I probably bake chocolate chip cookies a little bit more often than other types of cookies. You can’t argue with them: everyone likes chocolate and they’re simply a classic. Once in a while I get a real craving for something with white chocolate instead and bake up a batch of white chocolate macadamia nut cookies as a change of pace. They’re the kind of cookie that I almost forget how much I like, simply because I don’t have them too often. Who can resist a cookie that delivers chewy, creamy and crispy elements all together in each bite? Even traditionalists who usually stick to regular chocolate chip cookies enjoy mixing things up once in a while.
These Chewy White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies always fit the bill when I’m looking for a white chocolate mac nut fix. The cookies are chewy and buttery, both from the butter in the cookie dough and from the naturally buttery macadamia nuts that they are studded with. The cookie dough is similar to sugar cookie dough and it is a good backdrop for the nuts and white chocolate. As is always the case with white chocolate, try to use a good quality white chocolate and not a product that is “chocolate-like” and made with other vegetable fats. Good quality white chocolate is ultra creamy, with a silky texture and a nice blend of dairy and vanilla flavors. It really compliments the macadamia nuts and, while it is sweet, it won’t be anywhere near as sweet as the imitation white “chocolate.”
The cookies are baked at a relatively low temperature until they are just set. This helps them to stay chewy without crossing the line into crispiness. The cookies should be quite pale when they are finished baking, with just a hint of golden brown on top. That said, when the cookies are fresh, they will stil have a hint of crispiness around the edges, but the edges will soften slightly when the cookies are stored overnight in an airtight container. They’ll stay fresh for a few days after baking. These cookies are generously sized, so if you want to make them smaller you can reduce the baking time a little bit. I like them a little on the large side so that every cookie ends up with plenty of white chocolate pieces and macadamia nuts in them. If you end up making your cookies smaller, I recommend chopping the nuts a little more finely to ensure that you get more than one nut in each cookie.
Chewy White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 white chocolate chips
3/4 cup coarsely chopped, toasted macadamia nuts
Preheat oven to 323F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, gradually blend in the flour mixture until no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Fold in the white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts.
Shape the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and place prepared baking sheet, leaving about 3 inches between cookies to allow for spread.
Bake for 15-18 minutes, until cookies are just set around the edges and are beginning to turn a very pale golden color on top. Cookies should be fairly pale for chewier cookies. Cookies may fall slightly as they cool.
Cool for about 4-6 minutes on the baking sheet until cookies are completely set, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container.
Makes about 20 cookies.