Nuts to You!

It’s almost time to harvest walnuts in Sonoma. Some trees are already releasing their taupy-brown treasures from the green cocoons that enfolded them gently through spring and summer.

Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, the “baking holidays” are just around the corner. Make it easy by being prepared. Choose a simple recipe, freeze your creations, and then serve or wrap-up for the specific occasion.

The following two recipes make about 5 dozen each. If there is a trick to them it’s to drop only by the half teaspoon and leave plenty of room between each, about 2″.  And, use a cushioned cookie baking pan lined with baking parchment to prevent burning. When baked, let them rest on the baking sheet for a few minutes to stiffen and set, then remove to a cooling rack until ready to pack.IMG_0531

Farmer’s Lace Cookies (like Florentines without the fruit): 1/3 cup sifted flour, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, pinch salt, 1/4 cup softened sweet butter, 1 c. brown sugar, 1 egg – well beaten, 1 c. somewhat finely chopped walnuts. Sift dry ingredients together. In a medium bowl, blend butter and sugar, then the dry ingredients. Add the egg and walnuts and blend thoroughly.Preheat oven to 350.

Drop the thin batter onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for  5 – 6 minutes, following the “tips” above.

Wing’s Walnut Cookies: 1/4 lb. softened butter, 1 c. sugar, 1 c. flour, sifted with 1 Tbsp. baking powder, pinch of salt, 1 egg, 2 Tbsp. milk, 1 Tbsp. vanilla, 4 Tbsp. finely chopped walnuts.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour, baking powder and salt, and blend well. Beat the egg, milk, and vanilla together. Slowly add to the flour mixture. Add chopped nuts, distributing evenly. Drop by the teaspoonful onto a well-greased cookie sheet two inches apart. Bake at 325 degrees for about 12 minutes or until the edges are light golden brown.IMG_0594

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