Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies, Made with Cookie Butter

The chocolate chip cookie is my favorite cookie ever. It is simple, delectable, and never fails to offer a serving of nostalgia right along with it. Whenever the word "cookie" is merely mentioned, chocolate chip cookies are that popular, quintessential image. They summon warm-and-fuzzy feelings as you remember Mom or Grandma in the kitchen. (And, of course, how you couldn't resist sneaking dessert before dinner. My niece and nephew, for example, have learned the art of being cookie ninjas.)

Chocolate chip has a very special place in my heart. They were the beginning of my love for baking. When I was a little girl, my older cousin Rozanna bought me my first, very own baking sheet and spatula for my birthday. We would bake chocolate chip cookies every time she came to visit. And then, for Christmas Eve, I was the oddball in the family that chose to forgo decorated gingerbread or sugar cookies and would leave chocolate chip for Santa instead. I just love the chewy inside with rich, melted morsels of chocolate and how the smell of buttery cookie dough wafts through the whole house. Surprisingly, with all of the baking I've done lately, I haven't baked a single batch of cookies yet this Fall. I decided to change this unfortunate fact by whipping up an updated version of my childhood-favorite: Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies...made with Cookie Butter!

This recipe is actually based on Chocolate Hazelnut "Biscotti", made with Nutella. I made these for my cousin Stacey's baby shower a couple of years ago, they were a huge hit, and I've kept that recipe in my cookie rotation ever since. For today's batch, I swapped in chopped walnuts for the chopped hazelnuts and used Speculoos Cookie Butter instead of Nutella.

As most proper cookie doughs begin, cream the sugar and butter together. After a few minutes, the mixture goes from looking grainy to light and fluffy.

Next...Speculoos Cookie Butter, vanilla extract, and egg are added. I decided to use the cookie butter because I had about 1/3 of a jar left after making Cookie Butter Pie last week. Plus, I thought its unique flavor would pair well with the walnuts. (Read this post if you'd like a more thorough explanation on what Speculoos is.)

That leftover 1/3 of the jar was just enough to accent that classic...well...cookie taste, but not so much that the gingerbread/cinnamon flavor overpowered the dough. It's a warm, comforting underscore to the other ingredients in the recipe, like the brown sugar and vanilla.

Cream all of these ingredients together until the mixture once again looks light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Then, with the mixer on low speed, slowly incorporate the dry ingredients. Stir just until combined.

Halfway through this step, I remembered that my mixer came with a shield. (I'm sure there's a technical term for it, but "shield" has a nice ring to it, am I right or am I right??) I let out a triumphant cry, a "Yay for not making huge messes!" But then, I also let out a sigh as I realized...This is exactly the kind of invention that would've saved me from all those Angry Mom lectures when I was younger...

Finally, the chocolate chips and chopped walnuts go in. I turned off the mixer, scraped off any dough left on the paddle attachment, then folded in the chocolate and walnuts with a spatula.

The only time I seem to consume milk chocolate is when I'm eating a candy bar. Otherwise, if I'm making a dessert myself, I have a preference for bittersweet or dark chocolate. (Like in my Pots de Cremes!) It gives whatever I'm making a deep, rich flavor, without any cloying sweetness.

In order for it to set and not be too soft when it goes into the hot oven, I refrigerated the dough for at least 10 minutes. Ever made cookies that spread all over the pan and just flattened out way too much? Chilling the dough helps to avoid that disaster.

Using a 0.5-oz (1 tbsp) scooper, I measured out the cookies onto a foil-lined baking sheet.

I gently flattened the scoops of dough with a fork. That way, the cookie will bake evenly.

To get soft, chewy insides yet crispy, crunchy edges, I baked the cookies at 375 degrees for 9 1/2 minutes. After removing the sheet from the oven, I let the cookies rest for 2 more minutes on the hot pan. Then, I finally transferred them to a cooling rack.

While the ingredients and steps are simple, these are still intricate little confections. The edges have a crisp, golden brown crust, but the insides are delicate and slightly doughy. While the cookie is mostly tender and the melted chocolate chips are scrumptious and gooey, there's crunch from those crisp edges and toasty walnuts. The bittersweet chocolate and buttery walnuts also balance out the sweetness.

These are perfect with a standard glass of milk, as you sit around the table with the little ones. Or, you can snuggle up next to the fireplace with a mug of hot cocoa and a plate of these sweet treats. Either way, try satisfying your next cookie craving with Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies :)

Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies (adapted from Everyday Italian: Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti; makes 2 dozen)

Print Recipe
1 1/3 cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Fine Sea Salt
1/2 cup (8 tbsp) Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
1/2 cup White Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Speculoos Cookie Butter
1 Egg
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts
1/2 cup Bittersweet Chocolate Chips (*I use Ghirardelli 60% Cacao)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together to blend, then set aside until ready to use.
  3. Place the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. On medium-high speed (6, for KitchenAid), cream the ingredients together for 3 minutes. Stop the mixer, scrape the sides of the bowl, then add the Speculoos Cookie Butter, egg, and vanilla extract. Beat the ingredients together for 1 minute, stop and scrape the sides of the bowl, then beat for 1 more minute. 
  4. With the speed on low (Stir, for KitchenAid), slowly incorporate the dry ingredients. Mix together just until combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and use a spatula to fold in the chocolate chips and chopped walnuts. Refrigerate the dough for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Use a 0.5-oz. (1 tbsp) scooper to measure out the cookies onto a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper, spacing the cookies 2-3 inches apart. Gently flatten each scoop of dough with a fork.
  6. Bake each batch at 375 degrees for 9 1/2 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven, and let the cookies rest on the hot baking sheet for 2 more minutes. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. 
  7. Serve with vanilla ice cream, a glass of milk, hot chocolate, or freshly brewed coffee! You can also store them in an air-tight container for a couple of days. Enjoy!