweet like almonds or peanuts, not meaty tasting like regular walnuts, these exotic tasting nuts make for the most amazing cookies ever.

Made with a shortbread type of recipe, dusted slightly with confection sugar, they aren’t fancy looking but they sure are fancy tasting.

I hope you enjoy this cookie recipe from my Swedish grandmother, one of the few recipes I have from her.

Walnut Cookies and Other Nuts

If you love cookies, like I do, you know how much texture, taste and crunch nuts add to cookies. The oils from the nuts we love to cook with, enable us to use less butter in a cookie, and rely more on the natural oils in nuts.

Having grown up with a Syrian mom, most of our desserts were made with nuts, and so I am delighted to share some of my favorite cookies with nuts!

Ingredients Needed

  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Egg
  • Flour
  • Black walnuts
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Rum, bourbon or vanilla extract
  • Confection sugar

Equipment Needed

  • Food processor
  • Baking sheet pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Knife
  • Oven
Wild Black Walnut Cookies

Wild Black Walnut Cookies

Earthy, bittersweet and somewhat exotic tasting black walnuts in a shortbread recipe.
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Course: Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: Native American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 2 dozen
Calories: 300kcal


  • Butter – 1 cup (2 sticks), softened
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Egg – 1
  • Flour – 2 cups
  • Black Walnuts – 1 cup crushed to a powder/flour
  • Baking powder – 2 tsp
  • Salt – ½ tsp
  • Essence – 1 tsp rum or bourbon, or ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Confectionery sugar – for dusting


  • Blend softened butter and sugar until creamy.
  • Add the egg, and essence and blend.
  • Add flour, crushed nuts, baking powder, and salt, and blend until all ingredients come together into a dough ball.
  • On a sheet of wax paper, or parchment paper, place dough on top, and roll into a log. Place the wrapped log into the fridge, and chill for an hour or so.
  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Slice cookies about ¼ inch thick. Place cookies on nonstick baking sheet, or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Leave about ½ inch between them. They will not all run together, but they will puff up just a bit.
  • Bake 13 – 15 minutes until pale golden. Cool. Dust powdered confectionery sugar on top.


Calories: 300kcal
Wild Black Walnut Cookies
Wild Black Walnut Cookies

My Muffin Madness


In my family, I’ve always been known as the ‘Muffin Queen’. Out of necessity, I created muffins for breakfast, lunch, on the go snacks, sometimes dinner and a sweet yet healthyish treat for dessert!

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