In recent years, I have baked M&M cookies – probably the most broadly well-loved cookies of the entire repertoire I bake – using the same recipe I use for the other most popular cookie (white chocolate macadamia nut cookies – sadly I don’t make these much anymore because I don’t have a constant supply of white chocolate chips from the US; a former colleague used to bring them to me, but we no longer work together).
The recipe I usually share on my blog for M&M cookies is not the same one as people go to such lengths to rave about. It’s misleading, and I feel in some way like I have pulled a switcheroo operation, falsely advertising, “You can get these results if you use this recipe” – but it is not true because the recipes are patently different.
M&M cookies: I have deceived you
Selling a false bill of goods, though, is something we should be used to now. Everything is a bit of a falsehood.
As much as some folks like to cite shiny bling things as important, I’m convinced that very basic things done well can get the job done.
I have only made these coconut macadamia cookies once before – many years ago when I first moved to Norway. I don’t recall anything about it but decided, wanting to get rid of both coconut and macadamia nuts, that this would be a good way. Not the most popular girl at the dance, I did have a few people come up to me after trying out several cookies from the giant smörgåsbord I provided the other day, commenting that these unassuming and seemingly very plain cookies were by far the best ones they ate. Job done.
not flash but solid: coconut macadamia cookies
Coconut Macadamia Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup flaked coconut
3 1/2 ounces or so of macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 375F. Mix butter, sugars and egg. Stir in flour and baking soda, dough will be very stiff. Stir in coconut and nuts. Drop dough by heaping tablespoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet (I rolled into balls, then flattened). Bake until light brown, 8 – 10 minutes (centers will be soft). Cool slightly, remove from cookie sheet and cool completely.
As I set up the vast spread of baked stuff on Monday, I was quite shocked to see that all the chocolate truffles I brought were gone in about 15 minutes. I am sure I have brought them before, and no one ever seemed interested in them. As I discussed with someone last night, though, sometimes when confronted with too much choice, the most basic things stand out most. Or the most chocolatey things. Sometimes, like in retail and merchandising, placement is key. I don’t know how to explain the rapid disappearance of the chocolate truffles. But I can explain how ridiculously bloody easy they are to make.
18 ounces chocolate chips (511 grams of chocolate of your choice; I used milk chocolate)
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk (generally one standard-sized can)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Stuff to roll truffles in (I used plain, unsweetened cocoa powder, but you could use powdered sugar or sprinkles or whatever you prefer)
On the stovetop in a saucepan (or in a double boiler), with burner on low, melt chocolate with the sweetened condensed milk. (I do this in a glass bowl over boiling water so that I can just transfer the bowl to the fridge for the chilling part.)
Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Chill 2 hours, shape into small balls and roll in topping. Place on a platter or in small paper cups (like cupcake cups) for candy. Chill again until just before ready to serve.
See? Really, really simple.