Friday, December 7, 2012

Cracking Walnuts / White Chocolate, Cranberry, Walnut Cookies

Man, I really need to work on naming my cookies shorter names. 
From now on I will call them Bud Cookies.
Here's why...
We had a sweet neighbor, Bud, who would generously allow our family to gather walnuts from under his walnut tree. We'd get a huge bag full that would last almost a whole year! See this bag? That's about 1/4 of what we started out with. (Not sure why the Chex were on the table at this point in the afternoon... You ever have random things pop up in your life?) Anyway, Bud was recently moved to a care facility and our neighborhood truly misses him. In his honor, we will call these Bud Cookies.

So we don't have a real nut cracker. I can't remember owning one the whole 14 years we've been married. Aha! There's more than one way to crack a nut.

I gave each of the kids a kitchen towel and a heavy spoon or ice cream scooper. They put the nuts in the towel and then hit them really hard. Oh my gosh! You would not believe how much fun they had. Seriously, I knew kids liked to make noise and break things but they were at it for a good hour before they even realized they were working.

Tip #1 Make sure kids don't have to share the hammer/ice cream scoop or towel. If they have to wait around they will get bored. Even my 4-year-old got her own set. I was shocked at the pure joy on her little face as she demolished walnuts.

Tip #2 Do not do this on your kitchen table if you care about the finish. There's a LOT of banging going on here and if your table is precious you'll want to have them work at the counter.

Tip #3 Tune out the noise. It sounded like Santa's workshop in here. I think it would have driven Hubby out of the house pretty fast if he'd been home. If you need to, wear ear plugs.

So, when we got done cracking the nuts and baking the cookies, I whipped up these cute little boxes that I found at Cosmo Cricket

They hold six cookies perfectly. I lined them with wax paper before adding the cookies to keep any oils/fats from soiling the boxes. I was giving them away that day but if I was going to store them I would put the cookies in a zip-top bag before putting them in the box.

Here's your change to make a cookie that looks so festive with the red and white. If you wrapped them in green you'd have the perfect neighbor gift. I will be making more to pass out on our annual delivery route. I don't think we'll be making these for Santa. (Hubby said he heard Santa doesn't like nuts. I think it's a vicious rumor and he's probably on the naughty list for even bringing it up!)

Click here to print this recipe.
Bud Cookies
Makes 24 cookies

1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1/4 cup butter flavored shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups flour
1 small box vanilla pudding
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup craisins
1/2 cup walnuts


1. Cream together the butter, shortening, sugar and brown sugar.
2. Add the eggs and beat until fluffy.
3. Add vanilla, baking soda, salt, flour and pudding. Mix together until thick dough forms.
4. Add the chips, craisins and nuts and mix them into the dough. You don't have to mix well. If you sprinkle each one over the dough and then barely mix it together you'll get a good lookin' - and tastin'- cookie.
5. Place by rounded tablespoonfuls on an ungreased cookie sheet.
6. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 9-11 minutes.

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