Saturday, December 22, 2012


Walnuts, some still with outer husk.              

Usually at this time of year, I’m cracking almonds to make a holiday dessert. But this year a friend gifted me with a heap of walnuts from her trees. These may be the first Spanish walnuts I’ve ever had. The ones I buy at the market are from California—one of few American food imports.

Galletas Marías--plain cookies.

So this year I’m making a walnut torte for Christmas dinner.  The torte is made with fine crumbs from galletas Marías, plain, not-too-sweet cookies. These cookies, typically, are served with desayuno, breakfast, to be dipped in coffee, tea or cocoa. The crumbs are combined with coarsely chopped walnuts and egg whites. Ever so simple, but a delicious dessert served with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Walnut torte makes a delightful holiday dessert.

Torta de Nueces
Walnut Torte

Serves 6.
Coarsely chopped walnuts.

1 ½ cup cookie crumbs
1 cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
4 egg whites

Powdered sugar to garnish

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Oil a 9-inch pie pan.

Combine the crumbs, sugar, baking powder and walnuts. Add the vanilla. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold in the crumb mixture.

Spread the mixture in the pie pan and bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Allow to cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before cutting.

Walnut torte is best with a dollop of whipped cream.



  1. do you think a short, homemade vanilla cookie would work? I like the flavor of these cookies, but locally available ones are made with hydrogenated fats. Maybe something along the lines of a very mild gingersnap?

    1. Sue: Yes, vanilla cookies would work or even graham crackers. I've never found an exact equivalent of Maria cookies in the US.