Sunday, April 3, 2016

Walnut Shortbread Cookies

Since the Regent Diner closed its doors about five years ago, my brother, Art, has been unable to find another bakery who can replicate his favorite cookie.  On my visit to New Jersey last month, I hand carried a box filled with my latest attempt.  I couldn’t wait until we got home to have him taste the cookie, so I slipped one into his mouth on the ride home from the airport.  With eyes widening he said, “Not exactly like the Regent Diner cookie, but these are much better.”


§  1 1/2 cups walnuts

§  1/8 teaspoon table salt

§  2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

§  1 tablespoon vanilla

§  1/2 cup sugar

§  2 cups all-purpose flour

§  1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus more for serving


In a food processor, finely grind 1/2 cup walnuts and salt.  Roughly chop the remaining 1 cup of walnuts and set aside.

In a bowl, beat softened butter and salt for 2 – 3 minutes until smooth.

Add the sugar and vanilla and beat for 2 minutes until light and fluffy scraping down the sides of the bowl. 

Add flour and mix just until combined well.  Add ground and chopped walnuts.

Divide the dough into thirds.

Wrap lightly in plastic wrap and roll each piece to form a log approximately 1" in diameter for smaller cookies or 1 1/2" for larger cookies. 

Wrap the logs tightly in plastic wrap and chill until cold, about 30 minutes or overnight.

To bake the cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Remove the cookie logs from the refrigerator and cut into 1/2" discs.  Place the discs onto a baking pan lined with a Silpat or parchment paper. 

Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom and just pale golden on top.

Put powdered sugar into a bowl.  Cool the cookies for 5 minutes on the baking sheet.  Toss the warm cookies in the powdered sugar.  Transfer the sugar-coated cookies to a rack to cool completely.

Once cooled, store them in an airtight container.

Before serving, sift additional powdered sugar over cookies. For a printer friendly copy of this recipe, go to Walnut Shortbread Cookies. Enjoy!