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  • Spicy Bow Knot Cookies
  • Spicy Bow Knot Cookies
  • Spicy Bow Knot Cookies
  • Spicy Bow Knot Cookies
  • Spicy Bow Knot Cookies

Spicy Bow Knot Cookies

Food | December 17, 2016 | Nik Manojlovich
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 3.50 out of 5)
  • 50
  • 42
  • Easy

This treasured recipe for SPICY BOW KNOT COOKIES has been enjoyed by my family for well over fifty years now. Why not make a batch and start a new cookie-making tradition for those you love?!

My aunt Mary Young who I simply called Mia used to make these unique cookies for the holidays, and I now associate their unique spicy, nutty flavour with this time of year.

I shot a video while making a batch at the cottage a few weeks ago, and this week I made a second batch. Since my mom’s recipe card was a bit vague (am I surprised?), I played around the second time and adjusted a few of the ingredients with great results.

Watch the video first, then read my additional suggestions below:

1) NUTS – Mom’s recipe card doesn’t specify what kind of nuts to use, so for the first attempt I used only walnuts. The second time I used one cup each of walnuts, pecans and hazelnuts. Having a mix really amps up the flavour profile.

2) NUT MEASURE – There was no direction on whether to measure the three cups of nuts before or after grinding them. I find that measuring before produces a softer cookie.

3) SPICES – I added two additional spices just for fun, and again found the flavours brightening as a result. If you’d like to follow suit, toss in a teaspoon of ground allspice and half a teaspoon of ground ginger.

4) SUGAR – My mother’s card had a little P.S. at the bottom – substitute icing sugar for one cup each of granulated sugar and packed light brown sugar. I found the double-sugar combination tasted richer.

4) PLASTIC WRAP – The solution to extracting the cookies from their forms came to me in a dream – I swear! Line the cookie form with plastic wrap before you press the dough into it. They pop out of the mold perfectly shaped without mishap.

So, two options for preparation – either way produces delicious results. Family recipes always allow for interpretation and I’m thinking I may receive messages from my cousins Cassie or Suzanne with additional suggestions soon after I post. Love it!

As with all holiday baking, please remember to enjoy responsibly, which means limit yourself to just two (or maybe six) cookies – save the rest for family and guests. I know it’s tough, but try your best!

The perfect blend of nuts and spices formed into attractively shaped confections, SPICY BOW KNOT COOKIES are a holiday baking dream come true!


4 Responses to “Spicy Bow Knot Cookies”

  1. […] perfect for the holiday season. Try LISA’S SHORTBREADS, our CHOCOLATE RUM BALLS and our superior SPICY BOW KNOTS. Or you could go with last year’s ‘cookie of the year’ APRICOT-CHOCOLATE SANDWICH COOKIES, […]

  2. […] Making their appearance courtesy of my Aunt Mary, they were always presented alongside her SPICY BOW KNOT COOKIES. I suggest making both if you feel like being showered with compliments when you share them with […]

  3. Cathy says:

    We really enjoyed your recipe for the bow tie knots. We make these every year for Christmas. We call them nut ribbon cookies. I have searched for a long time To see if anyone else makes these cookies. Not many people have these cookie molds, mine are very old from my grandmother. Your recipe differs from mine by you use egg whites and mine calls for yolks, and yours has lemon juice and mine calls for lemon zest and butter. We just did a half batch of each and it was your agreed that yours is better ! We will be making your recipe from now on ! (Sorry grandma) Thank you so much for sharing your recipe.
    Cathy. December 2018

    • Nik Manojlovich says:

      Cathy! Thanks for writing in – so happy you tried the recipe! Loved learning about your “Nut Ribbon Cookies”. For sure it’s all about those molds… and what to do with them. Big hugs to you and yours!


Ingredients & Amounts

  • 3 cups of nuts, ground (use walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts or almonds)
  • 2 cups of breadcrumbs
  • 2 cups of icing sugar (or one cup each of granulated and packed light brown)
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cloves
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 2 egg whites, room temperature
  • juice of one lemon
  • Icing sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 250°F. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together ground nuts, breadcrumbs and sugar. Add spices and stir again. Add egg white and lemon juice and stir until dough comes together.
  2. Place a small piece of plastic wrap over a bow knot shaped stainless cookie mold. Take about a tablespoon of the dough and press it firmly into the mold. Pull the mold away from the plastic wrap and release the formed cookie onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cookies can be placed close together since they don’t expand or melt when baked.
  3. Once filled, transfer baking sheet to preheated oven and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet. Dust with icing sugar before serving.
Listen on MUSIC

Listening to great music is an important part of every Weekend at the Cottage! This is one of my favourite holiday albums of all time. Head to iTunes to download the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge to your collection.

Nik Manojlovich

Nik is the creator, host and brains behind Weekend at the Cottage. He loves sharing his wisdom and experience about the things that interest him most.



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