Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Not your average Walnuts
It was impossible to resist these wonderfully fresh walnuts - the story behind them, a tale of a labour of love.
These come from Waterwood Farm in the Yarra Valley, Launching Place to be exact. It's a small walnut and chestnut orchard of approximately 200 walnut and 200 chestnut trees. These nuts are the "Franquette" variety.
Harvesting is done according to natures cycle - they wait until the nuts fall to the ground and then are hand collected each morning. They are brushed clean by hand and then air dried on wire trays.
The cracked nuts are all done by hand, which shows in the fact that they come as beautifully complete nuts. Tastewise, they are sweet and crispy - which isn't usually the case when it comes to buying them in a commercial situation. They are prone to quickly becoming rancid.
These nuts are more than delicious enough to eat as they are but I thought should do something that would place these perfect walnuts, front and centre. So I scavenged my memory banks and came up with a cookie - a simple butter cookie studded with walnuts.
Walnut Butter Cookies
120 grams unsalted butter, softened
150 grams caster sugar
1 egg, lightly whisked
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
200 grams self-raising flour, sifted
Using a mixer, beat the butter and sugar until creamy and the sugar has dissolved. Add the egg & vanilla, mixing well until amalgamated.
Stir in the sifted flour until fully combined.
Roll spoonfuls of the mixture into small balls and place on a lined tray - leaving room for the cookie to spread. Press a walnut into the centre of each ball
Bake in a preheated 180°C/350°F oven for 10 minutes or until golden.
Cool on a wire rack before storing in an airtight container.
Crisp and buttery with a wonderful crunch of walnut, a perfect match for tea or coffee or just if you are feeling a little peckish. Double the mix as they won't last long!
You can find these walnuts from May to October at the Yarra Valley Farmers'' Market at Yering Station on the 3rd Sunday of each month.
Ken & Elizabeth Jacka
1600 Don Road, Launching Place
Tagged with Cookies