My cookies are like little piggies: “this cookie went to market, this cookie stayed home, this cookie ate roast beef.” The cookies from my oven end up in the hands and bellies of friends all over town.
And these cookies crossed the Atlantic and went all the way to Oxford, England.
So as I write this post about cookies (it became cookie week, somehow, at BGSK), I’m finishing a thick slice of British Mr. Kipling Battenberg cake, which came back across the Atlantic in the cookies’ stead. Alex goes to England every few months for work, and our friend/his co-worker, James, is incredibly hospitable to him, and I sometimes send cookies.
And this trip, he sent back a British feast! Along with the Mr. Kipling Battenberg cake, a marzipan-covered packaged cake with a two-by-two yellow-and-pink checkered inside and an almond icing that makes the cake reminiscent of rainbow cookies, Alex imported Welsh cakes, eccles cakes, lemon curd, and marmite. Before this, when I thought of British food I though of biscuits, meat pies, fish and chips, and, well, overcooked vegetables, so I was surprised (and excited) when none of what Alex took out of his suitcase on Sunday was familiar. It was, on the other hand, interesting and delicious. James knows what he’s doing.
Even in Paris, in the midst of every extraordinary pastry in the world, my French host sister used to obsess over the American-style cookies I would bake–like a good American, she would eat the dough straight from the bowl. Those were chocolate chip cookies, the classic.
But white chocolate macadamia cookies are less classic. They represent the height of American-style sweetness, though the Battenberg cake gives their sugar high a run for its money. Rather than go on about why I like these cookies (it has to do with the fact that they served them to us on parents’ weekend at summer camp), I’ll leave it to James’s thank you note to explain why you’d like to eat these cookies.
They were (sadly they’ve all gone to a happier place now) epic. The whole salt/chocolate combo is very “on trend” over here right now – there was a Heston show on chocolate where he extolled the virtues of the pairing – and rightly so as it turns out. Nuts also gave lovely bite and texture…far, far too easy to eat…but I don’t think that’s a criticism.
From my kitchen, where I’m making cookies, to yours,
Cara, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
White Chocolate and Macadamia Cookies
Makes 3-4 dozen
I’m really fussy about my white chocolate chips, and they can make or break the cookie. I buy Callebaut or Valrhona from a specialty shop or a good quality white bar from Whole Foods (which I then chop up). Most important is that your white chocolate contains cocoa butter. To give these cookies a little lift, I’ve added just a bit of oatmeal to the dough.
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar (you can substitute dark, but then use a little less brown sugar and slightly more white)
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
2 cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup good-quality white chocolate chips
1 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Mix sugars and butter in a large bowl. With a mixer, hand-held beater, or very strong arm, beat until creamy, about 5 minutes. Then beat in the egg until the batter is fluffy and light.
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, oatmeal, baking soda, and salt. Add it to the butter mixture and beat just until blended. Stir in the white chocolate chips and the macadamia nuts.
Drop the dough by rounded tablespoonfuls (or bigger if that’s your style) about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until just barely set and slightly golden around the edges. Cool for 5-10 minutes on the cookie sheet, then carefully remove to a rack or a plate to finish cooling.