These chocolate walnut cookies are amazing! Chunky, crunchy, and chewy in a pretty shade of pink, they make the perfect Valentine’s day gift or would be a hit at baby showers and birthday parties.
They’re egg-free and even vegan, depending on the milk and chocolate used. I’m allergic to eggs and my son is allergic to dairy so it’s great to have a recipe that everyone can enjoy.
Loaded with thick dark chocolate chunks, crunchy walnut, and chewy raisins or cranberries (optional), with no artificial coloring, can you guess what the pretty pink color is from?
Ingredients and Substitutions
These super chunky chocolate walnut cookies are deliciously perfect as is, but sometimes you don’t have all the ingredients on hand or dislike some of the ingredients, so let’s see what can be swapped out.
First, gather the ingredients you’ll need (seen in the photo below) and decide on any changes you’d like to make.
Flour: I use all-purpose (white) flour for these cookies, but you can swap some of it out (not all for the cookies will be crumbly – try up to two thirds) with wholemeal flour. I haven’t tried to make them with a gluten-free flour mix yet, but it’s a pretty forgiving recipe so it should work with a good brand.
Chocolate: I use my favorite vegan dark chocolate which I chop up into big chunks, but you can use any chocolate you prefer or your favorite brand of chocolate chips. If you use chocolate chips do try and use ones that are on the larger side to keep the cookies nice and chunky.
Sugar: I use regular white table sugar. You could substitute with brown if you’re not bothered about the color darkening. If you are vegetarian or vegan make sure you use a brand of white sugar that doesn’t use bone char in its manufacturing.
Walnuts: If you don’t have walnuts or don’t like them, you can either leave them out altogether or substitute with another type of chopped nuts.
Beets: The beets (beetroot) not only give this cookie a lovely color, they also really help them stick together yet remain slightly moist and chewy. You can use golden beets if you don’t have red ones, although your cookies won’t be pink then, or if you’re really stuck you can substitute with the same amount of berry or apple puree.
Milk: You can use any milk you prefer. I use soy milk as I try to avoid dairy as much as possible, and soy tends to give softer results in baking, but I’ve had friends and family make them with regular milk, low-fat milk, almond milk, etc. with identical results.
Oil: You can use any oil here which has a neutral flavor profile, e.g. sunflower, grapeseed, canola, etc. I’ve also used olive oil when I didn’t have any other oils and it tasted really good, if you like that sort of thing.
Vanilla extract: This can be omitted or substituted with any other extract with a flavor profile that would go well here, e.g. walnut or almond.
Raisins: Don’t like them? Don’t use them or substitute with dried cranberrries or goji berries to keep some of that delicious chew in.
These chocolate walnut cookies are really easy to make, but as usual, I’ve included this section on how to make them with photos covering every stage so you can check back here if you’re unsure about anything or need more detail than in the recipe card.
Once you’ve got all your ingredients together, add the cooked peeled beets, vanilla extract, and oil to a high-powered blender or food processor (image one below).
For the beets, I typically just use the steamed peeled vacuum-packed beets that you can normally get in the salad or refrigerated vegetable section at the store. But you can also use any leftover cooked beets you have on hand.
Process/blend for about two minutes until fairly smooth (see image two below).
Add your milk of choice, and process another minute. You should have a smooth pink liquid with no lumps (image three above).
Next, roughly chop the chocolate and walnuts into the size chunks you’d like in your cookies.
Add to a large mixing bowl with the rest of the dry ingredients (the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and optional raisins) and mix well (image four above).
Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet (image five below).
Mix together the wet and dry ingredients. Note that this will be difficult to do and you may have some pretty impressive biceps by the end of it…but persevere and it will come together in a few minutes.
If you think you may have added slightly too much flour and it’s just not coming together you can rescue it with a tablespoon or two extra milk. But resist the urge to add it as much as possible!
You should have a very sticky cookie dough (image six below). Transfer to the freezer for half an hour and you’ll find it a much easier dough to work with, turn the oven on to 350F to preheat it while the dough is chilling for the last ten minutes.
Grab a large cookie dough scoop, or even an ice-cream scoop – if you don’t have either you can just use two large spoons, one to scoop up the dough and the other to scrape it off.
Line two large baking trays with baking paper or brown paper. Fill a small bowl with water and keep it close to hand. Dip the scoop (or spoons) into the bowl, shake off the excess water, and scoop a mound of dough onto one of the lined sheets (image seven above – note the space you need between the cookies).
Repeat until there are six mounds of dough well-spaced out on each sheet, making sure to dampen the scoop in between each cookie so that the dough doesn’t stick to it.
Now dampen your hands (again, so the dough doesn’t stick to them), and flatten the mounds of cookie dough to about one centimeter thick. Shape the sides and round them with your hands if necessary (image eight above).
Place both trays in the oven near the middle and bake between 16-19 minutes. 16 minutes will yield a perfectly chewy moist chunky cookie while 19 will mean crispier (although darker) cookies.
All the cookies in the images on this page were baked for 16 minutes as I prefer them that way. When done, remove from the oven and allow to cool fully on the trays. You can then remove them and eat straightaway or pack up to eat later.
These cookies will keep about five days out of the fridge in a tightly sealed container, or up to eight days in the fridge. They can also be frozen for up to three months and defrosted on the countertop overnight.
Whichever way you choose to store them, place baking paper between each layer of cookies as otherwise, their chewiness means they will stick together.
Enjoy your chunky chocolate walnut cookies with a glass of milk (almond milk is my favorite), or even better, with a scoop of ice-cream on top while they are still warm from the oven.
Or package with cellophane and a pretty ribbon to give away (if you can bring yourself to part with them!).
Did you make these cookies? Let me know how much you loved them with a star rating in the recipe box, review, or comment below.
- 5 oz chocolate of choice or chocolate chips(140g)
- 2/3 cup Walnuts (60g)
- 1 cup sugar, around 265g
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, (185g)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2/3 cup raisins or dries cranberries (optional, 115g)
- ¼ cup canola oil (or sunflower or grapeseed)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3.5oz cooked peeled beets (100g)
- ¼ cup milk of choice (60ml)
- Blend or process the oil, vanilla extract, and beets until as smooth as possible, roughly two minutes.
- Add the milk and process again, one minute more.
- If using chocolate, roughly chop into the size you would like your chunks to be (not needed if using chocolate chips). Roughly chop the walnuts,
- Add to a mixing bowl with the rest of the dry ingredients (sugar, salt, flour, baking powder, and optional raisins or cranberries) and mix until evenly distributed.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Fold the dry into the wet and mix until evenly distributed. It will seem too dry at first and will take longer to mix than most doughs but keep at it and it will combine well.
- Transfer the mixing bowl to the freezer for 30 minutes, setting the oven to preheat at 350F (180C) for the last ten minutes.
- Line two large oven trays with baking parchment. Take the bowl out of the freezer and use an ice-cream scoop or a large cookie scoop to portion out six cookies onto each tray, well-spaced out, for twelve cookies total.
- Dampen your hands with water and flatten the cookies and round the sides.
- Bake between 16-19 minutes in a hot oven. 16 minutes will give a softer chewier cookie while 19 will result in a crispier cookie.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely on the baking trays. To store, layer in an airtight container with baking paper between each level to prevent the cookies from sticking together.
- Enjoy! Store on the countertop for up to five days or up to 8 days in the fridge. These cookies also freeze well.
Bake these cookies on baking paper. The batter is sticky and the cookies will be impossible to remove from the pan without baking paper.
Amount Per Serving Calories 348Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 5mgSodium 140mgCarbohydrates 54gFiber 2gSugar 36gProtein 5g
Originally posted January 2019 and updated with new pictures and simplified instructions