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Chinese Walnut Cookies

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Chinese Walnut Cookies

Chinese walnut cookies, crumbly, crunchy and utterly delicious. So much better than any fortune cookies. Perfect for Chinese New Year.

cookies, walnuts and a red ribbon on a black board

We eat a lot of Chinese food, but when it came to cookies I could only think of the fortune cookies. Which are inedible, at least those standard ones we always get in the restaurants at the end of the meal.

But these Chinese walnut cookies are so much better, world’s apart. Nutty, crunchy and slightly crumbly, pleasantly sweet and really tasting of walnuts.

These cookies or Hup Toh Soh are eaten around the Chinese New Year (which is next week). In Chinese culture walnuts are a symbol of happiness, so aren’t these the perfect thing to eat at the beginning of a new year?

And try some more sweet treats to make you happy! How about some Spanish Polvorones, Argentinian Alfajores, or German Spitzbuben?

cookies with walnuts and a red ribbon in between

What do you need?

  • Flour (I prefer cake/pastry flour), baking powder, sugar – in this case, icing sugar -, salt. Egg yolk and a little milk for brushing.
  • Butter: traditionally they are made with lard, but as I didn’t have any at the moment, I went for butter. It works very well, they are rich and delicious.
  • Walnuts: ground ones for the dough and also halved or quartered ones for the topping.
collage of two pictures of walnut cookies on a black board

How to make Chinese walnut cookies?

Best tip: use a digital kitchen scale to measure the ingredients. (Amazon affiliate link). Although I convert the recipe to cups, when it comes to baking, I don’t recommend using any cups at all. Especially when it comes to measuring flour and butter, the difference between what you need and what you get can ruin a recipe.

Steps:

  • Mix together the flour and the baking powder. Add the cubed butter, ground walnuts, icing sugar, egg, and salt. Mix together.
  • Form a dough ball, wrap it well and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. You can make the dough up to 3 days in advance and keep it refrigerated in an airtight container.
  • Form the balls by rolling some dough between your palms. They should be about the size of a larger walnut.
  • Place them on the prepared baking trays. Leave some space in between, they will spread a little.
  • Beat the egg yolk and milk together in a small bowl, and use it for brushing.
  • Lightly press a walnut half or quarter (depending on their size), on each cookie.
  • Bake for about 13-14 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Leave to rest on the tray for a few minutes, if you try to move them too soon they will break.
  • Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Keep in airtight containers at room temperature.
chinese new year cookies on a black background

Can you make ahead and can you freeze the dough?

The dough for the Chinese walnut cookies can be made for up to 3 days ahead. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container.

You can also freeze the dough for up to 3 months. It is preferable to roll the balls first, place them on a tray or large platter, and freeze. Once solid, transfer to freezer containers.

More Chinese-style recipes:

cookies, walnuts and a red ribbon on a black board

Chinese Walnut Cookies

Yield: 35-40
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 34 minutes

Chinese walnut cookies, crumbly, crunchy and utterly delicious. So much better than any fortune cookies. Perfect for celebrating the Chinese New Year.

Ingredients

  • 300 g/ 10.6 oz/ 2 ½ cups flour (Note 2)
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 200 g/ 7 oz/ ¾ cups + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 130 g/ 4.6 oz/ 1 cup ground walnuts
  • 120 g/ 4.2 oz/ 1 ¼ cup icing sugar
  • 1 egg (medium Germany, large US)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • walnut halves or quarters as required (about 35-40)

Instructions

  1. Mix together the flour and the baking powder.
  2. Add the cubed butter, ground walnuts, icing sugar, egg, and salt. Mix together.
  3. Form a dough ball, wrap it in cling film/plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two or three baking trays with baking paper.
  5. Form balls about the size of a large walnut, press them lightly, and place them on the prepared baking trays. Leave some space between the cookies.
  6. Beat the egg yolk and milk together. Use the mixture to brush the cookies.
  7. Place a walnut half or quarter (depending on their size) on each cookie.
  8. Bake for about 13-14 minutes or until lightly browned. Leave to rest on the tray for a few minutes, transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
  9. Keep in airtight containers at room temperature.

Notes

    1. Use a digital kitchen scale to measure the ingredients, cup measuring can lead to disasters in baking. (Amazon affiliate link)
    2. I prefer to use cake/pastry flour, but all-purpose should be fine as well.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 40 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 104Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 9mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 2g

Nutritional information is not always accurate.

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