Grandma’s Black Walnut Cookies

Grandma’s Black Walnut Cookies

Grandma's Black Walnut Cookies historic classic from the 1930's

I love to read cookbooks. Always have.  When I find a gem of a cookbook I want it for my own. Sometimes I have to settle for copying my favorite recipes from it.

This past summer I spent some time just hanging out with my parents alone.  As they get older I am trying to spend a little more time with them.  One afternoon I was going through some cookbooks that my mother has.  I found one that dated back to the 1930’s. My mom said it was my grandmother’s.  It had a lot of recipes made out of ingredients that was unfamiliar to me.  I guess we have changed what we eat the past eighty-four years.  Hopefully for the better. 

As I was turning the pages searching for a great molasses cookie I found a Black Walnut Cookie Recipe.  I had to write it down so I could try it.  I love black walnut flavoring so it sounded delicious. 

As I went to the store for black walnuts I had no trouble finding them. Which totally surprised me.  I thought I would have to use regular walnuts. Wahoo! I did not.

Are you familiar with the difference between walnuts? Most of the walnuts we eat today are actually English walnuts, which have a milder taste and broader appeal. They also have thinner, easier-to-crack shells.  Their shells are thick, tough to crack, and will likely stain your hands. Black walnuts are stronger in flavor.  They grow wild in North America. So they are little more rare to find.

  I have found black walnut flavoring at a local candy and cake distribution store. It is also available on line at

As I made this recipe I thought of how many cooks harvested wild black walnuts 84 years ago. A lot of our cooking has changed but Grandma’s Black Walnut Cookies are divine. 


Grandma's Black Walnut Cookies
Serves 48
Crisp flavorful black walnut cookie with smear of black walnut cream cheese frosting.
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Prep Time
2 hr
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
2 hr 10 min
Prep Time
2 hr
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
2 hr 10 min
155 calories
22 g
18 g
7 g
1 g
4 g
36 g
62 g
15 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 155
Calories from Fat 62
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g
Saturated Fat 4g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 18mg
Sodium 62mg
Total Carbohydrates 22g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 15g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1 cup butter
  2. 1 cup brown sugar
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  5. 3 cups flour
  6. 1/4 tsp salt
  7. 1 tsp vanilla
  8. 1 tsp black walnut flavoring
  9. Frosting
  10. 1/4 cup butter
  11. 1/4 cup cream cheese
  12. 2 cups powdered sugar
  13. 1/2 tsp salt
  14. 1/2 tsp vanilla
  15. 1/2 tsp black walnut extract
  1. Cream sugars. Add egg and nutmeg. Add flour one cup at time. Add salt, vanilla and black walnut extract until mixed thoroughly. The texture will be dry but you will be able to mold it.
  2. Dividing dough into 3 sections. Roll into one inch rolls. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the cookies are firm.
  3. Remove the plastic wrap and cut into 1/8 inch slices , place on wax paper lined baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Change waxed paper between batches. Cool before frosting.
  4. Frosting
  5. Cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and seasonings. If the mixture is too thick thin it with a tablespoon or two of hot water.
  6. Top with crushed black walnut pieces.
  1. If you don't have waxed paper use parchment paper or grease the baking sheet.
Pantry Friendly Cooking

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LeAnn teaches cooking classes throughout the Salt Lake City area. Recently featured in Taste of Home Magazine, runner up in the Cache Valley Cheese Signature dish contest and Winner of Better Recipes Best Blogger Potluck Recipe. Created customed recipes for Hi Grade Meats to use in their promotions, She has been a frequent guest on Good Things Utah, featured chef on Studio 5, the CW 30 and at the Salt Lake Tribune Home and Garden Show. She recently auditioned for the Fox 13 show Master Chef. She hopes her passion and love of cooking will inspire you to cook from your pantry and create your own cuisine traditions. Her cookbook "Pantry Friendly Mexican Cooking is available at She is currently working on a 2nd book titled Pantry-Friendly Anti-Aging Cooking and a video series called Cook Away Hunger.

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