Chocolate Walnut Cookies Recipe

On Sunday I woke up from an early afternoon nap with a seasonal itch to bake cookies.

Now, at any given moment I carry around in my brain a list of recently acquired, exciting ingredients I want to use, and in my half-slumber I started to review them. Jumping to the forefront were the broken walnuts I’d gotten for a good price at the organic store — if you’re going to chop them, why buy whole kernels? — and a handsome bag of grated chocolate from Alain Ducasse’s bean-to-bar manufacture*, which I’d been sneaking a spoonful of here and there while trying to think of a more respectable use for it.

Chocolate walnut cookies; that’s what I was going to make.

I wanted a simple, one-bowl cookie base that would get me from start to finish in under an hour, and I wanted something reasonably nutritious so I could share with my toddler without triggering a surprise inspection from the bad parent police. The recipe for these walnut and date cookies, which I’ve been making regularly for the past three years, fit the bill perfectly.

Once the cookies had cooled on the window sill, we all agreed they were well worth the wait.

Rice flour and rolled millet, equal parts finely chopped walnuts and grated chocolate, a little cinnamon and a sprinkle of sea salt on top — these were easily made, swiftly shaped into small pucks, and soon inserted into the oven. The only difficulty then was to find activities tempting enough to distract said child from the oven, at which he would otherwise be pointing while repeating, with increasing urgency, “Gâteau ! Gâteau !”

And once the cookies had cooled on the window sill, we all agreed they were well worth the wait: crisp-edged but tender in the middle, rich with the perfect flavor combo of walnut and chocolate, they were the ideal snack for the Christmas tree decorating session we held later that day, with glasses of mulled apple cider for the grownups.

Join the conversation!

What would you have done with the broken walnuts and grated chocolate? (I have some of both left.) And are there snacks you particularly like to keep around this time of year?

About the cinnamon I use

I am in love with the fresh cinnamon I order from Cinnamon Hill, a small company that specializes in sourcing and selling the highest-quality, freshest cinnamon from Sri Lanka and Vietnam (ordinary cinnamon usually comes from China or Indonesia). I get whole sticks, and grate them with the beautifully crafted (and highly giftable!) cinnamon grater that Cinnamon Hill has designed. Truly, you don’t know what cinnamon tastes like until you’ve tried freshly harvested, freshly grated, top-grade cinnamon, and it makes an amazing difference in this recipe.

Chocolate Walnut Cookies

*Disclosure: I received the bag of grated chocolate from Alain Ducasse’s PR department, with no obligation to write about it. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Chocolate Walnut Cookies Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Makes about 36 small cookies.

Chocolate Walnut Cookies Recipe


  • 140 grams (5 ounces, about 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon) brown rice flour (substitute wheat flour if preferred)
  • 80 grams (3/4 cup) rolled millet (substitute other rolled grains, such as quinoa, spelt, or oats)
  • 80 grams (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) unrefined light cane sugar
  • 75 grams (2 2/3 ounces, about 3/4 cup) walnut halves, finely chopped (chop them super finely if you're sharing with a young child)
  • 75 grams (2 2/3 ounces) dark chocolate, finely grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I use fresh cinnamon from Cinnamon Hill)
  • 1 large egg (substitute 2 tablespoons ground flax seed soaked in 2 tablespoons water to veganize)
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) plain yogurt (substitute silken tofu or non-dairy milk to veganize)
  • salt flakes


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F) and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, rolled millet, sugar, walnuts, chocolate, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  3. Add the egg, oil, and yogurt, and stir them in until the dough comes together. It should be moist enough that you can shape cookies with it, but not so moist as to be gooey. Add a little yogurt or flour as needed to adjust the consistency.
  4. Scoop out pieces of dough, about the size of a walnut, and shape into balls. Arrange on the prepared baking sheet, giving them a little room to expand. Flatten slightly with the back of a wet tablespoon, and sprinkle the tops with a little salt.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, until set. Transfer to a cooling rack.


The cookies' texture is most pleasant on the day they're baked, but they will keep well for a few days in an airtight container.
  • These sound yummy and not too sweet! Are they crunchy or soft?

    • They are crisp at the edges and soft in the middle.

  • I make version of Suzanne Goin’s walnut wedge with the nuts. Chocolate is easily eaten without hesitation, no matter the form. And, if it lasts, I can’t stay away from a flourless chocolate torte recipe. Thanks for sharing your recipe– a new one for me to try!

    • I had to look up the recipe for the walnut wedge — love the name and the concept!

  • Simply mouth watering! I’m thinking truffles with these two… They’re a perfect seasonal gift and I bet chocolate truffles rolled in broken walnuts would be a success ;)

  • Yum, these look delicious! I probably would have made a pan of brownies, I love mine loaded with walnuts!

  • Is your toddler old enough to help stir the cookie dough, as well as old enough to eat the results?

    If it were me, I would melt the leftover chocolate, stir in the walnut pieces, and allow teaspoonsful of the mixture to dry on a silicone baking sheet. I might add some dried cranberries once half the mixture was out. Much nicer than commercial chocolates!

    Indeed, on Friday I am going to do just that – some 70% dark chocolate, and some dried prunes and apricots. These will be put in chocolate boxes (available, I discovered, from hobby stores as well as on-line) and presented to my adoring family! There will also be the traditional truffles – basically, a stiff ganache flavoured with whatever spirits I can best spare a couple of teaspoons of – probably some cranberry and orange gin I have that wants using. I have some chocolate moulds for these, but you can also just roll teaspoonsful of the cooled mixture into little balls, and perhaps roll them in cocoa powder. My grandmother used to make truffles with a butter icing mix, but I prefer ganache. Leave out the booze if the toddler is to be allowed any!

    • All such wonderful sounding treats, Annabel, how fortunate your family is!

      Milan isn’t yet super interested in helping me in the kitchen. He likes to play with the utensils and he does enjoy working the salad spinner, but he hasn’t reached the “stir the batter” stage yet. :)

  • charmain

    I love the ideas of candies as presented above. Here is another.

    Since this is the citrus season I slice the rind off oranges before peeling or juicing the orange. I have this lovely little gadget that takes the rind off in little strips – like a bartender would use. It saves removing the pith and cutting the rind into strips.

    I put the rind on a piece of wax paper to dry – and save up the rind of a few oranges so that I do not repeatedly have to make candied orange peel – may as well do a larger amount in one batch. Tip – do not wrap in plastic, let them dry out.

    I make candied orange peel . Some I may sugar for decorative or nibbling use, but most is not. I keep the rest and use in cookies, cakes, decoration, or in adult drinks (orange vodka, gin martinis, Grand Marnier, Blueberry tea -which is Amaretto, Grand Marnier, topped with hot black tea and served in a Brandy snifter to enjoy the aroma – a divine warm up)

    BUT as what to do with the walnuts & chocolate, just melt the chocolate (in a glass measuring cup with spout is easiest-microwave) and pour a bit into those lovely little foil cups that look like little cupcake wraps. Top with the peel and the walnuts – and salt if you wish. Voila! Lovely pastilles of chocolate when they harden.

    As for the syrup left over from the sugaring, drain it and use for pancakes, crepes etc. Or boil it down into a caramel for ice cream or flans.

    As you can see I am thrifty and hate spoiling anything from orange peels to syrup ! Joyeux Noel & Bonne Annee

  • Fantastic idea, here. Basic and so delicious; thanks for reminding us that often time simple is best, all around!

  • Kristin

    I’m thinking some kind of walnut bread, not too sweet, either quick or yeasted, that you would slice, toast, butter and sprinkle with the chocolate. I love pondering these types of questions! Thanks for a delicious daydream.

    • Using the grated chocolate to sprinkle over toasted buttered bread (especially walnut!) sounds excellent. Thanks for playing!

  • This seems like a great recipe. Must try it. And it’s simple enough to involve my toddler in the preparation. Very cool!

    • Let me know if you try it, and I hope your child enjoys the process!

      • Lars loved preparing these. And I don’t think they’ll last long in the cookie jar. They are delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  • I would definitely use the walnuts for baking – perhaps chopped a little finer, in the topping for an apple crumble?

    My favourite seasonal treat to keep around is pain d’epices – your recipe!

    • I’m so glad, Rachel! If you get a chance to take a look at the berawecka from my latest book, I think you might like that one too.

  • zoe

    These look absolutely delicious! We have walnut trees at home (New Zealand) so I’m always looking for recipes for autumn. I’ve also experimented using ground walnuts (fresh walnuts + food processor) in recipes that call for ground almonds – everything from macarons to christmas cake. Tasty as.

    • Oh, to have my own walnut trees! Such a luxury! They certainly make anything almond-flavored even more sophisticated.

  • Katie

    These look delicious and I must try– I was wondering about the original recipe you make other times of the year with dates instead of chocolate. Is the recipe the same as the one posted but with the same amount of dates switched out in place of chocolate? Thanks!

  • shivangni

    This recipe sounds so simple that even I will try it. Other wise I just enjoy reading your blog but living in India, don’t have much idea about the ingredients, you have helpfully given alternates so I should be able to impress my family.
    Can I use cocoa powder instead of grated chocolate?

  • stacy harrell mathers

    I have two trees of ripe kumquats in December and January and the last couple of years have come up with blanching them for just a few seconds in water and cutting a small opening to squeeze out the pulp, let dry and dip in melted chocolate. It’s very quick and I only dip half the fruit in the rich chocolate. Very pretty and good for you! I also stuff them with herbed goat cheese. My dear friend Serpil and her lovely family have taught me to use walnuts ground with some sun dried tomatoes on little toasts with just a drop of ghi. It’s a flavor explosion. The nuttier the bread, the better.

    • Wow, these ideas sound wonderful, thank you for sharing!

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