Double Chocolate Walnuts (with a lower-fat cookie variation)

A while ago, I made a clone of Mashuga Nuts, cinnamon meringue coated pecans. At some point after that, I found out that the same company that makes Mashuga Nuts also makes chocolate meringue coated walnuts. I haven’t actually tasted this version of Mashuga Nuts, but why should that stop me from creating my own double chocolate walnuts?

My walnuts are coated with a espresso cocoa meringue. As the nuts slowly bake, they are tossed in a small amount of coconut oil to add another layer of tropical richness. The final touch is a semisweet chocolate glaze.Double Chocolate Walnuts
1 lb. walnuts (4-5 cups)
8 ounces sugar (about 1 cup)
2 ounces egg whites (2 whites)
1/8  tsp. salt
1.5 ounces cocoa (about 1/2 cup)
1 tsp. coffee powder or espresso powder
1 tsp. vanilla
(optional, if you like a bit of spice: 1/2 tsp. cinnamon)
6 ounces chocolate chips (or more . . . .)
2-3 ounces coconut oil (or you could use a stick of butter)

Line a half sheet pan (a rimmed baking sheet, 12″x17″) with heavy duty non-stick foil (or not, I just think that makes clean-up a lot easier).

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Put the coconut oil  (or butter) on the lined baking sheet and stick it in the oven. When the coconut oil or butter  is melted, take out the pan from the oven.

Meanwhile, beat the egg whites (with the pinch of salt added) until foamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat on high until the whites are thick and shiny. Mix in the vanilla. Fold in the walnuts.

In a small bowl, combine the cocoa, coffee powder (and, if using, the cinnamon).

Combine the cocoa mix with the nut/meringue mixture.

Side note: This will collapse the egg whites and make you wonder why you bothered to whip the egg whites in the first place–and I suspect that this would work without whipping the egg whites and I intend to try it that way and report back.  See fuller digression below.

Spread the nut mixture over the coconut oil in the pan in an even layer. Bake the nuts for 25 minutes and then stir. Warning: it might seem a bit of a hopeless mess, but press on! Bake another 15 minutes and stir again. It might still not look too promising, but persevere. Bake another 15 minutes and stir again–now it will seem to being coming together. The oil will finally start to get absorbed by the nuts and the meringue will as a result will be kind of collapsed a bit. Bake another 15 minutes and stir again–now it will look done. Basically, you need to keep stirring and baking and stirring until the nuts are separate and crisp and the oil is absorbed.

Sprinkle chocolate chips over the nuts, put the pan briefly back in the oven to melt the chips, take out the pan, and toss the nuts with the chips until the nuts are evenly coated. You can repeat this step to more fully coat the nuts. To get the chocolate to set up quickly, put the nuts briefly in the freezer.

Note: To more fully digress . . . I have successfully made cookies with the above formula, except without the coconut oil, with a quarter of the amount of walnuts, and with chips mixed into the batter. I used a radically different mixing technique: nuts and sugar are mixed together, whites are stirred in (no whipping!), and then the cocoa mixture and chips are stirred in. Despite the lack of whipping, the cookies puff up like meringue cookies.

Double Chocolate Walnut Cookies
Inspired by Dorie Greenspan’s Croquants

4 ounces walnuts (about 1 cup; you could probably double this amount if you wanted)
2 ounces egg whites (2 whites)
8 ounces sugar (about 1 cup)
1.5 ounces cocoa (about 1/2 cup)
6 ounces chocolate chips (about 1 cup)
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. coffee powder
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix almonds and sugar. Stir in egg whites. Combine cocoa, salt, and coffee powder. Stir in cocoa mixture. Add vanilla )or almond extract, if desired). Spoon onto parchment sheets about 2″ apart.  Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Makes about 34 cookies.

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2 Responses to “Double Chocolate Walnuts (with a lower-fat cookie variation)”

  1. Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger) Says:

    This is so clever. I make lots of candied nuts but never thought of using cocoa powder. Can’t wait to try this.

  2. Daring Bakers Do Chocolate Marquise « Pragmatic Attic Says:

    [...] For variation, I placed a round of orange chiffon cake beneath the remaining marquise cups and a blob of of coffee meringue (with cream folded in for more stability) on top.  The resulting two-tone cones were frozen and dipped in chocolate. These mocha “mountains” were garnished with double chocolate meringue walnuts. [...]

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