Mini chocolate walnut cookies

There’s something in the air about miniature desserts. Dan Lepard profiled mini-cakes in Sainsbury’s magazine last month. Yotam Ottolenghi wrote a piece for the Guardian‘s weekend food column on miniature financiers, mini cheesecakes, mini cookies. Could the mini-dessert become (gasp) the New Cupcake? (or the new whoopie pie, by now). But foolish food trends aside, there is something quite compelling about demolishing a little cookie or a baby cake, in its entirety.

Mini chocolate walnut cookie on Flickr
Although this might look large, this is an espresso cup and saucer.

It was this that attracted me to Heidi’s Itsy Bitsy chocolate chip cookies when they appeared on her blog. I returned to the recipe recently when I wanted to make some cookies, and only then remembered that I had adapted it to be almost a one-bowl recipe, if you have a food processor. If you don’t have one, you can head over to 101 Cookbooks, and Heidi has great instructions for making this by hand. But I love the simplicity of this method, combined with the cute-factor of the tiny cookies, and the amazing toasted flavour that comes from the walnuts and the crisp edges. These are not chewy chocolate chip cookies – they are crisp little discs, with a nubbly quality from the nuts and chocolate rubble – perhaps invoking a souped-up hobnob? They are flavourful, but not cloying; crisp but not too crumbly or greasy – ideal cookie jar-cookies in other words.

Mini chocolate walnut cookies:

(adapted from 101 Cookbooks’ Itsy Bitsy Chocolate Chip Cookies)

Preheat the oven to 180°C /160°C fan / 350°F.

  • 140g dark chocolate (I used Green & Blacks cooking chocolate, 72%, but something sweeter would also work)
  • 70g walnuts

–> Break the chocolate into pieces, add the walnuts and process to rubble in a food processor.

  • 140g wholewheat self-raising flour
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

–> Add to processor with the nuts and process again to mix everything together, and grind the chocolate and nuts a little finer.

–> Empty the processor contents into a separate bowl (you’ll add them back later).  Add to this bowl:

  • 110g rolled oats

–> Add to the empty processor:

  • 110g butter, softened
  • 120g dark brown muscovado sugar
  • 120g caster sugar

–> Process together until fairly smooth and creamy. Add

  • 1 large egg
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla

–> and process again until smooth, scraping down the sides to make sure it is combined fairly evenly.

–> Return the chocolate, nuts and flour to the processor.

–> Process fairly briefly to mix everything together – you don’t want to overmix, or the gluten will start to develop and the cookies will get tough. Scrape down with a spatula to make sure there are no more floury patches.

Either refrigerate (for up to two days) or use immediately. Scoop off teaspoons of mixture, roll into a small ball, less than an inch across, flatten a little with a fork and bake at 180C/160C fan for 10-12 minutes, until slightly cracked around the edge and crisp. They will crisp up further as they cool.

[Refrigerating chocolate chip cookie dough is a NY Times recipe trick, attributed to Maury Rubin of City Bakery, and it does seem to develop a bit of extra flavour, but these are fine without it as well.]

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louise-marston

I’m Louise, and I’m a compulsive baker, cookbook hoarder and a bit of a food geek. I learnt to cook at home, and later at Tante Marie’s cooking school in San Francisco. With a science degree and a background in IT analysis, I like to understand why a recipe works, not just how to do it. Why the rules are there and when they can be broken.

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