Friday, September 16, 2011

White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies

White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies have always been and will probably always be my favorite kind of cookie.  I have loved them forever, since childhood on.  I remember my Mum received ice cream and cookie doughs and other bad-for-you goodies through the delivery service Schwan's the whole time I was growing up.  I remember specifically she would order the white chip macadamia nut dough in like a half gallon size and we would bake it off periodically and eat it every so often, and when I was really in the mood, I would grab chunks of it and eat if raw and frozen.  I think you're getting the picture.  It was a little scary.

I also worked at Subway for a couple years in my late teens and low and behold we sold cookies there that came in cases, frozen and individually portioned.  They were the worst quality - white flour, white sugar, likely some cheap margarine as a butter substitute (back then I wasn't big on reading ingredient labels!).  But they were damn tasty right out of the oven, or of course, frozen. 

Fast forward a couple years later after having gone vegetarian and vegan and specifically baking vegan.  Considering they were my favorite cookies, I tried probably at least ten different recipes, all with varying degrees of success, but none that I thought were really great.  I tried the recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar several times and it would work a couple times, and a then it would be overly sugary and crispy.  I liked the slight nutmeg taste in it, but wasn't happy with the overall cookie.  So, on to other recipes.  Several weeks ago, I found a recipe online and wasn't expecting anything great, and attempted it.  The recipe instructed you to mix everything together, but because I was using a large granulated "raw" sugar, I mixed together the sugar with the wet ingredients, and the resulting dough was quite liquidy, but I gave it the benefit of the doubt, baked them, and they came out really flat and funky, but still tasty.  The next time around after I mixed the dough, I let it sit for at least ten minutes and then baked them.  They were better, but still needed a little something extra, something to hold them together better.

I made them again for the family I cook for, thinking they needed an egg replacer, to help them maintain their shape once they were removed from the baking tray, so I added a little ground flax, and the dough was completely different!  While they were in the oven baking, I was looking at them nervously, not knowing exactly what to expect.  When they came out, they looked amazing, beautiful color, texture, and after waiting for like 2 minutes (I was way too impatient!), I tried them, and SUCCESS!!! Finally!  The tastiest white chip macadamia nut cookie I have had since back in the day eating those frozen Schwan's cookies.  I always wondered why my Mum didn't make things like that at home, because she is a great baker and cook, but maybe it was just easier for her to buy the dough for her cookie-a-holic family.  I'm not so into cookies and sweets anymore, probably because I am around them and bake them everyday, but I still love me a white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookie!

White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookie:

The Amazing, Perfectly Baked Cookies!

Yields 2 dozen cookies

2 cups unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2/3 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegan white chocolate chips
2/3 cup chopped salted macadamia nuts

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
2.  In a medium bowl add the sugar, oil, maple syrup, ground flax seeds and vanilla extract.  Whisk together vigorously until the mixture is thick and emulsified.  Add the flour, baking powder & soda, sea salt, white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts.  Using a rubber spatula, stir the mixture until a thick dough forms. 
3.  Using a small portion scoop, portion out 12 balls of dough onto the parchment lined sheet trays and press down lightly with the palm of your hand.  Place tray in the oven and bake 10-15 minutes.  The longer the cookies are baked, the crispier they will become.  I like them at about 12 minutes.  Remove them from the baking pan as soon as they come out of the oven, because they will continue cooking on the tray and become overly crispy.  Try to let them cool for at least a couple minutes so the chocolate chips do not burn your tongue!  These are crazy good!  Make a full or double batch, bring them to work, and amaze your coworkers.  Seriously!

A Close Up of the Crazy Good Cookies!



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I've Been Away ..... On Vacation

Hello Everyone,

Sorry about the absence of posts, but I have been taking a much needed vacation!  I have taken the Hubby back to Michigan to hang out with my family, get away from the city and just chill out in a place where people are always nice, the air is clean and the day goes by nice and slowly!  Having a great time, and I promise I will update soon!  Until then, enjoy this beautiful picture of Lake Michigan and the Hubby and I enjoying our vacay!

So Beautiful & Refreshing!
(And Freshwater, not Salt Water!)

Hubby & I with my Brother & Sister-In-Law's Dog Robbie. 
It's funny how properly he's sitting, as though he knew about
 the picture!  Can you tell he'd just gone for a swim?