Nuts for Cookies

Do you get the feeling- as I sometimes do- that people have lost the joy of eating?

I might sound a little off, because of the growing number of television food shows, the proliferation of food know-how and recipes on the web, and the number of cookbooks released each day. Then there are those news reports about the obesity epidemic that’s all around us in the developed world.

But hear me out.

When I talk about losing the joy of eating, I don’t necessarily mean people aren’t eating. Sure, there are still a good number of people out there who enjoy cooking and eating great food. But let’s admit it: a majority among us are either scarfing unhealthy food at fast-food joints- a surefire way to gain unwanted pounds- or are depriving themselves of real food as they follow some weird diet or another.

Now I am as guilty as the next girl of worrying about my weight, but I have never believed- and never will- in depriving myself. In fact, I find that when I do, I only end up feeling miserable and then bingeing on food that’s not good for me. So I long ago came up with a formula that works for me and that’s been touted by every nutritionist out there: moderation.

I am no saint and, of course, I stray as often as possible. But one way I’ve discovered to have my cookie and eat it too is to cook my favorite foods with healthier ingredients.

When I bake cookies, like with all other foods I cook or bake, I use whole-wheat pastry flour instead of white all-purpose. I use turbinado instead of refined sugar. And I use canola oil or low-calorie vegan “butter” instead of regular butter which, as you know, is clogged with unhealthy saturated fats and cholesterol. Since I don’t use eggs in my kitchen, I don’t have to worry about the sat fats in egg yolks.

I also like adding veggies or fruits to baked goods whenever I can, or nuts.

The cookie recipe I’m sharing today is one of my favorites, not just because this is a cookie that’s absolutely delicious with a shortbread-y texture that’s to die for, but it also doesn’t make me feel horrible a minute after I’ve eaten it.

The star of this cookie is the mighty walnut. Walnuts are one of the healthiest and most delicious nuts you can eat, and although they do contain fats, they are the good-for-you kind. How much more can you ask of a nut?

I want to apologize for my spotty blogging in recent days. I’ve been a bit overwhelmed at work and home with other matters, and my cooking- and therefore blogging- have taken a backseat. But I promise I’m on the way back, and will soon be around both visiting your wonderful blogs and writing more on mine.


Walnut Cookies


2 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour

2 tsp cinnamon powder

2 tbsp zero-trans-fat vegetable shortening

4 tbsp canola (or other vegetable) oil

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 cup walnuts, powdered fine in a food processor or spice grinder

In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat the shortening, canola oil and sugar together until light and white and fluffy

Add the baking powder, salt, vanilla extract and blend well until mixture is smooth.

Add flour, cinnamon powder and powdered walnuts and mix.

Roll into small balls, about 1-inch in diameter, and place on a greased cookie sheet, one inch apart. Press down to form discs.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 20-22 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through the baking. Remove when the cookies are lightly browned at the bottom.

Place the baking sheet on a rack and let the cookies cool completely before removing them gently with a ladle. Cool thoroughly on a rack.

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

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  1. says

    Cookies look good, Vaishu. I noticed that the posts were getting sporadic but we all have a real life that should take precedence so it is understandable. I am on leave so I have lots of time this month:).

    We do not get whole wheat pastry flour but I use ready whole wheat flour like Ashirwaad, pillsbury etc., as the one I get milled is ‘mota’ variety – with lot of bran and thick. I am thinking the other way round too – am I spending too much on eating! Good tofu costs me a bomb here, and the tongue is not happy any more with soyfit. Organic food which logically should be cheap is three times the price of normally available food items.

  2. says

    Yeah i totally agree about the fight with the bulge. For me it is a ongoing process, but i don’t deprive myself , atleast i try not to.
    Love the cookies they look really helthy anddelicious.
    Wish i made more cookies with whole wheat flour.

  3. says

    hi Vaishali, what an awesome post! I have been missing your previous ones for a month or so now (hope to catch up soon), and this definitely gives me food for thought. How to cook healthy food and still eat what you love:-) These cookies are so healthy with the walnuts in them, and your picture is just perfect. Please collect the award for you at my blog.

  4. says

    Love the cookies, they look delightful. I agree, I find that using healthier ingredients in cooking and in baking makes it so much easier to indulge without the guilt !

  5. says

    I have been reading your comments in my daughter’s Blog for a long time.It has maturity and always precise.Thought of visiting your blog to-day.It is awesome.AND YOU ARE SPREADING VEGETARIANISM.WE TOO ARE SINCE BIRTH.
    Keep rocking
    Ramkumar(Mahimaa’s father)

  6. says

    Hi, I just found this blog and those cookies look delicious! I’m looking forward to making them, one question though. Will it be okay if I used regular flour instead of the WWpastry flour?
    Thanks :)

  7. says

    I enjoy walnuts in cookies and cakes and your cookies look plump and nice.
    Weight is a problem for many of us (myself included) but starving oneself is not the solution. Healthy eating and moderation is definitely the direction to go.

  8. Dani says

    I have tried two cookie recipes from your blog, and both times the dough turned out very dry. At the first time I though the problem was that I maybe used too little chocolate (it was this recipe: ), but the same happened again with this one. For this I used less than 2 cups of flour, and still had to add water to be able to shape the dough at all.

    Do you have any idea what the problem might be? The cup used in your recipes is the US measuring cup of 2.37 desiliters, right?

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