This little gem of a cookie combines the great taste of chocolate with crunchy walnuts. It has been a popular recipe in my family, first introduced to me by my grandmother, Kate. I made the cookies as a teen and was excited to share them. Her comment after trying them was, “You measured the chocolate.” I explained I followed her recipe. Baking is about chemistry and proper mixing. That was not the kind of baker she was. I don’t know how she was so successful with her baking because she would tell us to “put it in till it looks right.”
Do not be afraid to add extra powdered cocoa to this recipe. I have done so in memory of Kate with good outcomes, but these cookies can get crumbly so experiment with caution.
1 cup butter
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, with yolks and whites separated
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
Dash of salt
3/4 cup walnuts chopped finely (I tend to always need lots more nuts. Chopping in food processor works best.)
6-12 oz of mini chocolate chips or regular semi-sweet chocolate chips
Cream butter, cocoa, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla.
Add flour and salt.
Roll dough into small teaspoon-sized balls.
Dip into beaten egg whites then roll in nuts.
Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment.
Make a thumbprint in the center of the cookie. I often use the top end of my wooden spoon to get a small, circular indent. If dough is too dry, it may crumble apart when thumprint is being made.
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
As soon as cookies are taken out of oven, place chocolate chips in the indented center or thumprint. Allow them to melt a few minutes and then smooth with a knife.
I’m including the photo below to show the one cookie in the center/front which crumbled and fell apart. Sometimes you can fix this by add adding more chocolate chips which melt in the crevices and hold it together. If that doesn’t work, you’ve got a reject to sample!
And here is a classic photo of my Italian grandparents at the wedding of my parents in the early 50s. Left to right, Tony and his wife, Kate, and Josephine and her husband, Joe.