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Cream-Cheese Walnut Cookies

The dough for these slice-and-bake cookies can be shaped into logs and frozen for up to two weeks.

  • Yield: Makes about 4 dozen
Cream-Cheese Walnut Cookies

Source: Holiday Cookies 2005, Special Issue Holiday 2004


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 ounces cream cheese (not whipped), room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups walnut halves (1 1/2 cups toasted and coarsely chopped and 1 cup finely chopped)


  1. Whisk together flour and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Put butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in sugar and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, and mix until just combined (do not overmix). Mix in toasted walnuts.

  2. Transfer dough to a work surface. Divide in half; shape each half into an 8 1/2-inch long log about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap each log in parchment paper; freeze until firm, about 30 minutes or up to 2 weeks.

  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds. Unwrap 1 log, and roll in 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, coating completely. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Space 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

  4. Bake cookies, rotating halfway through, until golden around edges, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Repeat with remaining log and remaining 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.

Reviews (24)

  • KatrinaRachel 8 Dec, 2011

    A Christmas 'must have' around our house. If you don't have a powerful mixer, mix the dough with your clean hands by squeezing it together until it forms a ball and then roll into log shapes. Excellent for freezing ahead. These are one of our 'most requested' cookies for the local cookie exchange.

  • shop3856 31 Oct, 2011

    However did you work with this sticky dough to shape it?

  • Magicpie77 5 Feb, 2010

    these were great! buttery and crisp. Excellent with black coffee! i agree: be careful with amt of salt you put in, they can get quite salty if you over estimate.

  • Tchr4vr 17 Jan, 2010

    Oh YUM! As I always do with a new recipe (so far so good) I make a quarter batch. I simply followed the directions using as close to 1/4 of each ingredient. I also didn't roll, freeze, etc. I made balls of the dough, pressed down with a fork and baked the same time at the same temp. OH MY - were they good - coarse salt and all. unsalted butter is a must. I also used almonds rather than walnuts. nicely sweet. only slightly salty, crunchy and soft centered -- gotta make a full

  • smd1227 16 Jan, 2010

    To Jnetti: They were out of this world with macadamias. The nuts toasted up very nicely and had a lovely flavor. I then tried chopped almond slivers, which were also good, but the macadamias were best.

  • monicamaspillaga 1 Jan, 2009

    they are a delicius and soft cookies like shortbread

  • miracledebtor 22 Dec, 2008

    Gee, I don't see any leavening in this baking soda or baking powder..what are these things little bricks?? I mean how can they be soft at all, or are they hard cookies? No eggs or other leavening to me shows a rather hard cement like cookie? am I right? salt for leavening here to react with..confused here...

  • Skedaddle 21 Dec, 2008

    All I tasted was salt. These are definitely not my thing. I dipped them in melted chocolate to try to mask it but it did not work. I used coarse kosher salt by the way.

  • Aeris409 20 Dec, 2008

    That's odd, it cut off 1/2 of my post. Anyhow, after I frosted them, I dusted them with toasted walnut crumbs, and they were divine!

  • Aeris409 20 Dec, 2008

    I made these last week, but I topped them with a cream cheese frosting

  • cater2you 20 Dec, 2008

    I, too, loved these cookies. I had some problem, however, when taking the cookies from the freezer, the dough did not adhere to the walnut pieces. I let it thaw a bit more and it worked out just fine after that. Excellent!

  • Stargaezer 10 Dec, 2008

    I made these cookies last night, they are wonderful. I love the texture, they are not too sweet which I like also.

  • 1Toffy 5 Dec, 2008

    Yes that would mean Kosher Salt, or the large grained salt which now is more readily available. Measurements for coarse salt would differ from normal table salt. If using regular table salt I would cut the amount in half.
    Yes on the regular beaters in place of paddle or whisk attachment. Most of these recipes are made using the Kitchen Aid Mixer. Regular beaters would do just fine.

  • cheripaper 4 Dec, 2008

    Try dipping one edge in melted chocolate and then roll in the chopped nuts... Killer and beautiful also!

  • Tishie 4 Dec, 2008

    My mixer does not have a paddle or whisk attachment. Can I still do these recipes with the regular beaters?

  • territm 2 Dec, 2008

    Actually I have a question.The recipe asks for course salt,do they mean Kosher salt?I'll Be making them this week.can't wait!!!!!

  • jnetti 2 Dec, 2008

    This is one of my favorite cookie recipe. I make them up ahead of time and wrap them and freeze them. They are easy and soooo good. They keep for a few weeks too. I don't use so much salt since my little dog who is now in doggy heaven had heart failure. Use what feels right to you. I love the idea of using chopped macadamia nuts.

  • smd1227 1 Dec, 2008

    BTW, I'm making these this weekend using chopped macadamias instead of the walnuts. I'll keep you posted on how they turned out. SMD

  • smd1227 1 Dec, 2008

    Mykele is correct about the salt. Also, the recipe calls for UNSALTED butter. If you're using SALTED butter (which I hope you're not), omit the salt.

  • mykele 1 Dec, 2008

    Ladies, about the salt is indeed correct. For any recipe
    regular table salt is finer grained and packs more saltiness to
    a recipe than Coarse or Kosher salt. Always use twice as
    much Kosher as table salt. I am a real follower of the
    America's Test Kitchen PBS show...they are experts whom I trust.

  • pmelros 1 Dec, 2008

    Wow 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt is not very much for 4 dozen cookies plus the recipe did not mentions Kosher salt, it says course salt. I thought the proportions were fine.

  • grammababy 1 Dec, 2008

    Am SO GLAD you mentioned about the salt. Kosher salt seems to explode with taste and a little goes a long way. Almost humorously, Martha (and other TV chefs) add a generous pinch with quite a flair and then add more. This is dangerous; hypertension, fluid retention, etc. Grammababy

  • bonnoslobbo 1 Dec, 2008

    I've found that coarse or "Kosher" salt is saltier than regular table salt. AND that many times Martha's recipes call for more salt than I like personally. It's all a matter of individual taste, apparently. SO, I usually cut down the salt in her recipes. I liked the fact that these cookies weren't too sweet. Again, individual taste.

  • jaigee 24 Sep, 2008

    These cookies were excellent. Except that we felt they needed about more sugar and less salt.


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