Appalachia Appalachian Food Heritage

Black Walnut Blond Brownies & A New Nut Cracker

Over the last few days, my hands have been full of Black Walnuts. During the snowy days, I’ve been sitting by the wood stove in the basement picking out walnut goodies. In November, we discussed how difficult it is to crack black walnuts-but I’ve found an easier way-even easier than using Granny’s Nut Cracker.

Buy a black walnut cracker
I got a new cracker-and it works better than Granny’s. Kenneth Roper, a Blind Pig reader, made it for me.

It works better because the actual cracking part is more compact and easier to work and the larger bottom keeps it from sliding around on you-like Granny’s does. While the old cracker got the job done, Kenneth’s model makes it an easier job. Sorta like the old one is a wagon and the new one is a Cadillac-both get you to where you’re going but the caddy is a whole lot smoother ride. The best part is-if you need a walnut cracker-you can buy one from Kenneth-email him at [email protected] for the details.

black walnut bars

The first black walnut recipe I shared with you was my favorite-Arsh Potato Cake-but it is time consuming to make. Black walnut cookie sticks are much easier to make-but they’re not really cookies.

black walnut brownies

I found the recipe in More Than Moon Shine Appalachian Recipes and Recollections by Sidney Saylor Farr. The recipe is called cookie sticks-but mine turned out more like brownies than cookies-very tasty brownies.


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sifted flour (all-purpose)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs well beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped black walnuts

Preheat oven to 350. Mix flour, sugar and salt.

Add eggs mix well, add vanilla mix well.

Stir in black walnuts.

Spread batter in a greased shallow baking pan 8 X 8 X 1 1/2. (my pan wasn’t exactly that size-but it was close)

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or till light brown and done (the time will change if you change the size of the pan-like I did-so keep an eye on them). The recipe says to cut into strips and remove from pan while warm. I just couldn’t see how sticks would work-so I cut mine in small squares. They are very good-and so easy to make. Instead of cookies-they make me think of blond brownies.

If you make them-let me know how you like them.



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  • Reply
    Rick Smith
    July 20, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Really love walnuts, but boy are they hard to crack.
    Check out a GREAT pecan cracker:
    Thanks, Rick.

  • Reply
    January 18, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Hey, I did get it right!!!
    I’d love to have one of those walnut crackers. Maybe by next fall I can get one.
    It reminds me of the nutcracker I already have only more heavy duty.
    Then maybe I can make this recipe.

  • Reply
    Chef E
    January 17, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    I got my bag of black walnuts from Lisa in Nicklesville just after Christmas, so will be posting some good eats! Love this recipe, so I will be using it soon!
    Happy be-lated New Years Tipper and your family as well!

  • Reply
    January 15, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    Tipper I really like that walnut cracker, its looks like a real handy mandy thing……Kenneth can do anything…..
    Thanks again

  • Reply
    Greensboro Daily Photo
    January 14, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    Everything looks so yummy. That nutcracker is some might fancy engineering. When my grandmother and I cracked hickory, beech, and black walnuts, we used a brick against the sidewalk, with nut in between. Quickly, one mastered using just the right amount of pressure to not SMASH the nut!

  • Reply
    January 14, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    I’d like to thank everyone for their nice comments and interest
    in the nutcracker I made for you.
    All these goodies you keep showing
    how to make made me gain 4 pounds
    just looking at ’em.
    If I had got the gumption Monday
    early enough I could have had some
    snowcream…Now I guess its called

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    January 14, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Here are two recipes, both come from one of our cookbooks, Wild Bounty, which won a couple of awards when it first came out. It is still available through my web site:
    1/2 cup butter
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    1 cup flour
    1 cup brown sugar
    2 eggs, beaten
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    2 teaspoons flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
    1 cup chopped black walnut meats
    Cream butter and brown sugar. Slowly add flour and mix until crumbly. Pat into 7 x 11 inch baking dish. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees until gold brown.
    Combine brown sugar, eggs, salt and vanilla. In separate bowl, add flour and baking powder to coconut and walnuts. Blend into egg mixture and pour over bake crust. Return to oven and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until done. Cut into bars and place on wire rack to cool.
    1/2 cup finely chopped black walnuts
    1 cup graham cracker crumbs
    1/4 cup sugar
    1/4 cup butter, softened
    Vanilla ice cream
    Chop walnuts very finely. Add graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter. Mix well and press into pie plate. Bake at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Spoon softened ice cream into pie shell. Place in the freezer. When served, you can top with a chocolate or berry sauce.
    Hope you get to sample one or both of them.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    January 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Nice nut cracker. Isn’t Ken a sweetheart for making that for you!!!
    Brownies look scrumptious!

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    January 14, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Those black walnuts look so good.
    Pretty good sized ones as well and so moist and tasty looking.
    That’s a nice nutcracker too…
    We haven’t cracked any walnuts so far. We were blessed, from a relative, with a big bag of pecan halves at Christmas and I’ve just not thought about the walnuts until your post. I need to get busy…LOL
    My Mother always ate a weird combination when she got hold of fresh black walnuts. She said there was nothing better than black walnuts and day old cornbread?
    Another make do lunch we grew up doing…Take a chunk of cornbread..crumble in a big glass, add milk up to 3/4 of the cornbread..take a spoon mash n’ stir n’ eat..yummmm. I never added black walnuts to mine but Mom did! LOL She liked buttermilk in hers instead of sweet milk too. Not me..ewww!
    Another great post, Tipper.

  • Reply
    January 13, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    The recipe really looks good and easy. I am still cracking my walnuts, too. I have a sore thumb to prove it. I picked a bowl full of them out tonight while I watched TV. Black walnuts are great in fudge and brownies. I also made some snowcream tonight for dessert!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    January 13, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Yum! Great nut cracker!!

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    January 13, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    These sound great! We were given some black walnut Moravian ‘thins’ — a very crisp cookie and oh my, they were addictive.

  • Reply
    January 13, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    There’s nothing cozier than baking on a cold, snowy day, is there? My grandaughter Kate and I made brownie cupcakes yesterday. The recipe only makes four, for those of us who have no self-control when it comes to chocolate! Your bars look delish! How on earth do you find the time to do all the wonderful things you do??? You’re an inspiration!

  • Reply
    January 13, 2011 at 11:55 am

    What a smart man ~ to make such a fine nutcracker 🙂 I was so happy to see the nutcracker on your blog and I can’t wait (but should wait) to try the blond brownie recipe. We love the oatmeal krispies (it is now my son’s favorite cookie!). Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    January 13, 2011 at 10:37 am

    What a great recipe….thank you for sharing it.
    When you have time, check out my latest post “Hog Killing Weather” to see if your earlier years are similar to mine.
    Take care.

  • Reply
    January 13, 2011 at 10:34 am

    What a unique nut cracker, and how nice one of your readers sent it to you. Those brownies look so good. I’ll have to make some with regular walnuts as that’s all we can get around here.

  • Reply
    January 13, 2011 at 9:55 am

    my mouth is watering. yum yum yum and that is a super nut cracker. daddy had one he made, similar but not nearly as good as this one. he attached his to a stool he could sit with the nut cracker between his legs and boy could he crack some nuts. i wanted that job, but the females of the family were the pickers. that is a job i do not like

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