Archive for: macadamia nuts
I got an interesting tip from a guy at my local Trader Joe’s this week about adding nuts to pancakes. He suggested that I grate the nuts using a microplane or other very fine grater instead of chopping them up. This technique has plusses and minuses. The plus is that you really disperse the nut flavor throughout the pancake, so you can taste it in every bite. The downside is that you don’t get any of the crunch that you get from adding in chopped nuts. I’ll probably use both methods from time to time. This time, I used the grating method to make macadamia nut pancakes.
I simply used my microplane to grate some toasted, lightly salted macadamia nuts directly into some buttermilk pancake batter. You need to watch your fingers a bit as you do this, but the nuts grate down so smoothly and easily that it’s not difficult to handle them at all. I grated the nuts right into the bowl and whisked them into the batter. I could taste macadamia nut in every single bite of the pancake – and it didn’t take very many nuts to let the buttery, nutty flavor come through! I topped the pancakes off with some freshly sliced banana and some maple syrup.
The beautiful thing about a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie is how white chocolate and macadamia nuts work so well together. They’re even appealing to people who aren’t big fans of either of the major components. On their own, white chocolate is too sweet for some and macadamia nuts can be too rich. Together, the creaminess of the white chocolate matches the crunch of the nuts, and the mellow flavor of the macadamias cuts the sugariness of the chocolate. In short, they’re just really good.
I wanted to add a little something extra to the classic flavor and opted to mix some lime zest into the cookie batter. The lime give the cookies a bright, zesty touch and almost makes them seem a bit tropical. I think it’s a flavor that works great with each of the components individually, as well.
This recipe makes fairly soft cookies that aren’t too sweet on their own. I felt like this was a good backdrop for the sweet white chocolate and the crunch of the nuts – plus, I really wanted something that I could dip into my afternoon coffee as I snacked. The cookies are soft and moist and, while I wouldn’t call them cake-like, they might turn out that way if they are overbaked. Keep an eye on these while they’re in the oven and look for them to be just lightly browned around the edges and on some of the protruding ridges on top of the cookies. They’re good when they’re still slightly warm and should keep well in an airtight container for at least a day or two.
Traveling gives you the chance to try all kinds of new foods and local favorites. Having friends who travel can give you some of the same opportunities, provided they’re kind enough to pick up some of those local favorites and bring them back to you. Some of my friends brought back a box of chocolate covered macadamia nuts from a recent trip to Hawaii and, after thanking them profusely, I decided to turn them into a batch of cookies so that I could share them in return.
I turned to a recipe for White Chocolate Madacamia Nut Cookies that calls for macadamia nut oil, hoping to enhance the flavor of the chocolate-covered nuts with the extra boost of mac nut. It worked a little too well, and I ended up cutting back to a combination of macadamia nut oil and vegetable oil to create a more balanced flavor. The chocolate from the nuts was creamy and smooth. It was milk chocolate, but still stood up to the richness of the oil remarkably well.
Now, if you aren’t lucky enough to have a box of chocolate-covered macadamia nuts on hand to use in these cookies, you can add chopped mac nuts and chocolate chunks separately. Leave the macadamia nuts in fairly large pieces and use a 1/3 cup mac nut to 2/3 cup chocolate ratio to mimic the makeup of the chocolate covered nuts. Also, you might want to try using milk chocolate in this recipe, as that is what most of the chocolate covered mac nuts I have encountered use and it works well with the rest of the cookie.
Nuts can make a fantastic addition to cookies, cakes and other baked goods. Whether you use pecans, walnuts or almonds, they all add great flavors and a nice crunch to any recipe. Another nut that I am fond of is the macadamia nut, which has an unusually smooth and buttery flavor. I particularly enjoy it when it is paired with white chocolate, as the chocolate contributes a sweetness that is noticeably lacking in the nut. This is the point where the size of the nut becomes an issue: I like white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, but would rather not have the huge nuts taking over the texture with their bulk.
Luckily for me, this recipe not only made the most delicious white chocolate macadamia cookies I’ve had in a long time, but there was not a single whole nut to be seen. That is because these cookies use flavorful macadamia nut oil instead of whole nuts.
This recipe came about when I was playing with a vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe that I found on a blog (which has since taken offline). The cookies used maple syrup or agave syrup as a sweetener and used oil instead of butter as the fat. The macadamia nut oil was an impulse addition for me. When I noticed that the batter smelled fantastic – and distinctly of macadamia nuts – I decided to mix in white chocolate chips instead of plain.
The finished cookies were better than I could have hoped for. The cookies were crispy on the edges and slightly chewy in the center. They tasted like mac nuts and the white chocolate wonderfully accented the overall cookie. Though there was maple syrup in the batter, there was no maple flavor to the final cookie. The recipe makes only a few, so they disappear in a flash, but store them in an airtight container if necessary.
The recipe is no longer vegan, since white chocolate chips typically include milk solids, but regular chocolate chips (which are dairy free) also work very well with the macadamia nuts and make for a great vegan cookie. If you can’t find macadamia nut oil at your usual grocery store, try a natural foods or specialty store (like Whole Foods). Otherwise, use vegetable oil to make a regular chocolate chip version and keep and eye out for it!
Generally, I like my pancakes on the plain side. I go for buttermilk pancakes most of the time and, though I’ve been known to have a flavor or two, the thing that I most often add is blueberries. That being said, a little variation now and then is a good thing – hence the reason that I decided to cram so much flavor into these.
These pancakes are really a basic, plain pancake with a lot of stuff added to them. I added banana, shredded coconut and chopped macadamia nuts as a sort of tropical combination. The shredded coconut actually works really well in the pancakes and, though you could certainly use coconut milk in place of the regular milk, I think that the coconut flavor might overpower the others at that point.
I debated for a while about whether I should use butter or oil in these pancakes, especially since I have macadamia nut oil at home. At first I thought that using the mac nut oil would blend the flavors further, but it turns out that I prefered to have a bit of buttery flavor in the pancakes. The mac nut oil is extremely buttery for a vegetable oil, but the flavor was a little overpowering; the pancakes tasted a bit greasy. If you do decide to use a strong oil, I would recommending using only on tablespoon.
Back to the pancakes, though. The coconut and banana played off each other very well, and both of the flavors melded right into the pancake. The nuts are entirely optional. I like these with and without nuts, so add them according to your own preference for having crunchy bits in your pancakes. These don’t really need syrup, since they taste great on their own, but I’m not one to argue against maple syrup.