I have been making these cookies at Christmastime for the past 14 years. I had a subscription to Gourmet Magazine for years and years. My favorite issue was always the December issue with all the cookie recipes. This recipe caught my eye with the name - what a perfect name for a Christmas cookie! I was really disappointed when they ceased publication of my favorite food magazine. All the recipes can still be found on Gourmet.com. Still, it is not the same as flipping through the magazine each month. Oh how I wish the magazine was still in publication! I kept many of the December issues and still love looking through them for inspiration. My friend Bridget loves these cookies and I think she probably had one of the cookies from my very first batch 14 years ago! These cookies are delicious - really special. Here's to you Bridget! Can you believe our kids are so grown-up? :)
Chocolate-Filled Walnut Cookies
Gourmet December 1999
1 cup walnuts
2/3 cup confectioners sugar
2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup heavy cream
¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips or chocolate discs
Pulse walnuts with 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar in a food processor until finely ground (be careful not to grind to a paste). Beat together butter and remaining confectioners sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and creamy, then beat in vanilla. Add flour and ¾ cup walnuts (reserve remainder for coating) and beat on low speed until well blended. Chill, wrapped well in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Roll level teaspoons of dough into balls. (I sliced dough into squares but you could just pinch little chunks off - - the dough is very easy to work with. I made small balls and was able to fit 25 on a cookie sheet.) Arrange 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake in batches in middle of oven until golden brown around edges, 10 to 15 minutes, and transfer to racks to cool.
Bring cream to a boil and stir in chocolate. Remove from heat and stir until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and cool until firm enough to spread. While filling sets up arrange the cookies in pairs that match so they are ready to fill.