Walnut Shortbreads


I pre-empted this post last week.  These biscuits are the result of a search I did in Eat Your Books.  I restricted my search to baking, then to walnuts and these guys popped up… and I am glad they did.

In my Widow’s Kisses post, I  said they were a jackpot.  There were three reasons for that statement.  Firstly, they taste great.  Secondly, they were made in the food processor, therefore, only took a few minutes to put together.  Thirdly, and most importantly, you pipe them rather than shape them.

I bet you are wondering why the piping won the most important guernsey.

When biscuits are made in our house, we have demarcation lines.  I make the dough and Maus shapes the biscuits.  This is not because Maus loves to shape biscuits but, rather, I don’t like the oily feel of the dough on my hands and Maus doesn’t like my laissez-faire approach to shaping.  Maus likes her biscuits all the same size and shape, something which is impossible for a person with an untidy mind like mine to achieve.  I would get bored after the third biscuit.

As you can imagine, it takes Maus quite a while to form a tray of biscuits but I dare not complain.  It might be my job next batch if I did.

By the time Maus realised I was making biscuits, I had piped all these guys onto the tray.  I am no piper.  I just piped away with gay abandon – plonk, plonk, plonk and, before I knew it, had a tray of biscuits, each one looking roughly similar to its mate.  I am quite proud of my efforts.

Damien advised that you can freeze the uncooked shortbreads and then bake them just as you want to serve them if you are looking for extra freshness.

This recipe is from French by Damien Pignolet.


  • 150g walnuts
  • 150g cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 100g pure icing sugar
  • a small pinch of salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 150g plain flour, sifted
  • icing sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat your oven to 160°C.  Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Place the walnuts and butter in the bowl of a food processor and process to a coarse texture.
  3. Add the sugar and salt and continue processing until smooth.
  4. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and pulse for 15 seconds
  5. Add the flour and pulse until just combined.  Damien advises that overworking the dough will spoil the texture.
  6. Use a piping bag with a wide nozzle to pipe the shortbreads onto the prepared baking tray.  Leave a bit of space between each biscuit to allow them to spread as they bake.
  7. Refrigerate for, at least, 30 minutes (or freeze for later) before baking.  [I forgot to do this and they turned out fine.]
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool on the tray.
  9. Serve dusted with icing sugar.

12 thoughts on “Walnut Shortbreads

  1. Glenda, these sound wonderful. Love that the dough can be frozen rather than the cookies. Pulling cookies from the freezer is fine excepting that you miss the aroma of cookies being baked. For me, that’s a big reason for baking my own.

  2. Gosh – I wish I had a Maus to share the labour! Anyway, I’m writing to let you know that I am determined to make the Widow’s Kisses but more importantly, it finally motivated me to get a subscription to Eat Your Books. What if I’m missing out of a Dowager’s Wink or a Matron’s Snap in my own collection. I now fear I am already addicted.

    • Anne, seriously the piping is the best part. It took only a couple of minutes whereas making balls and flattening them would have taken Maus at least half an hour.

  3. Hi Glenda – I love getting your posts and often print out your recipes (your Gingernuts are the absolute best!). With this bickie – just wondering if you’ve tried any other nuts as replacement for the walnuts? Cheers and thanks Tracy from Rosa Brook WA

    • Hi Tracy. Thanks for the compliment and thanks for stopping by and commenting. I haven’t tried this biscuit with other nuts but just know macadamia or roasted hazelnuts would work a treat. 🙂 BTW We have visited your way and stayed at the Rosa Brook Stone B&B. Its a small world.
      Oh, I agree that gingernut recipe is the best. We make it all the time. Maus has been harping at me to make some lately but I have just had a tooth out so they are much too hard for me at the moment. Soon soon.

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