• 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups California walnuts, very finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup vegetable shortening, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • Decorative sugar (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Stir together flour, walnuts, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together butter, shortening, and sugar until pale and fluffy, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl once in between. Beat in egg and vanilla, mixing just until combined.
  4. Add dry ingredients in two batches, stirring at low speed until the dough just comes together.
  5. Divide dough into two equal pieces and flatten each into a 1-inch-thick disc. Place between two pieces of parchment paper and roll out 1/4-inch thick. Transfer to a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  6. Working with one sheet of dough at a time, remove the top layer of parchment and cut with desired cookie cutter shape.
  7. Place cookies an inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Press any scraps together, reroll between parchment paper and repeat cutting. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are firm when gently pressed in the center. Let cool completely.
  8. To prepare icing, whisk egg whites and vanilla with a mixer until light and foamy. Reduce to low speed and slowly add powdered sugar. Increase speed to high and whisk until well mixed.
  9. Fill a disposable pastry bag with icing. Cut a small hole in the end and decorate cookies. Sprinkle with decorative sugar, if desired.