Should I use raw or baked nuts in cookies?
Should I use raw or baked nuts in cookies?

Most people love nuts. They give a recognizable rich flavor and crunchy texture to our cookies and pastries. It is important to know which kind of nuts is suitable for which baked goods. Also, should you use them raw or baked is another important question to consider? 

Nuts tend to have a high oil content, which makes them roast faster than other ingredients. Also, healthy fats in some nuts can get a rancid taste when baked, so the real question is which nuts should be baked and which raw when making cookies?

Which nuts should be baked when making cookies?

Pecans should be roasted before adding them to the cookie mixture. Roasting will bring out to the surface natural oils in pecans. As a result, they will have an even richer nutty taste and even crunchier texture. Baked pecans will improve the taste of any cookie recipe you use.

Hazelnuts are also one of the nuts that should be baked before you use them, as they have a low content of oils, so they won’t overburn later, during the baking process. But there is additional work to do with this kind of nuts. Whole hazelnuts come with thin skin, that should be removed before adding them to other ingredients. If you don’t remove the skin, it could give a bitter taste to your baked goods. Skin can be removed in a fast and practical way – just put hazelnuts in the oven, for about 10 minutes at 250 degrees F. After you bring them out, rub them with a clean kitchen towel to get rid of their skin.

Almonds are probably the most versatile nuts. They can be used raw, boiled, or baked. Baking almonds in the oven or roasting them in the pan will develop all their flavor and make them extra crunchy ingredients for your cake, cookies, or any other baked goods.

Macadamia nuts are preferred roasted than raw. They have a deep buttery flavor and beautiful crisp texture and go so well with chocolate and other nuts. Also, roasting macadamia nuts is a way to prolong their shelf life. If left raw they could easily become rancid.

Which nuts should be raw when making cookies?

Walnuts are one of the nuts that should stay raw. Walnuts have a perfect buttery nutty flavor that enriches every cake or cookie you add them to. Also, walnuts have one of the highest oil contents of all nuts, which makes them roast very quickly. If you bake them before adding them to your cookie dough mixture, they could easily overburn later in the oven, during the baking process. That way they’ll become bitter and ruin the whole recipe.

Pistachios are equally tasty if you eat them raw or baked. They can be a perfect addition to your cookies, cakes, and every other treat you make. You can freely add raw pistachios to your mixture, but if your decision is to bake them, make sure not to exaggerate. 5 to 10 minutes at 325 degrees F will be quite enough – or until they release their perfect nutty aroma.

Does adding nuts change the baking time of cookies?

Depending on if they were previously roasted or not, nuts could change the baking time. Baking will draw out natural oils in nuts, which will create extra oil and change the baking of butter in cookies. Cookies might unevenly spread and become greasy. To avoid that risk, bake all nuts (except walnuts and pistachios, as they have the smallest oil content) before adding them to your cookie dough mixture.