December 17, 2010

Spiced Black Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup flour
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup coarsely chopped black walnuts
2 egg, at room temperature
4 tablespoons blackstrap rum
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon mace

Preheat the oven to 350. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a medium sized bowl combine flour, salt, and baking powder. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the egg and rum and combine thoroughly. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the sweetened butter and mix until a very thick dough forms. Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts. Distribute them evenly in the batter. Form cookies by dropping 1 teaspoon of dough on the sheet two inches apart. Flatten slightly then bake until light brown, about 12 minutes. Remove (using a flat turner or spatula) to a wire rack to cool.

Yield: about 2 dozen cookies

Note: This is a really easy recipe to double or even halve.

My thoughts:
Black walnuts are native to Maryland but as the saying goes, they are a tough nut to crack. They have very hard shells and prepping the nuts for use is pretty time consuming. Luckily, they are pretty easy to find, especially during the holiday season, in grocery stores. I found some at Costco that were very fresh and affordable. They are a bit more robust flavored than regular walnuts and well worth seeking out. I love this cookie because it doesn't stray too far from the traditional chocolate chip cookie but the spices and walnuts make it more festive. The best of both worlds!