Whoamigawd — normally I’m not one to toot my own horn, but these cookies are just so damned cuuute!
Sadly, as yummy as they are, these little morsels are not really made of acorn.
But I had this idea about collecting a bunch of acorns, shelling them, soaking them, roasting them, grinding them, and making acorn flour for actual acorn cookies…
Then I remembered that I’m not a squirrel. HA!
Yes — not only am I definitely not a squirrel, but the real squirrel (a chubby, black-furred little rascal) who lives out back of my apartment already beat me to all the acorns nearby.
It started taking the acorns out of the tree in mid-summer, actually — while they were still green. Ew. Eating a green acorn seems like the squirrel equivalent of a eating a bright green banana, but I guess the squirrel knows what it’s doing.
So, instead of acorns, these shortbread-like cookies are made with brown butter, ground walnuts, and vanilla. Then they’re dipped in chocolate and more walnuts.
See? Not being a squirrel has its advantages.
In other news, I’m just starting my second week of pastry school.
It’s a condensed program, a hardcore grind, and I do intend to write all about it (especially since I’ve had so many people asking me about it), but, as far as my life goes, as a dedicated blogger and as a dedicated student, I’ve definitely got to learn the fine art of pacing myself and managing my time better than ever before — or else I won’t make it through the next six months of training. Seriously.
But all those pastry school details are a story for later this week.
In the meantime: cookies!
Adorable Acorn Cookies
*adapted from The Gourmet Cookie Book
- 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and browned
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 3 tablespoons half & half cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 & 1/2 cups walnuts pieces, divided
- 6 oz. (170 grams) bitter-sweet chocolate, chopped
Measure one cup of walnut pieces and finely grind them in a food processor. Finely chop the remaining half cup of walnut pieces and set aside.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and finely ground walnuts. Set aside.
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt and brown the butter. The butter is sufficiently browned when it turns an amber colour and becomes extremely fragrant. Set aside and allow to cool.
Cream together the shortening and brown sugar, then add the browned butter, cream, and vanilla extract. Stir until smooth.
Add the sifted flour-walnut mixture and stir until incorporated.
Wrap the dough tightly in clingfilm and chill for 90 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Pinch off 2-tablespoon-sized bits of dough and roll them into balls. Flatten the balls to about 1 cm thick on the cookie sheet, then use your fingers to taper one end, forming an acorn shape. Repeat with all the dough, leaving little room between the shaped cookies.
Bake for 14 ~ 16 minutes, or until the edges are brown and the cookies are golden all over.
Cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
Once the cookies are completely cool, melt the bitter-sweet chocolate over a double boiler. Dip the wide ends of the cookies into the melted chocolate, then into the remaining finely chopped walnuts.
Place the cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or wax paper, then place the sheet in the fridge to set the chocolate.
This recipe makes about 20 (very freezable) cookies — if you want to save some for later, make sure to store them in an airtight container between sheets of wax paper.
Enjoy these acorn cookies with a steamed milk or latte, and make sure to leave one outside to share with your neighbourhood squirrels.
Ha! Kidding — just kidding! Well…
They are trying to get fat for the winter, y’know.