Walnut Cookie Hearts

Makes: 20

Preparation Time: 25 minutes plus chilling

Cooking Time: 8-10 minutes

What You’ll Need:

For the cookie dough

  • 250g plain flour plus extra for rolling
  • 125g California Walnuts, toasted
  • 145g caster sugar
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 185g chilled butter, cubed
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For assembling and decorating the cookies

  • 160-210g fig or apricot jam
  • 115g plain chocolate, melted
  • 60g California Walnuts, finely chopped

What To Do:

  • In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the flour, California walnuts, sugar, cocoa powder, salt and nutmeg. Process until the walnuts are finely ground. Add the butter and pulse until blended into the dry ingredients and the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small cup, whisk together the egg yolks, water and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture and process until the dough holds together in a stiff mass. Transfer the dough into a bowl and cover with clingfilm. Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes, until firm but not hard.
  • Preheat the oven to 180ᵒC/gas mark 4, and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the chilled dough in half (return one half to the fridge). On a lightly floured surface, roll half the dough out to a thickness slightly less than 5mm. If the top of the dough is sticky, sprinkle it lightly with additional flour. Using a 4-5cm heart-shaped cutter, cut cookies from the rolled-out dough. Gather the scraps together, reroll them, and cut additional cookies. As cookies are cut, place them, about 1cm apart, on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies look dry. Cool for about 2 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely before filling. Continue rolling, cutting and baking until all the dough is used.
  • To assemble and decorate the cookies, place half of them in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Spread each one with about ½ teaspoon of jam, then top with a second cookie. When all the cookies have been filled, top each with about ½ teaspoon melted chocolate, spreading the chocolate with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the chocolate lightly with chopped walnuts. Let the cookies stand for 2-3 hours, or until the chocolate is firm, then store them in an airtight container.


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