Walnut and Lemon Cookies

From issue #2.
Photography by Photography by Becky Nunes.
Walnut and Lemon Cookies

Kirsty Rensburg has created these two delightful cookies especially for Dish.

Serves: 20 -25


280g plain flour
1/ 3 cup toasted walnuts
150g caster sugar
1/ 8 teaspoon salt
200g cold, unsalted butter, diced
1 egg
zest of 1 lemon
1⁄2 teaspoon lemon juice

Pear topping
1 - 2 medium sized pears
1⁄2 cup maple syrup

Coconut topping
3 tablespoons thread coconut
2 teaspoons brown sugar
11⁄2 teaspoons cream
1/ 4 teaspoon vanilla extract
tiny candy eggs, chocolate covered peanuts or raisins


Preheat oven to 180°C. Line two baking sheets with baking paper or teflon sheet and set aside. Place the flour, walnuts, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the cold butter and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Whisk the egg, lemon zest and juice together and add to the flour.
Pulse until the mixture starts to come together and tip out onto the bench. Bring together gently with your hands, pat the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Rest in the fridge for 1⁄2 hour.

Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking paper to about 5mm thick. Choose a cookie cutter with the same circumference as the pear, cut out the dough and place each round on the baking sheets. Chill.

Pear topping: Thinly slice the pear lengthways on a mandolin and place in a bowl of lemon juice and water. This prevents discolouration. Drain, and dry well. Paint the top of each cookie with maple syrup and place a pear slice on top of each. Brush the pear with maple syrup also. Bake 15-17 minutes until the cookie is golden on the edges and cooked through. This time will depend on the thickness of the cookie and pear.

Coconut Topping: Place all the ingredients (except the tiny eggs) in a small saucepan and allow to soften and combine. Cool. Form a ‘nest’ on each cookie and bake 15-17 minutes or until the cookie and the coconut are golden. If the coconut mixture spreads a little, use a small metal spatula to re-shape. Once cool, fill the centre
with tiny candy eggs (available from Asian stores.) Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Each topping is enough for 1 recipe of cookie dough. Makes 20-25