Recipe courtesy of David Crofton and Dawn Casale

Cream Cheese Shortbread with Toasted Walnuts

Jane it is, plain it's not. Well, plainly delicious, yes, definitely. The crumb of this cookie is so fine and light that it literally melts in your mouth. For this reason, I have the ability to eat many of them. The other reason I am a big fan of Janes is that I'm a sucker for a flavorful but very simple cookie. It's undoubtedly something I get from my mom, who prefers sweets that are sans chocolate, buttercream, or any of the other things that attract many other people to a dessert. This cookie would be the one she would pick off of a gigantic platter of holiday treats. I probably would too.
  • Yield: Makes about 36 cookies
Share This Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup walnuts

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon table salt

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Place the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for about 10 minutes. Let the nuts cool (leave the oven on). When the walnuts are cool enough to handle, put them in a food processor and pulse 2 or 3 times, until all of the large pieces have been chopped. 
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the chopped walnuts, and stir to combine. 
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, cream cheese, and sugar on medium speed until the mixture is light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the vanilla and mix on medium speed for 1 minute. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the flour mixture, and mix for 20 seconds. Take the mixing bowl off the mixer and finish mixing the dough with a rubber spatula. 
  5. Scoop out a small round of dough, about 1 1/2 tablespoons in size. Roll the scoop into a ball, place it on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and gently press the ball. Repeat, leaving 1 inch between cookies. 
  6. Bake the cookies for 14 to 16 minutes, until they are light brown around the edges. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let them cool.

Cook’s Note

If you can find dulce de leche at your market and you're in a sassy mood, go ahead and sandwich two of these cookies together with some of the caramel spread.

Fudge Factor

Chocolate Desserts

Indulge in our decadent chocolate desserts, from cookies and cakes to puddings, souffles and truffles.

Over-the-Top-Delicious Treats to Satisfy Your Food Obsession

Are you infatuated with ice cream? Do you lust over lobster? Swoon at the sight of chocolate? Here's the best recipe for each food …

Essentials: Chocolate Basics Sep 1, 2016

Satisfy that chocolate craving in your very own kitchen. All you need is baking chocolate and a little know-how. It also helps to …

Review: Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert's Chocolate Bar Nov 16, 2012

Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert have teamed up with master chocolatier Christopher Curtin to create the "Good & Evil" chocolate b …

How-To: Chocolate Cream Puffs

Make this classic and elegant French dessert using our step-by-step guide.

Easy Gift Idea: Chocolate-Covered Toffee Feb 7, 2013

Looking for an easy gift idea? Cooking Channel's recipe for Chocolate-Covered Toffee is just the ticket. A touch of coffee in the …

How to Chop and Melt Chocolate

Lots of recipes call for melted chocolate. Follow these step-by-step instructions to do it properly.

The Craziest Chocolate Creations for American Chocolate Week Mar 17, 2013

It’s officially American Chocolate Week. Check out photos of mind-blowing chocolate creations.