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.