Must-Try Nut Recipes | Midwest Living
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Must-Try Nut Recipes

Pecans, walnuts, hickories and other nuts add crunch and flavor to our recipes for cakes, pies, sweet breads, salads and main dishes.

Black walnut sweets

The Strawberry Black Walnut Shortcakes recipe (left) comes from the Hammons family in Missouri, as does the recipe for Black Walnut Oatmeal Cookies. You can make the cookies with either raisins or chocolate chips.

Strawberry Black Walnut Shortcakes recipe

Black Walnut Oatmeal Cookies recipe

Whole Wheat Apple-Nut Bread

This quick bread from Missouri nut growers Drew and Susie Kimmell bakes in a casserole dish for a round loaf. They recommend using pecans, black walnuts or hickory nuts.

Whole Wheat Apple-Nut Bread

Winter Orange Salad

The croutons made from walnuts or pecans infuse nutty flavor into this tossed salad, made with oranges and dried cranberries. Nut producers Barb and Dwight Ittner of Noel, Missouri, created the recipe.

Winter Orange Salad

Badgersett's Stuffed Pork Chops

Philip and Meg Rutter at the Badgersett Research Farm in Canton, Minnesota, use extra-thick Iowa chops to hold stuffing featuring their chestnuts and hazelnuts.

Badgersett's Stuffed Pork Chops

Pecan pie - three ways

Oatmeal-Pecan Pie (left) gives the traditional pecan pie a chewy-good twist by adding oatmeal to the usual ingredients. Chocolate Pecan Pie is a rich treat that comes from Historic Clifton Mill restaurant in Clifton, Ohio. Pumpkin Pecan Crumble Pie blends the flavors of two favorite pies.

Oatmeal-Pecan Pie recipe

Chocolate Pecan Pie recipe

Pumpkin Pecan Crumble Pie recipe

Black Walnut-Crushed Catfish

A maple butter sauce tops this nutty catfish recipe from Hammons of Stockton, Missouri, a major producer of black walnuts. The Hammons family likes the deep, robust flavor of black walnuts in this recipe. We listed the much milder English walnut as an alternative.

Black Walnut-Crushed Catfish recipe

Black walnut sweets

The Strawberry Black Walnut Shortcakes recipe (left) comes from the Hammons family in Missouri, as does the recipe for Black Walnut Oatmeal Cookies. You can make the cookies with either raisins or chocolate chips.

Strawberry Black Walnut Shortcakes recipe

Black Walnut Oatmeal Cookies recipe

Hazelnut Truffles

At M restaurant in Columbus, Ohio, the pastry chef likes to keep chocolate-loving customers happy with recipes like this one. These rich, chocolate truffles have a hint of two nut liqueurs— hazelnut and almond— and are rolled in chopped toasted hazelnuts as well.

Hazelnut Truffles recipe

Chili Pecans

A coating of spicy and sweet turns toasted pecans into a great snack. Make these ahead of time if you're having a party. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 1 month.

Chili Pecans

Linguini with Shrimp and Pine Nuts

Dry sherry flavors the broth, and crushed red pepper adds a tiny bite to this pasta dish from Bartolino's, a popular Italian restaurant in the Hill area of St. Louis, Missouri.

Linguini with Shrimp and Pine Nuts

Coffee Nut Torte

Cocoa and rum flavor the soft butter frosting that crowns this airy three-layer cake from Elizabeth Varga of Barberton, Ohio. The recipe came from her Hungarian grandmother.

Coffee Nut Torte

Easy Banana Nut Bread

Make a couple of these easy nut-filled banana bread loaves—like most quick breads, they'll keep up to a month in your freezer. Overwrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezerproof bag. Thaw at room temp.

Easy Banana Nut Bread

Mixed-Nut Brittle

This fresh twist on peanut brittle takes just 15 minutes to make using your microwave. Be sure to use a heavy-duty glass measure that's free from cracks or chips to withstand high temperatures.

Mixed-Nut Brittle

German Chocolate-Nut Cake

This cake includes broken pecans in place of flour for a dense, dark-chocolate dessert. Drizzle with our Toasted Coconut-Pecan Caramel Sauce.

German Chocolate-Nut Cake

Cashew Chicken Stir-Fry

This dish from Max Archer of McPherson, Kansas, packs some heat. Adjust it to suit your taste by varying the amounts of chili paste and poblano chiles.

Cashew Chicken Stir-Fry

Slow Cooker Sweet-Hot Nuts

Nuts in your slow cooker? Sure! Just toss them with sugar, butter and spices, and cook on low heat for two hours.

Slow Cooker Sweet-Hot Nuts

Nuts for brunch

Our coffee cake (left) is an indulgent mixture of chocolate, butter, sour cream, pecans and coconut. A brunch could also feature Stuffed French Toast, flavored with cream cheese, apricot preserves and pecans, or Maple Oatmeal Muffins, which blend pecans with oats, maple syrup, cinnamon and butter.

Chocolate-Pecan Coffee Cake recipe

Stuffed French Toast recipe

Maple Oatmeal Muffins recipe

Rigatoni with Spinach, Walnuts, Sweet Potatoes and Goat Cheese

This main dish, from the Chopping Block cooking school in Chicago, adds walnuts to the flavors and textures of sweet potato, red onion, baby spinach leaves, goat cheese, basil and pasta.

Rigatoni with Spinach, Walnuts, Sweet Potatoes and Goat Cheese recipe

Marjorie's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chopped walnuts are one of the ingredients that make these chocolate chip cookies extra-special. Marjorie Johnson of Robbinsdale, Minnesota, won one of her 2,500 state fair ribbons with this recipe. The cookies taste like the beloved Toll House cookie; butter and walnut flavors prevail.

Marjorie's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nutty Carrot Bread

A sweet-tart lemon glaze tops this quick bread, which won a blue ribbon at the Elkhart, Indiana, County Fair. Stir ingredients gently just until combined -- overbeating leads to airholes and tunnels in any quick bread.

Nutty Carrot Bread

Pumpkin-Praline Layer Cake

This nutty layer cake is a favorite dessert with Midwest Living® readers. Whipped cream tops a moist filling of pumpkin, brown sugar, pecans, butter and more whipping cream.

Pumpkin-Praline Layer Cake

Chocolate Nut Revels

A luscious chocolate and pecan mixture swirls throughout these festive cookies.

Chocolate Nut Revels

War Eagle Bean Palace Pecan Cobbler

Using the beloved pecan pie as a guide, cooks for the restaurant at the top of War Eagle Mill near Rogers, Arkansas, fashioned this cobbler adding oat flour for a different flavor in the crust. This buttery crust actually layers in the middle of the syrupy filling, an escape from the usual cobbler crowned with topping. A generous measure of pecans adds crunch.

War Eagle Bean Palace Pecan Cobbler

Side-dish salads with crunch

In Honey-Mustard Pecan Salad (left), a tangy-sweet dressing and toasted pecans top crisp greens. Triple Crunch Salad uses walnuts or hickory nuts, as well as the crunch of apples and red cabbage. Walnut and Currant Mesclun Salad has a simple balsamic vinaigrette over mesclun, tiny currants and toasted walnuts.

Honey-Mustard Pecan Salad

Triple Crunch Salad recipe

Walnut and Currant Mesclun Salad recipe

Praline cheesecake and other nutty treats

The creamy Praline-Crusted Cheesecake (left) delights guests at the Old Rittenhouse Inn in Bayfield, Wisconsin. Peach-Pecan Cobbler tempts fruit lovers with swirls of pecan-studded biscuits on top of sliced peaches. Gooey Pecan Pie Bars are rich, buttery, thick cookies that are a hit at Liberty Gathering Place restaurant in West Liberty, Ohio. Turtle Cake is a favorite with diners at Cafe Latté in Saint Paul.

Praline-Crusted Cheesecake recipe

Peach-Pecan Cobbler recipe

Gooey Pecan Pie Bars recipe

Cafe Latte's Turtle Cake recipe

Black Walnut Ice Cream

Staff at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri, churn dozens of ice cream flavors at Hannah's Ice Cream Factory. For a sweeter ice cream, use more sugar. Look for black walnut flavoring, which pairs with nuts to give this cool treat its flavor, in large supermarkets.

Black Walnut Ice Cream

Nut benefits and buying tips

Recent studies show tree nuts carry many health benefits, if consumed in moderation. Nutrient-rich, but high in calories, they contain good fats that can help reduce cholesterol. When buying unshelled nuts, look for clean husks heavy for their size. Remove nuts from plastic bags because cracked nuts are susceptible to mold growth. Unshelled nuts last longer than shelled nuts; they keep several weeks at room temperature or several months when kept in a refrigerator or freezer. Use roasted or toasted nuts within two weeks.

A Guide to Nuts

Just as they are

Nuts, beautiful in their natural state, are as easy to decorate with as they are good to eat. Here, nuts anchor a candle inside a hurricane lamp.

Mix nuts and flowers

For another variation on nut decorations, tuck a small glass bowl of rose heads inside a larger container of mixed nuts.

Nut resources

Grow your own nut trees. Ken Asmus of Oikos Tree Crops in Kalamazoo, Michigan, specializes in chestnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, hickories, walnuts and butternuts (269/624-6233).

Order nuts. Midwest mail-order sources include: Missouri Pecan Growers (866/732-2678); Badgersett Research; Goods from the Woods (800/267-6680); Hammons Products Company (888/429-6887).

Oikos Tree Crops

Missouri Pecan Growers

Badgersett Research

Goods from the Woods

Hammons Products Company

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