Archive for: macadamia nuts
Not everyone is a big white chocolate fan, but even people who don’t generally like white chocolate find that it is a great combination with macadamia nuts. Creamy white chocolate is a great compliment for crunchy, buttery macadamia nuts because the flavors work extremely well together and neither one dominates the other. Other kinds of chocolate can sometimes overwhelm the delicate flavor of macadamia nuts. I happen to be a fan of white chocolate, so it goes without saying that I like the combination, but these White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Blondies are good enough to win anyone over.
The blondies are dense and almost fudgy, just with a very brownie-like texture despite the fact that there is no chocolate in the bars themselves. They are, however, packed with chopped macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips. The bars are rich without being too heavy, and they have a good butter and vanilla flavor to them that showcases the white chocolate and nuts very well. I used slightly more macadamia nuts than white chocolate chips, simply because I wanted a little extra crunch in my blondies, although you can boost the amount of white chocolate a bit if you want a little extra in your batch.
I also used toasted, salted macadamia nuts for my blondies. You don’t need to use salted nuts if you prefer not to (and even untoasted work well), but I like the slightly savory edge that the salt gives to the nuts and think that it creates an even nicer contrast with the white chocolate. Cut these bars into any size slice you like. I usually opt for about 16 pieces, but you could serve smaller bite-sized bars or huge and indulgent ones. They will keep well for a couple of days when they are stored in an airtight container, too, so you you can make them ahead of time.
Cookie brittle is made by pressing cookie dough into a very thin layer and baking it until it is crispy and can be broken into irregular chunks, just as regular peanut or nut brittle can be. It has a crispy texture to it and a very appealing, candy-like look to it. Cookie brittle is definitely a change of pace from your average cookie – but a very appealing one.
This Macadamia Coconut Cookie Brittle is made with lots of sweetened, shredded coconut and macadamia nuts. The cookie itself is buttery and crisp, but the coconut adds a bit of chewiness to the cookie once you start to eat a piece. The macadamia nuts tie in well with the coconut, lending their buttery flavor to give these a slightly tropical feeling. I used toasted, salted macadamia nuts – partly because I like my mac nuts roasted and salted, but also because that adds a salty element to the sweetness of the cookie dough and the coconut. It is a little bit addictive, especially for a coconut lover like me.
When you start to make this, you will notice that the dough is quite dry, and becomes even more crumbly when all of the coconut and macadamia nuts are added to it. Don’t worry about this, since the dough does not have to be shaped into individual balls. The dough will stick together when it is pressed firmly down onto a baking sheet before going into the oven. The crumbly dough also leads to a crispier and more crumbly cookie brittle, as a wet dough can leave you with too much moisture in your brittle (great for a regular cookie, not ideal for brittle). Bake the brittle until it is golden and firm to the touch for the best results.
While I do like a classic chocolate chip cookie, I find it very hard to say no to a good oatmeal cookie. Oatmeal adds a great flavor and texture to cookies, making them tender and adding a slight nuttiness that goes well with any mix-in you might want to include. I often make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and oatmeal raisin cookies are a family favorite, but I took these Tropical Oatmeal Cookies in a different direction and used pineapple, coconut and macadamia nuts in them for a summery, tropical flavor.
The cookies are buttery and slightly chewy, but not too sweet. This allows the other flavors in the cookie to really shine. I used sweetened, shredded coconut and dried pineapple, which I coarsely chopped into small pieces. Dried pineapple is definitely the way to go in this recipe because fresh pineapple really just has too much moisture and will take these from cookies to small, moist cakes. Macadamia nuts add a nice crunch, and I included some dried tart cherries for a pop of color and a little contrast to the very sweet pineapple (although they’re not exactly tropical fruits).
This flavor combination is addictive and these are sure to be a favorite variation on some of my staple recipes in my house. The pineapple and coconut work well with other fruits and nuts, too. Candied ginger could be used in place of the cherries, and walnuts or cashews could stand in for the macadamia nuts. Even better, you could add a splash of rum extract to take these from a tropical fruit taste to a tropical cocktail taste for a snack that delivers a mini vacation!
A cake doesn’t have to be a cupcake just because it is small. Leave off the piles of frosting and the colorful wrapper and you have an individually sized dessert that is a simple, elegant way to finish off a dinner with family or friends. These little Macadamia Nut Cakes are definitely not cupcakes, but they sure are tasty. The recipe is a riff on one of Jacques Pepin’s cake recipes, which is included in his cookbook, More Fast Food My Way. He used almonds in his version and says that they’re a very simple, very french dessert. My version of these cakes uses buttery macadamia nuts. I love these nuts in just about everything that you could put them in, but in these cakes they add a lot of body and richness to what is an incredibly simple cake.
When I say simple, I mean it. These cakes have just a handful of ingredients and are whipped up in seconds in the food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, you could try using almond meal (ground macadamia nuts would be very difficult to find in most places), but you’ll really get the best results when starting with whole nuts. The finished cakes are light, fluffy and tender. They have a great overall macadamia nut flavor, with bright notes of lemon and a hint of rum. The cakes aren’t too sweet, and while they’re tasty as-is, they pair very well with fresh berries, whipped cream or even a scoop of ice cream. Since I added lemon zest into my cake batter, I topped these cakes off with a dollop of lemon curd and a twist of lemon to dress up the presentation.
If you’re not going to serve these cakes right away – and they can be served warm if you do want to serve them immediately, although they will come out of the wrappers more cleanly if you allow them to cool – you can make them a day ahead and store them in an airtight container before dressing them up. The recipe can be doubled if you want to serve a crowd, but also be halved for an even smaller serving if, like me, you just want to treat yourself once in a while.
White chocolate and macadamia nuts go together particularly well in drop cookies, where the sweetness of the white chocolate makes for a nice contrast with buttery cookie dough and crisp macadamia nuts, but these two ingredients can be a great combination in a whole variety of other baked goods, as well. A great example of these flavors coming together is in this batch of White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Magic Bars. Magic bars, also known as 7-layer bars, are a type of bar cookie where all of the components are layered together and then baked. It is “magic” because there is almost no mixing involved and the bars come out of the oven perfectly melded together in one tasty treat.
The bottom layer of this is a crust of graham cracker crumbs, oatmeal and butter. The crust is flavorful and slightly crumbly, but a great base to hold the bars together. On top of this crust are the white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts. I always use roasted and salted macadamias in these because roasting the nuts gives them a nice crisp texture and the added salt keeps these bars from being too sweet and makes them very balanced. The final layers are shredded coconut and sweetened condensed milk. The coconut just adds flavor and texture, while the sweetened condensed milk acts like glue to bind everything together.
This is a simple treat that literally has layers of flavor. The finished bars have a great mixture of crisp, crunchy textures and gooey, melty ones. Creamy white chocolate, crunchy nuts and toasty coconut are all fantastic together – and dangerously addictive, so you might want to have some people on hand to share these with! The bars keep well in an airtight container for a couple of days and are best served at room temperature, although they can also be served chilled in warmer weather.