Black Walnut Recipes

August 24, 2010 9:36:32 AM PDT
The Bittersweet Pastry Shop in Lakeview was selected for a National Black Walnut taste test this summer. So they have been making yummy walnut-inspired recipes for their customers to taste test. And now Bittersweet owner Judy Contino and pastry chef Mindy Gohr are sharing some of those recipes with us.

NEWS RELEASE:
Bittersweet Pastry Shop Selected for National Black Walnut Test
Bittersweet Pastry Shop
was selected by a national nut company for a special flavor development test. The originator, Hammons Products Company of Stockton, Missouri, provides nearly 100% of all Black Walnuts sold commercially. Bittersweet Pastry Shop is located at 1114 W. Belmont Avenue in Chicago's Lake View neighborhood, and has attracted the attention of foodies and pastry lovers since opening its doors in 1992.

The items being taste-tested this summer were:

  • Black Walnut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Black Walnut Sandwich Cookie
  • Black Walnut Tart
  • Black Walnut Tea Bread
  • Bittersweet customers were asked to fill out a brief, in-store taste preference survey about the Black Walnut treats.

    American Black Walnuts are different from common walnuts. Most black walnuts are hand-harvested from wild trees in several Midwestern states. American Black Walnuts are native to the central and eastern United States. Used in cooking and baking, they have a robust and distinct flavor that sets them apart from the more widely known English Walnut. Nutritious, flavorful, and good keepers when refrigerated or frozen, Black Walnuts are a tasty addition to everything from appetizers to desserts.

    Even the shell of the Black Walnut is useful. Ground into fine particles, it becomes a hard, natural abrasive, used for polishing and as a filtration medium-it's even used as an ingredient in cosmetics and dental products

    For further information concerning Hammons Products Company, Black Walnuts, nutritional benefits, recipes for baking, ice creams, salads, and entrées, visit www.black-walnuts.com.

    For more information on Bittersweet Pastry Shop and Café, call 773.929-1100 or visit www.bittersweetpastry.com

    Flourless Chocolate Black Walnut Sandwich Cookies

    Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups toasted black walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 Tbs cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 Tbs vanilla
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Directions:
    Chop nuts. Sift together powdered sugar, cocoa and salt. Stir in nuts. Whisk together egg whites and vanilla. Stir into flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Scoop out cookie dough onto sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

    Chocolate Ganache Filling

    Ingredients:

  • 8 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 8 oz heavy cream
  • Directions:
    Put cream on stove to boil, chop chocolate in the meantime. Pour hot cream over chocolate, whisk together.
    Assemble cookies

    *Remember to grease your baking sheet or put down a sheet of parchment paper

    *It's a good idea to make the ganache in advance so it has a chance to set up

    Black Walnut Cupcakes

  • 5 eggs
  • 12 oz sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp amaretto (or 1/4 tsp. almond extract)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 14 oz butter, room temp
  • 11 oz cake flour
  • 2 1/2 oz finely ground black walnuts
  • 1 lb sugar
  • 1 1/8 tsp ea: baking powder, baking soda and salt
  • Whisk together eggs, 1/4 of the sour cream, amaretto and vanilla extract.

    Combine all dry ingredients and stir to combine. On mixer using paddle, add butter and remaining 3/4 of the sour cream. Beat to combine, scrape down sides then beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape down sides. Add liquid mixture in three additions. Beat each addition for 20 seconds and scrape down sides of bowl in between.

    Pipe or scoop batter into lined cupcake pan, 2/3 the way up the cup. Bake at 350 degrees till about 25 minutes, or until top springs back when pressed.

    Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz butter, room temp
  • 1 lb 2 oz cream cheese, room temp
  • 1 lb 4 oz powdered sugar, sifted
  • On a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and cream cheese on medium speed. Scrape down sides. Gradually add powdered sugar on low speed. When all sugar is added, increase speed to medium and beat till smooth. Refrigerate before using (unless you want the frosting to fall off the cupcakes!)


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