Acorn Quilt Block and Cookies

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Acorns have been falling all over our yard and I thought it would be fun to share an acorn quilt block with you. I have also mentioned that I was collecting acorns to eat and I want you to see the process I used to make acorn flour.

Acorn quilt blocks

We have several oaks trees in our yard which draw all kinds of wildlife. I started picking up the acorns planning on storing them for the deer this winter and then decided to find out what else I could do with them. I had no idea you could actually eat them! When you start googling and watching YouTube videos it is amazing what you can learn!

Since this is a quilting website and not a cooking website, I want to share the quilt block first. I guess the acorn cookies could also be a DIY project as I doubt if I’ll go through all of this work next year.

10-inch Acorn Quilt Blocks

You just need scraps of three different fabrics for the acorn quilt block. I am using batik fabrics. Cut the following pieces.

Block A

  • Light Tan – cut (1) 6½-inch x 6½-inch square
  • Dark Brown – cut (1) 2½-inch x 2½-inch square
  • Dark Brown – cut (1) 2½-inch x 10½-inch rectangle
  • Cream – cut (2) 2½-inch x 4½-inch rectangles
  • Cream – cut (2) 2½-inch x 6½-inch rectangles
  • Cream – cut (6) 1½-inch x 1½-inch squares
PIeces for acorn quilt block

Block B

  • Light Tan – cut (1) 6½-inch x 6½-inch square
  • Dark Brown – cut (1) 2½-inch x 2½-inch square
  • Dark Brown – cut (1) 2½-inch x 10½-inch rectangle
  • Cream – cut (2) 2½-inch x 4½-inch rectangles
  • Cream – cut (2) 2½-inch x 6½-inch rectangles
  • Cream – cut (4) 1½-inch x 1½-inch squares
  • Cream – cut (2) 2½-inch x 2½-inch squares
Acorn quilt block pieces

Piecing the block

Draw a diagonal line across the backside of all of the 1½-inch x 1½-inch squares and both cream 2½-inch x 2½-inch squares.

Block A – Lay the 1½-inch cream squares right sides together on the bottom of the light tan 6½-inch square and sew on the drawn line. Trim the seam allowance to ¼-inch.

Block B – Lay the 2½-inch cream squares right sides together on the bottom of the light tan 6½-inch square and sew on the drawn line. Trim the seam allowance to ¼-inch.

Block sections

The Acorn Cap

Lay the 1½-inch cream squares right sides together on the dark brown 2½-inch x 10½-inch rectangle as shown below. Sew on the drawn line, fold over and trim the seam allowance to ¼-inch then repeat for the rest.

Sew with an ¼-inch seam allowance using the following diagram to piece the rows.

Piecing the acorn cap

Would you like a PDF of the Acorn quilt block tutorial? You’ll find the link at the bottom of this post…..right after I show you how I made the cookies!

When I was gathering the acorns, I used these wire mesh bins. Do they look familiar? Those are normally used in my quilt studio to hold some of my fabrics.

Acorn quilt blocks on real acorns

Making Acorn Cookies

The first thing you have to do is gather acorns! September has been a great time to get them here in Iowa. I have only picked up the ones in our fenced-in area. The deer and raccoons can have the rest.

Acorn cookies with acorns in the grass

Shelling the acorns

I gathered the acorns and put them in a bucket of water first. Any acorns that floated to the top were discarded. Then it was time to shell the acorns. This was actually my favorite part of the whole process.

It worked best to hit the acorn with a hammer on a wood cutting board. The shell broke easily. If there were any black spots on the acorn meat, I threw it away.

Shelling the acorns

Leeching the nuts

Keep a container of cold water next to you and throw the acorns into the water right away. Soak the nuts in cold water, changing the water twice a day for 5 days. Yep, 5 days!

This is to leech out the tannins that make the acorns bitter. If you taste a nut and it is bland tasting then it is time for the next step.

Soaking the acorn nuts in water for 5 days

Drying the acorns

I first tried dicing the acorns into small pieces and drying them in the oven on parchment paper. The oven was set to 170 degrees as you are just trying to dry them, not cook them.

You are supposed to be able to eat these this way but I think you could break a tooth on them!

On to plan B.

Drying the acorns

Using a blender

I took the acorns down to my quilt studio and pulled out our blender that has probably never been used. I added in the acorns and some water. I didn’t realize I didn’t need to add water until I talked to Chef Bob.

I really should have moved my latest quilt projects off of the cutting table before I started.

Blender in quilt studio

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Remove the liquid

Now it was time to squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible. I happened to have a knit shirt that no longer fit and placed it over a bowl. Then I put some of the acorn mixture into it and used the shirt to wring out as much liquid as possible.

Strain the acorn meal

Ready to dry

Here you can see the starch that was removed from the acorns. You can keep it, but I threw it away.

The mixture was pretty dry and ready to be placed on cookie sheets and dried in the oven or how about in a skillet on the stove.

Starch from the acorn is removed

Drying in a skillet – nope

I tried drying the acorn flour in a skillet but it didn’t take me long to realize this would take too long.

I then put parchment paper on my cookie sheets and placed them in the oven.

The acorn flour dried much faster this way.

Trying to dry the acorns in a skillet

Getting rid of the humidity

I set the oven to 170 degrees and used a wooden spoon to keep the oven door open a little. This will remove the moisture in the nuts.

Last year I dried acorns whole for decorating and didn’t do this. My acorns seemed dry but when I put them in a glass container I ended up with mold within a month. Gross!

Using a wooden spoon to keep the oven open

Back in the blender

After a couple of hours, the acorn flour was dry. I then put the flour back in the blender and ground it even finer.

The acorn flour is dark, here you can see it in the bowl with white flour.

Time to make the acorn cookies!

Making acorn cookies with butter

Mix up the ingredients and then place the dough on the parchment paper.

acorn cookie dough
Acorn cookie dough

Bake the cookies. The first batch was a bit more grainy, the next batch went through the blender again and the flour was much finer. The taste was actually the same.

The cookies have a mild nutty flavor and I added frosting to a couple of them.

Acorn Cookies in oven
Acorn cookies with frosting

Acorn Cookies recipe

  • 1 ¼ cup acorn flour
  • 1 ¼ cup white flour
  • Butter – 1 stick and 3 tablespoons or (8 tablespoons)
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ¼ cup brown sugar

Take the butter from the fridge and cut it up into small pieces. Put the acorn flour, white flour, and butter in a bowl and mix until the butter is pea-size.

Add the maple syrup and brown sugar and roll into a sticky dough. Divide the dough into balls about 2-inches in diameter. Cover your cookie sheet with parchment paper, slightly press down on the acorn cookie balls.

Bake at 360 degrees for 15 minutes.

The cookies will feel too soft but will harden up as they cool. Enjoy your acorn cookies!

Acorn Flour

I dried half of my acorn flour. You need to store the flour in the refrigerator or freezer.

Several of our friends tried them and were surprised at how good they were. In fact, two of the containers of acorn flour went home with them!

The blue-lidded containers are the acorn flour that needs to be strained and dried in the oven. I’d better get them done!

Acorn Flour

I hope you have enjoyed following along on my crazy journey making Acorn cookies!

I thought you might get a kick out of a photo of me with one of the cookies. I guess I should have put on some makeup first!

Grab the directions for the Acorn block below!

Connie and cookie

Download the PDF

Get a printable pdf of the Acorn quilt block.

PDF of the acorn quilt block

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  1. Gene Black says:

    I remember reading in a book (when I was a child) that you could eat acorns. I think the book was “My Side of the Mountain.” I remember it was about a child living alone in the wild.

    1. I was so surprised when I learned you could eat them Gene. For some reason, I had always thought they were poison.

  2. Sherry Ellison says:

    Thank you Connie Dear. I adore the photos of you cracking acorns while barefooted and the cookie the size of your face. Very sweet Acorn block you have so generously shared. Happy Eating…

    1. LOL, thanks Sherry! I never wear shoes unless I have too!

  3. Terry Mawhorter says:

    The acorn cookies were way too much work for me! I love the acorn block tho! Thanks Connie for the great tutorials & print outs! Terry, Idaho

    1. I didn’t think it would be that much work when I started, it was an experience!

  4. Patti Howard says:

    Thank you for sharing your acorn journey! It was a fun read, and I learned a few things along the way…like there is such a thing as acorn flour! And I appreciate the acorn block as well.

  5. Love the acorn block! Great addition to a fall quilt. Maybe just as the end of a table runner with a couple of colorful leaves!
    I looked up the price of the four – approx. $10 per lbs. Certainly looks like you put a lot more work into than that – but like quilting it’s the fun of the process. Thanks so much for sharing this. Felt like I was right there with you!

    1. I did a search after you said that Joan and it looks like that is the starch from the acorns. That was the yellow liquid that I threw away. You can dry that also.

  6. If these were in a shop, the price would be so expensive, a huge lot of work, no wonder next year the deer will get all the goodies.

  7. I think that is too much work for me to make acorn cookies. They do look good though.

    1. I agree Susan, I don’t think I’ll do it next year, the deer can have them.

  8. Pamela Winterrowd says:

    Cute pattern! I had no idea humans could eat acorns. ha

  9. Enjoyed learning about acorn cookies!. And your acorn block is a keeper. We had incredible numbers of acorns last year, but this year we have more black walnuts than we have ever seen before! Even the squirrels will never get them all so they are going out with the compost weekly. Anyone interested in attacking THOSE hard shells?!!

    1. Hi Sue, we have a couple of walnut trees but few nuts this year. Sounds like acorns and walnuts have a 3-year cycle. Our yard is covered with acorns! I cracked walnuts years ago with my mom……not fun!

  10. Wow – I hope they were really, really good – that is quite a process! But it does look like you enjoyed making the flour and the cookies! Thanks for the cute acorn blocks!

  11. I have a ton of acorns but I too will be leaving them for the deer and squirrels. But I enjoyed reading about your process making acorn flour. Even though this is a quilting site, I always enjoy when some new recipes or crafting projects pop up. Thank you for sharing your patterns with us. I love the acorn block. I am going to make a little table topper.

  12. Wow, Connie, that’s quite a process to get acorn flour. It makes me very grateful that I can just go to the grocery and buy flour. I haven’t seen many acorns around here this year, but if I do, I’ll just leave them for the squirrels and deer.

    1. It really makes you appreciate how easy it is to go to the grocery store!

  13. Robin A Harvey says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading about the acorn adventure, even though we don’t have any acorns around here. Many years ago, we made used acorns to decorate wreaths we made in 4H. Mine was inside when we found out that there were little worms in those acorns. Ugh! We should have used your float-test.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it Robin! I was amazed how many acorns I cracked open that had black spots in them. I’m not sure what that was but I threw them away!

  14. Patti Ziegler says:

    First of all thank you for your fun tutorials and pattern designs. Thank you too for sharing your journey into the process of making acorn flour! That is quite a process! The cookies look amazing! I always look forward to your next post. I enjoy them so much and really appreciate the downloadable patterns. Thank you. Looking forward to the next one.

    1. Thank you so much Patti! Comments like this really inspire me!

  15. Vicki in MN says:

    Cute acorn block, thanks Connie! I liked reading your process in making the cookies, that’s a lot of work!!

    1. It was fun Vicki but I’m glad we can spend most of our time just quilting!

  16. What fun! That’s a lot of work for cookies, but it made for a fascinating read. lol. I may have to try it when our acorns fall next month. I wonder how it would work for bread. Cute acorn quilt block too.

    1. There are recipes for bread Mary that sound good. Acorn flour is gluten-free which is why you have to add regular flour. The acorns in California are supposed to be sweet also.