Honey is a sweetener that isn’t used all that much in cookie recipes. You can’t really cream it with butter to create a fluffy base for cookie dough (although honey whipped with butter makes an amazing spread for biscuits), so you can’t simply substitute it for sugar and expect to get the same results. Used properly, honey can be a great sweetener in cookies – and other baked goods – because it lends a rich and complex flavor to the finished product, helps with browning and also keeps baked goods moist so that they stay fresher longer.
These Honey Walnut Cookies are a very simple recipe that is a twist on an eggless chocolate chip cookie recipe that I’ve made many times. They use honey as a sweetener and vegetable oil where regular cookies usually call for butter, and like the recipe that inspired them, they are egg free. The dough can be mixed up in just one bowl and doesn’t require anything more than a spoon to bring it together. The recipe makes a small batch, but can be doubled if you want more than a dozen.
Because the honey adds so much moisture to the cookies, they don’t get crisp around the edges after baking. Instead, the cookies have a beautiful golden color and a slightly soft, chewy texture when they come out of the oven. The honey is very fragrant and gives the cookies wonderful flavor that reminds me both of nougat and baklava. The walnuts add some much needed crunchiness and their buttery flavor brings out the richness of the honey even more. Don’t overbake these, or they’ll dry out a little.
Honey Walnut Cookies
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup brown sugar (pref. light)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.
In a small bowl, whisk together oil, honey and vanilla extract. Pour into flour mixture and stir until almost combined. Add the walnuts and stir until walnuts are well distributed in the cookie dough.
Shape into 12 rounded balls (approx 1-inch balls) and place onto prepared baking sheet. It is easiest to shape this dough with your hands or with a small scoop.
Bake for 10 minutes, until cookies are lightly browned around the edges.
Cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes one dozen cookies.