Italian Walnut Cookies Recipe: Only Four Ingredients!

Total time: 5 min prep/ 15 min bake
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6-8
By Cookist

Who doesn't love a delicious cookie? And even better if it’s an easy recipe with only a handful of ingredients. Well, this is the perfect teatime recipe you’re looking for. All you need is walnuts, an egg, sugar, and powdered sugar. Process the walnuts until fine, then add the rest and mix. The mixture is then ready to be formed into balls and baked. The recipe is a slightly altered version of traditional Dolci di Noci, Italian Walnut cookies. Crunchy, sweet, and oh-so-satisfying, these walnut cookies are the perfect treat for any occasion.

What Are Italian Walnut Cookies?

Italian Walnut Cookies, also known as Dolci di Noci is said to have been created in the picturesque coastal town of Maratea. Known for their simplicity, the cookies are made with only four ingredients: walnuts, granulated sugar, egg whites, and powdered sugar. The ground walnuts act as the ‘flour’ for the cookie, while the egg white binds the ingredients together. Granulated sugar adds a chewy texture, while powdered sugar gives them their cracked appearance. The recipe is slightly different in that it uses the whole egg and not just the egg whites.

Why Are they Also Called Wedding Cookies?

Walnut cookies, often referred to as wedding cookies, carry a name that reflects their long-standing tradition in various cultures as a celebratory treat. These delightful confections, made with ground walnuts, butter, flour, and powdered sugar, are commonly served at weddings due to their elegant appearance and the symbolism associated with nuts in many cultures, including fertility and good fortune. The cookies' tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture and their customary dusting of powdered sugar, resembling a light dusting of snow or a bridal veil, contribute to their association with matrimonial bliss and joyous occasions. Over time, the term "wedding cookies" has become a universal moniker, celebrating the cookie's role in bringing sweetness to life's most special moments.


  • Other nuts will also work with this recipe: try pecans, almonds, or pistachios. Use raw nuts and not the candied or sugared variety.
  • You can use light brown sugar for a slight caramel flavor.
  • Feel free to a bit of extras like dried cranberries or mini choc chips (but not too much, otherwise the cookie will break apart).
  • For added flavor, add lemon zest, orange zest, or ground cinnamon to the mixture before baking.
  • The powdered sugar can be left out, the cookies will then be plain without a racked appearance.
  • Make sure to use fresh walnuts, otherwise, the cookies will taste rancid!

How to Store Walnut Cookies

The walnut cookies can be stored in a tin or airtight container, to keep them soft, for at least a week.

Find out how to prepare walnut cookies by following the step-by-step procedure.


160g (⅔ cup)
1 egg
250g (2 cups)
Powdered sugar

How To Make Walnut Cookies

Blend peeled walnuts into flour using a blender or a coffee machine.

The crushed walnuts should look like a fine crumb.

Combine walnut flour with powdered sugar and egg.

Mix until all the ingredients are well combined.

Let the mixture refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. It should become more solid.

Take a scoop of the cookie dough and roll it into a ball.

Roll each ball in powdered sugar and transfer onto a baking sheet.

Bake at 180°C/350°F for 15 minutes and enjoy.

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