18 February 2015

Walnut Shortbread Cookies

I didn't take any photos of yesterday's lunch, un gratin de côtes de blettes — pre-cooked Swiss chard ribs baked in a cheesy cream sauce — but it came out really nice. I sprinkled grated Cantal and Mimolette cheeses over the top before browning the dish in the oven. I also mixed some cooked lardons fumés in with the chard ribs to make it into a full meal. In France, people often cook the fleshy white ribs of the chard leaves separately from the green part of the leaves, which is prepared and served like spinach.

I did snap a photo of the cookies we made yesterday afternoon. The recipe came out of a book called Miette that an American friend passed on  to us. Miette is a bakery in San Francisco. The Walnut Shortbread Cookies recipe is one that I plan to save before I pass the book on to another friend who likes to bake.

The Walnut Shortbread Cookies are very rich. The same friend who passed along the cookbook also has given us tons of walnuts over the past few years. She and her husband have a big walnut tree on their property down the road from us and it has been producing nuts like crazy.

The cookies are rich because they are made with a ton of butter — 225 grams of it, which is about half a pound. Otherwise, it's just flour (1½ cups), sugar (¾ cup), one egg yolk and half a cup of walnuts that you toast and then reduce to a powder, either in a food processor or, as I did, in a mortar and pestle. If you want the full recipe, let me know in a comment and I'll post it.
P.S. Here is the recipe

Walnut Shortbread Cookies

½ cup walnut pieces
1½ cups flour
½ tsp. salt
225 g butter, cold and cubed
¾ cup sugar
1 egg yolk
sea salt
(Note: A U.S. cup is 8 fluid ounces.)
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Toast the walnuts and then let them cool. Grind them finely in a food processor or mortar and pestle. Sift together the flour and salt and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle, beat together the sugar and the butter for 4 minutes. Add the egg yolk and mix until completely blended. Add the dry ingredients and walnut powder and mix just to combine.

If the dough is soft, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 30 minutes. Then roll it out ½” thick and square the edges of the dough. With a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 1” squares. Place them 2 inches apart on parchment paper on a baking pan. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.

Bake until cookies are firm, about 10 - 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.


  1. Yes, Please post the recipe. Emma has a walnut tree, too!:-)

  2. "In France, people often cook the fleshy white ribs of the chard leaves separately from the green part of the leaves"...
    not just France, Ken... UK, too.
    At least among the farming and allotmenting fraternities...
    chard has been around for a long time in the UK, but never as a veg in the big shops... more as a G.i.Y. item...
    I guess it is because those wilting bunches you see in French supermarkets would just never sell the other side of La Manche.

    I adapted a Buddhist recipe for Chinese Cabbage for chard stalks...
    you need the ones on French market stalls... or the English variety we grow, Fordhook Giant...
    you need those big ribs...
    steam 6" lengths until soft...
    allow to cool and dress with a mix of 3 parts roast sesame oil and 1 part light soy sauce...
    or if you haven't the latter, a mix of balsamic and white wine vinegars...
    never dark soy, it is too rich and kills the flavour.
    Serve chilled...
    piled up and decorated with slices of tomato.

  3. I'd like the recipe too please! Pauline

  4. Happy Birthday, Mary Allen. and many happy returns of the day.

    Miss Crumbs recipe seems awfully good.

  5. I like the way Tim martyrizes both languages, English and French! Lol

  6. I put the recipe in a P.S. at the bottom of the post, above.

  7. They look fabulous! I'd like just one little bite, please. :)

  8. And walnuts are good for us. 😊


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