It's taken me a while to figure out what exactly to do with the stash of heart nuts we got at Windmill Point Farm. I considered breads, cakes, preserves, and tarts before settling on cookies. I wanted something simple to get the full effect of the nut's lovely heart shape. My only regret was that I didn't make the cookies smaller. I should have gotten two dozen, where I only got one. Next time. I can always head back to Windmill Point Farm to pick up some more, and, if things go according to plan, certain homesteaders* will soon be planting a small forest of heart nut trees, keeping us in heart nuts forever and ever.
These cookies are similar to Mexican wedding cakes: delicate, crumbly, and melt-in-your-mouth. Since heart nuts are a variety of Japanese walnut, you can substitute any other kind of walnut if you happen to be short on heart nuts at the moment.
To be enjoyed with a pot of tea and a good book.
Heart Nut Cookies
1 stick butter, soft
1/3 cup icing sugar, plus more for dusting
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup ground heart nuts
1 cup flour
heart nuts to decorate
Preheat oven to 325°F. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla, salt and ground nuts. Cream until combined. Add flour and mix gently until dough begins to form. Roll dough into small balls about 1" in diameter. Place on cookie sheet, decorating each with a nut. Bake for 20 min., or until cookies are golden brown on the bottom. Cool on rack and sprinkle with icing sugar. Store in an airtight container. Eat. Enjoy.
Makes two dozen.
* my parents