How fine should you chop your nuts?  When chopping nuts, less is better; chop only as fine as called for in the recipe.  The cut facets of the nuts are open to losing oil that will leak out into the dough.  Nuts chopped finer than necessary lose some of their flavor intensity and crunch and may change the texture of your dough.   Try larger nut pieces in your next recipe; we think you will be surprised what a difference it makes.

Broken Pieces

We sell walnut pieces and pecan pieces.   Or you can break halves by hand.  Most pieces should be 1/2 inch or smaller.  This larger size will deliver a more intense flavor punch and will work for many cookie recipes.  We prefer these for quick breads where many of the nuts will be cut when the bread is sliced.

Broken Nuts

Coarse Chopped Nuts

Coarsely chopped nuts are about 3/8 inch in size.  It is our favorite size for most drop type cookies.

In almost any method of chopping, there will be some fines—pieces more the texture of sand.  We often sift the fines from the nuts adding only the medium chopped nuts for the recipe.

Coarse Chopped Nuts

Medium Chopped Nuts

Medium chopped nuts are the most common in recipes.  They should be about 1/4 inch in size and as uniform as you can obtain.

In almost any method of chopping, there will be some fines—pieces more the texture of sand.  We often sift the fines from the nuts adding only the medium chopped nuts for the recipe.

Medium Chopped Nuts

Finely Chopped Nuts

Finely chopped nuts should be about 1/8 inch in size, a little larger than kernels of wheat.  We only use finely chopped nuts for delicate cookies and those occasions when we want to incorporate little bits of nut in the dough, changing the texture of the dough.

Finely Chopped Nuts

Nut Meal

Nut meals are often used as a substitute for portions of the flour in a recipe.  The nuts are ground to the consistency of sand.  A food processor or blender is the easiest way to chop nuts this finely but you’ll lose less oil with a mechanical chopper.  If you use a food processor, consider adding a little flour or sugar from the recipe to absorb oils lost in processing.

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