This nut dough may become your new, all-purpose dough. Basically a sable dough with ground nuts added, nut dough is perfect for tart shells, galettes, pie dough, and even nutty cookies such as Linzer cookies.

The dough is tender and yummy, thanks to the added fat from the nuts.

An overhead shot of rolled-out nut dough along with a couple of Linzer cookies and slab pie.

Why Make Nut Dough?

For one thing, it’s an easy dough to vary.

I generally use pecans to make mine, but it is equally good made with any nuts such as walnuts, almonds, pistachios, or hazelnuts.

Match the nut to the filling, so to make an extra pecan-y pecan tart, use pecans in the nut dough.

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Making something with stone fruit? Try almonds since almond and peaches/cherries/apricots, etc are an excellent flavor match.

The dough is tender and delicate, so it benefits from refrigerating before rolling out and also before lining your molds (or shaping the dough, in general.

Rather than flaky crust like pate brisee, nut dough bakes up into more of a tender-yet-crunchy cookie crust that is easier to work with than regular pie dough.

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Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

The ingredients needed to make nut dough: butter, powdered sugar, egg (1), all-purpose flour, nuts of choice, kosher salt, and extract (optional).
  • butter: Cool, unsalted butter. Butter carries the flavor and makes for a tender crust
  • powdered sugar: Lends sweetness, assists in browning, and the powdered sugar (rather than granulated) yields a really smooth and delicate dough
  • egg: Lends some binding and strength so the dough doesn’t fall apart. The egg is also the only liquid in the dough
  • all-purpose flour: Provides bulk and structure. Don’t substitute bread flour (results will be too tough) or cake flour (results will be too fragile)
  • nuts of choice: Truly, you can use any nut or mixture of nuts you desire. I like to use pecans. Other delicious options are hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, macadamias, or even pine nuts.
  • salt: Brings out the flavor in the nuts
  • extracts (optional): I like to add some extract to enhance the flavor of the dough. Vanilla is always welcome, and nut extract such as almond or hazelnut can bring added dimension as well. Again, extracts are optional ingredients. Consider what you’ll be using your dough for and what flavors would enhance the overall final dish

Options for Making the Dough

You can successfully make this dough using a stand mixer, hand mixer, or by hand, first with a whisk and then switching to a spoon or spatula to combine the flour and nut mixture.


Chopping the Nuts

First, finely chop your nuts. You can do this by hand with a good chef knife. It works fine, but it does take a while since the nuts have to be very finely chopped.

A pile of very finely chopped nuts on a white cutting board with a chef knife in partial view

To save your wrist as well as some time, chop the nuts using the “pulse” function on your food processor or blender.

Since these appliances generate heat and are very efficient at what they do, to prevent ending up with nut butter, add a portion of the flour to the processor or blender bowl along with the nuts.

Don’t run it continuously. Use the pulse function so you can easily stop and check the consistency.

The Rest

Once you have your nuts (or flour/nut combo) ready, the rest is very easy.

  1. In one bowl, whisk the flour and finely chopped nuts together
  2. Cream together the butter, salt, and powdered sugar until nice and smooth. If using extract, add it at this stage
  3. Mix in the egg until completely blended into the butter/sugar mixture
  4. Add the flour/nuts and mix slowly until incorporated.

NOTE: It takes a bit of work to blend in the dry ingredients. A stand mixer makes short work of this even on low speed.

I think it’s too much to ask of a hand mixer, because you don’t want to overmix and make your dough tough, so if using a hand mixer, use a spatula to get the flour/nuts mixed in as well as you can and then finish up by hand.

Here are a couple of collages to show you the steps.

In the first, you can see that a hand mixer works well to cream the butter, salt, and sugar together until creamy and smooth.

A collage of 4 images showing a glass bowl of butter and salt being mixed together with a hand mixer. Then a large amount of powdered sugar also gets creamed into the mix.

Once the flour/nut mixture gets added, switch to a spatula and then finish up by hand.

Yes, that’s a little messy–just scrape the excess dough off your hands with a spatula or bench knife.

When the dough is finished, divide it in two, form each half into a rough disc, and refrigerate for about an hour before using.

A collage of 4 images. The first is of a bowl of flour and a bowl oif beaten egg. The second is of the egg and flour mixture being mixed into butter/sugar in a glass bowl with a spatula. The third is of the finished dough in the bowl. The last image is of the dough wrapped in plastic wrap ready to go in the fridge.

Tips and Tricks

You can finely chop the nuts by hand, but that can take a long time. To save time, pulse them in the food processor along with some of the flour from the recipe. Adding some flour helps ensure you don’t inadvertently make nut butter if you get carried away with pulsing!

To keep the dough nice and tender, roll it between two sheets of parchment. The parchment will wrinkle as you roll, so periodically peel each piece away and smooth it out. Replace and continue to roll until the dough is the thickness you desire.

Jenni Says: This bears repeating: When rolling between 2 sheets of parchment, the parchment will wrinkle. So make sure to periodically remove the parchment, smooth it out, and then place it back onto the dough. If you roll wrinkles into the dough, you’ll end up with dough that will fall apart.

Ways to Use Nut Dough

Use this dough as the crust for any fruit pie or tart. For example, it would be great as a nutty element in my chocolate chess pie recipe or in the coffee pecan tart.

I used the dough to make my apple custard pie, so take a look at that guy for inspiration.

This dough doesn’t spread, so it would make an excellent, nutty cut-out cookies. Use it to make traditional Linzer cookies or for decorating for any holiday.

Make a free-form fruit galette by rolling the dough out to about 12″, add your favorite fruit filling, then fold up the dough around it, leaving plenty of space to show off the filling in the center.

I generally allow 2″ or so for the “foldover.” Then eggwash, sprinkle with coarse sugar, and bake at 375F until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden brown.


A Note About Measurements

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03/07/2024 05:03 pm GMT

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An overhead shot of rolled-out nut dough along with a couple of Linzer cookies and slab pie.

Nut Dough

Jennifer Field
This is a tender and yummy dough, thanks to the added fat from the nuts. It's also very versatile. Use nut dough to make cookies, galettes, tarts, and pies. The flavor is easily varied–just change the nuts and extract you use.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course pastry dough
Cuisine French
Servings 8 servings
Calories 351 kcal


  • 160 g unsalted butter
  • 120 g 10x powdered sugar
  • 40 g finely ground nuts (pistachio, almond, hazelnut, walnut, pecan, pine nut, macadamia–your choice)
  • 5 g salt (kosher salt preferred)
  • 1 large egg
  • 310 g all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp extract of choice optional


  • Cream butter, salt, and 10x sugar until smooth. If using an extract, add it in now.
  • Whisk together finely ground nuts and flour.
  • Add the egg to the creamed mixture and mix until completely combined.
  • Add the flour/nut mixture and mix on low speed (or by hand) just until combined and no loose flour remains.
  • Wrap and refrigerate the dough for about an hour to make it easier to work with.
  • Roll to the shape/size you want, keeping the dough between 1/8″-1/4″ thick.
  • If making cookies, bake at 350F. If using as pie or tart dough, bake at 375F.

Did You Make Any Changes?


This recipe doubles well, but if you do double it, I highly recommend making it in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment.
Refrigerating the dough before rolling and again before lining a pie or tart pan make it much easier to work with. I like to roll the dough between two sheets of parchment so I don’t have to add flour to keep it from sticking.
Watch this dough carefully as it bakes. The added fat from the nuts and cause it to go from golden brown and delicious to dark brown and scary pretty quickly.
A galette is a free-form pie that you bake on a cookie sheet. To make a galette, simply roll out your dough into a circle, put your filling in the center, and fold up the edges, leaving some filling showing in the center.


Serving: 100gCalories: 351kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 5gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 253mgPotassium: 54mgFiber: 1gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 530IUCalcium: 14mgIron: 2mg
Keyword nut dough, pastry
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I know you’ll find many ways to use this nut dough in your recipes. Enjoy it, and have a lovely day.

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