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walnut cookies
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Walnut Cookies

These easy walnut cookies from scratch are made with only a handful of simple ingredients: walnuts, brown sugar, jam, just a touch of nut flour and vanilla then rolled in powdered sugar before baking into perfection. It’s like Italian snowball cookies and European horn cookies got married.
Course Dessert
Cuisine European, Italian
Keyword snowball cookies, tea cookies, walnut cookies
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 21 cookies
Calories 142kcal


  • 3 cups walnut pieces raw
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar lightly packed
  • 1 tsp lemon zest optional
  • 4 Tbsp walnut or almond flour
  • 2 Tbsp apricot jam
  • 3 Tbsp water or rum
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • powder sugar for coating (optional but recommend)


  • To the bowl of a food processor add the walnut pieces together with the brown sugar, lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Use the pulse button and process until the mixture resembles wet sand.
    3 cups walnut pieces, 1/2 cup light brown sugar, 1 tsp lemon zest, 1 pinch sea salt
  • In a medium mixing bowl combine the apricot jelly with the water and vanilla extract. Add the walnut mixture. Use a spatula and combine everything until a dough is formed. Sprinkle in the walnut or almond flour and combine again until incorporated. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the cookie dough for 20 minutes.
    2 Tbsp apricot jam, 3 Tbsp water or rum, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 4 Tbsp walnut or almond flour
  • Preheat your oven to 375”F.
  • Prepare a small bowl with powder sugar and have a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper ready.
    powder sugar for coating
  • Use a tablespoon and scoop out the cookie dough, shape into a round ball. Alternatively use your finger to help push the dough out of the spoon straight into the powder sugar bowl. Toss to coat lightly then transfer to the cookie sheet. (The powder sugar coating is optional but yields nice crinkle snowball cookies). Repeat with the remaining cookie dough and make sure to leave plenty of space between the cookies.
  • Bake the cookies for 13 minutes, turn off the heat and allow cookies to sit in the oven for 2 extra minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool off completely.


  • About the Walnuts - Make sure to use raw pieces, not toasted or candied as we are going to chop them all up before baking. 
  • Swaps - If need be pecans can be used instead of walnuts here and the apricot jam can be swapped for your favorite kind.
  • Variation - For a more festive flavor replace the water with equal parts of your favorite rum.
  • The Sugar - I used light brown sugar for its caramel like flavor but regular granulated sugar can be used in a pinch.
  • Add Ins - Dried cranberries or cherries and a sprinkling mini chocolate chips would make nice additions. You can also opt for equal parts walnuts + pistachios reminiscent of baklava filling.
  • Storage - The cookies can be stored uncovered at room temperature for a couple of days or in a lidded container / cookie jar for up to two weeks. Truth be told these never made it in our home past day 2 so please report back if yours make it for longer.
  • Crispy bottoms - After turning off the heat allow the cookies to sit in the oven for an extra 2 minutes with the oven door slightly open.  


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 142kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 83mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 7IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg