Delicious chocolate cookies with toasted walnuts and filled with a sweet fig
jam make for a lovely holiday treat.
For the cookie dough
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup California walnuts, toasted
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of ground nutmeg
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled butter, cut into 15 - 20 pieces
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For assembling and decorating the cookies
1/2 - 2/3 cup fig jam or apricot jam
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
1/2 cup finely chopped California walnuts
In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the flour, walnuts,
sugar, cocoa powder, salt and nutmeg. Process until the nuts 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 extract.
Add to the flour mixture and process until the dough holds together in a stiff
Transfer the dough into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate
for 30 - 60 minutes, until firm but not hard.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and cover cookie sheets with parchment
Divide the chilled dough in half (keep the piece you are not working on
refrigerated). On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to a thickness slightly
less than 1/4-inch. If the top of the dough is sticky, sprinkle it lightly with
additional flour. Using a heart-shaped (or round) cutter 1 1/2 - 2 inches in
diameter, cut cookies from the rolled-our dough. Gather the scraps together,
reroll them, and cut additional cookies. As cookies are cut, place them, about
1/2-inch apart, on the prepared cookie sheets.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies look dry.
Cool for about 2 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely before
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 1/2 teaspoon of jam, then
top with a second cookie. When all the cookies have been filled, top each with
about 1/2 teaspoon melted chocolate, spreading the chocolate with the back of
a spoon. Sprinkle the chocolate lightly with walnuts.
Let the cookies stand 2 - 3 hours, or until the chocolate if firm, then
store them in an airtight container.
Servings: 40 - 50
An alternative to rolling out the dough: For an easy, though not heart-shaped
variation, the dough can be chilled, sliced and baked like refrigerator cookies.
Place the prepared dough on a lightly floured surface and divide it in half. With
your hands, roll and pat each piece into a log about 9 inches long and 1 1/2 inches
across. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for several hours, until firm. (The dough
will keep refrigerated for several days.) Cut the logs into slices slightly less
than 1/4-inch thick, then bake, fill and decorate as directed.
Nutrition Information: Calories: 100 Total Fat: 6 g Saturated Fat: 2.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 15
mg Sodium: 14 mg Total Carbohydrate: 10 g Dietary Fiber: 1 g Protein: 2 g
Reprinted with permission from