I had not made these cookies until now. I love citrus flavors and had limes on hand (as well as an extra egg yolk I needed to use) so decided to make these. They were simple, very basic and turned out relatively well considering that I did not know what to expect. Perhaps the most important thing is that people ate them.
KEY LIME COOKIES
Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C
1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime zest
1/2 cup powdered sugar for dusting
Cream butter, sugar, egg, and egg yolk. When smooth, stir in lime juice and lime zest. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; blend into the creamed mixture. Form dough into ½-inch balls, and arrange on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks. While cookies are still warm, sift powdered sugar over them.
What to do with leftover egg whites or yolks? I actually have a collection of recipes I use for just such dilemmas. With egg whites, one of the great standby recipes is some kind of meringue. When I decided to make these cookies, I actually only had one egg white in need of use, so had to use another one, creating a spare egg yolk (hence making the key lime cookie recipe I posted earlier).
I am not the biggest fan of meringue (no more so than any other cookie or baked concoction). Nevertheless, I practice on rare occasions making this (and other meringue) recipe(s) because it seems like something I should be able to do. I never make the ganache for these, mostly because if I make them, I am transporting them and not serving immediately. In fact I tend to be lazy in the ganache/glaze/frosting department. If I feel that a cookie or cake is sufficient without further embellishment, I don’t bother. The lemon cake I frequently make, for example, is so simple and delicious on its own, it seems a shame to make a glaze (while others who have made it say the glaze is their favorite part).
ESPRESSO MERINGUE KISSES
Preheat oven to 325°F/160°C
2 egg whites
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
Ganache, if desired:
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons butter
3/4 cup chopped chocolate
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
Separate eggs and leave egg whites out to come to room temperature (30 minutes). Stir sugar and espresso powder together and set aside. Add vanilla to the egg whites. Beat on medium until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1 tablespoon of the sugar mixture at a time to the egg whites. Beat on high until stiff peaks form and sugar is almost dissolved. Drop onto prepared baking sheets, bake until light brown, about 15-20 minutes.
For ganache: Stir together cream, sugar, butter. Cook on stove over medium high heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil. Place chocolate in a bowl and pour the boiling cream mixture over the chocolate. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Drizzle the baked, cooled meringues with the ganache just before serving.
I had planned to bake this evening but in my current living situation, I cannot always have my way. I had specific baking plans. All thwarted. Oh well.
Thus, instead of baking, I am relegated to a contemplative evening.
1. I am sad. I understand nothing. I want to be apathetic and aloof like I used to be, but I can’t.
2. I have yet to find molasses in this country, so I cannot make gingerbread or ginger snaps or any other typically gingery-spicy cookies (incidentally, the only kind of cookies I really like – perhaps fortuitous then that I can’t get my hands on molasses).
3. I am already thinking about Halloween. ???
4. I am homesick for Iceland, missing some important people there.
The white chocolate macadamia nut cookie is quintessentially North American in nature. It might exist elsewhere, but this slightly more elegant offshoot of the traditional chocolate chip cookie sounds profoundly confusing and unusual to non-North American ears (although to the taste buds, it is not so dubious a proposition). Despite my long history dabbling in baking, and my pursuit of baking every cookie variety from A to Z, last night was my first attempt to make the white chocolate macadamia cookie that enjoys such popularity in America. I could blame the fact that I live abroad and finding the white chocolate chips that work so well in these cookies is somewhat difficult. I could blame the fact that macadamia nuts are slightly more expensive than other nuts. In fact, it just never crossed my mind.
Given that I have no history with this cookie, I have no tale to tell. (“No New Tale to Tell” – Love and Rockets… there’s a song for every occasion. Today while talking to someone about how technology is so pervasive it is almost Big Brother in its reach, we discussed longing for basic, simple things as a counterbalance. I have always been a traditionalist in this sense… always sending personal, postal cards/letters. It’s human, but it is rare. An actual human touch is (almost) becoming obsolete. But I go on mailing cards and baking cookies—as human as it gets, really. And trying to reconnect with simpler times in life, I found music I have not listened to since I was about 14. Depeche Mode, The Primitives… strange.)
A few times in recent months when I mentioned my baking habits to American friends and acquaintances, they in turn would mention how much they’d love a good white chocolate macadamia cookie. Suddenly I thought I might as well try it. Happily the cookies turned out well and were very popular in the office.
WHITE CHOCOLATE MACADAMIA COOKIES
Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (coarsely chopped) macadamia nuts
2 cups white chocolate chips
In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt) and set aside.
Beat together the melted butter and both sugars. Beat in the egg, then beat in the egg yolk, then beat in the vanilla.
Add the dry ingredient mixture to the butter/sugar/egg mixture until just moistened (do not overstir). Stir in the macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips by hand.
Drop by spoonfuls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and press down to flatten slightly.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges look golden brown. Remove from oven, leave on pans for about ten minutes. Remove to cool on a rack.