Old-Fashioned Black Walnut Cookie Recipe

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Wednesday, December 18, 1912:  Am beginning to get ready for Christmas. Picked out some walnut bits.

black walnut cookies

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

What was Grandma going to make with the walnuts?  Maybe she made cookies . Here’s an old recipe for Black Walnut Cookies.

Old-Fashioned Black Walnut Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup milk

1 teaspoon vinegar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups flour

3/4 cup coarsely chopped black walnuts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix butter, brown sugar, and eggs together. Stir  in milk and  vinegar. Then, stir in baking soda and salt. Add flour and stir until combined. Stir in black walnuts. Chill in refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour. Drop rounded teaspoons about 2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 8 – 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Yield: approximately 3 dozen cookies

I love these cookies. They are an old-fashioned soft cookie with the robust, rich taste of black walnuts.

Here are several previous posts about Black Walnuts that you might enjoy:

How to Crack Black Walnuts

Hulling Black Walnuts

Old-Time Black Walnut Cake Recipe

14 thoughts on “Old-Fashioned Black Walnut Cookie Recipe

  1. As I prepare some baking for Christmas it is interesting to read what Helena would have been baking. Did she make these often when you were growing up?

    1. For many years, a week or so before Christmas, Grandma would over to our house for a cookie baking marathon. My mother, brother, Grandma, and I would bake many different varieties of cookies. Grandma always brought a large wicker basket filled with ingredients and her recipe box. We’d have fun looking through the recipes and deciding which cookies to make. We always made cut-out cookies–but beyond that we’d make a mixture of old-favorites and new cookies.

  2. These are good! Even though we had several black walnut trees on the farm where I grew up, I can no longer eat walnuts, but I can eat almonds. So I baked a batch of these, using almond flavoring and just put one whole almond on top of each spoonful of batter before popping into the oven. They turned out just perfect – very tasty! Thanks.

  3. Your cooky baking experience makes me want to do something like that. I don’t remember ever cooking with either of my grandmothers and rarely with my mother. Never really thought about that before.

    1. Authentic hundred-year-old recipes for cookies sometimes called for sour (raw) milk. Now that milk is pastuerized, and milk doesn’t sour in the same way that it did in the past, vinegar is sometimes added to update those old recipes.

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