The Great Cookie Experiment – Walnut Bars
Some of you may recall that I made Black Walnut Cookies a couple of months ago. At the time, I couldn’t find black walnuts, and made do with regular English walnuts. Jana found me black walnuts and gave them to me as a gift at Christmas. As I was making this recipe, I decided to make good use of the gift and use the black walnuts. After making the recipe, I came to a surprising conclusion.
I don’t like black walnuts.
Seriously, I have no problem with other walnuts, pecans, cashews, almonds, whatever, but the mustiness of the black walnut was too overpowering. I didn’t like them at all! My grandfather had a black walnut tree when I was growing up, and I used to like them then, but whatever happened, I don’t like them now.
That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with the recipe. It cooks up similarly to a pecan pie bar, so it’s nutty and chewy ( and if you use black walnuts, pretty yucky). As an additional bonus, there’s a lemon glaze that goes over the top of the bars that is amazing. It was my favorite part of the cookie, and really added a great level of flavor on top of the walnut layer of the bar. Or at least it would if it wasn’t made with yucky black walnuts.
My mother-in-law loved the cookies, and loved the black walnuts. She ate two, which is not typical for her, and if I’d been smart, I would have packaged up the rest and sent them home with her. My husband thought they were pretty good too, so it must be in the blood. My daughter takes after me, and hated them just as much as I did. She brought them to her friends at school, and while some liked them, most took a taste and dumped them in the garbage.
Either way, this is definitely not a winning cookie if you stick with black walnuts. Make it with English walnuts, and I think you’ll be happy with them.
Unless you don’t like English walnuts either.
½ cup butter, softened
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp vanilla
1 ¼ cups flour
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cups brown sugar
2 Tbl flour
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ cups chopped walnuts (NOT black walnuts! Use regular grocery store walnuts!)
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
2-3 Tablespoons lemon juice
Cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour and salt and add to creamed mixture. Mix well. Press onto the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, mix filling. Combine eggs, brown sugar, flour, vanilla, salt and baking powder. Stir in walnuts. Spread over the crust. Bake for 25 minutes or until the filling is golden brown. Cool. Combine powdered sugar and enough lemon juice to make a spreadable consistency. Spread over filling. Let stand until set before cutting into bars. Makes about 2 ½ dozen.