Monday, December 15, 2014

Walnut Reindeer Cookies, AKA Walnut Acorn Cookies

     These cute little reindeer were originally supposed to be elegant little acorn shaped cookies.  Buttery walnut shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate and more walnuts to make them look like acorns. But somewhere along the way they ended up looking like mischievous reindeer. These little cuties would be a perfect addition to a Christmas cookie tray or to leave out for the jolly man in the red suit.

     If you're looking for something a little more traditional, or are inclined to make these at any other time of year where reindeer are not as appropriate, I assure you that they're just as delectable without the antlers and noses!

     This recipe was featured in the Gourmet Cookie Book as the best cookie recipe from the year 2000. It was originally submitted to Gourmet magazine by a college friend of mine, who says that it has long been her family's favorite.

Walnut Acorn Cookies
recipe from Suzanne and Gourmet

Ingredients for cookies
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup finely chopped walnuts (4 oz.)

Ingredients for decorating
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
If you're making reindeer, you'll also need candy eyes, red candy for noses, and pretzels for antlers.

Directions for making cookies
  • Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Beat together butter, brown sugar and vanilla with electric mixer until pale and fluffy.
  • Add flour mixture, and blend together at low speed.
  • Stir in walnuts with wooden spoon.
  • The original recipe does not call for chilling the dough, but I found that my cookies did not spread as much if I chilled the dough for a couple of hours. You may want to try some both ways to see what works best for you!
  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • Form 2 teaspoons dough (I used a small cookie scoop full) into egg shape. I pressed the dough ball into the bowl of a spoon to get uniform shapes.
  • Arrange "acorns" 1 inch apart on parchment covered baking sheets. Bake on middle rack of oven for 10 minutes, or until bottoms are light brown.
  • Remove cookies to rack to cool.
Dip half of each cookie into melted chocolate, and then into chopped nuts. Place on waxed paper or silicone lined baking sheet to set. (about 15 min.- it depends on the temperature of your kitchen!)
If you're making reindeer, dip half of your cookie into melted chocolate, but only coat the front with walnuts. Press two pretzels onto the back of the cookie into the chocolate. Use melted chocolate to affix the eyes and nose.


  1. One of my favorite kinds of holiday cookies and these are SO SO cute!!


  2. These are not only adorable, but look so yummy, too!

  3. These are adorable. I would love to make these. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  4. Your reindeer turned out cute! Very creative:@)

  5. I attempted that recipe from the very same Gourmet! And, I probably still have the issue in my Gourmet stack!! I didn't have much luck either but they were quite tasty.


  6. well they do look a bit mischievous but in an endearing way!! And a delicious way.

  7. These are so adorable, love them both ways!

  8. Gosh these look so good. I love walnuts and the cute little reindeer are a bonus!

  9. I have seen several reindeer cookie ideas, but these are by far the cutest!

  10. No matter whether shaped like acorns or reindeer, these look like mighty scrumptious holiday cookies!

  11. These cookies are so cute as reindeer (they look nice as acorns as well) and are so festive!

  12. Those reindeer cookies made me laugh out loud! How adorable. After my recent experience with "best" cookies, I am always skeptical about labels. But can Gourmet be wrong? I do love walnuts...these are a must try!

  13. both cookies are cute but the reindeer are adorable. what a great idea...tasty too!

  14. I've seen these before but I have to say yours are the cutest I've seen! Pinning these to make for my grandsons :)

  15. I like the acorns, although I'm sure the grandkids would vote for the reindeer. Very festive either way.

  16. I love your idea of fusing walnut and reindeer... These cookies are so cute :D

  17. I love how you changed acorn cookies in to adorable reindeer.

  18. THese cookies are ADORABLE! My grandkids will go bananas for these cute little reindeer cookies. WE love shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate and then walnuts again YUM! We want to wish you a very Merry Christmas!
    xo Anna and Liz

  19. Both of the decorated variations are adorable! I'd happily eat either - or both!

  20. Now that I have a grandchild, I'll be so happy to prepare 'fun' cookies and treats for Christmas and these would be so perfect! Hope you have a blessed Christmas!

  21. Incredibly adorable-Creative too! Love them.

    Merry Christmas!


  22. I really this alternative to the traditional candy cane covered cupcakes or sugar cookies! I'm adding this on my to-bake list. Thanks so much for sharing - pinned!!

  23. I really this alternative to the traditional candy cane covered cupcakes or sugar cookies! I'm adding this on my to-bake list. Thanks so much for sharing - just pinned!!

  24. You are so good at decorating cookies. They look so adorable and festive. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  25. They are very cute and this would be a great treat for my grandson. The acorns are great also, and a must try! Good for your friend. Happy New Year!

  26. I like your tip on how to get the acorn shape- cute reindeer cookies but very nice without the antlers too!


Thanks for stopping by scrambled hen fruit! I appreciate all of your comments and look forward to reading them.

Related Posts with Thumbnails