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Chewy Brown Sugar White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Chewy Brown Sugar White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

White chocolate and macadamia nuts are a match made in heaven. While macadamia nuts do go well with other types of chocolate, they have a mild, buttery flavor that is easily overwhelmed by dark chocolate. The sweet, creamy flavor of white chocolate is a good match for the nuts, accentuating their flavor without dominating it.  These Chewy Brown Sugar White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies have plenty of both white chocolate and toasted mac nuts, and they’re sure to be a hit with anyone who has a soft spot for this classic cookie flavor combination.

While many white chocolate macadamia nut cookies are made with white sugar – which gives the cookies a light color and mild flavor – these cookies are made with golden brown sugar. Golden brown sugar has a stronger molasses flavor than light brown sugar, but a less intense molasses flavor than dark brown sugar. Like other brown sugars, it has a higher moisture content than white sugar and helps these cookies to be nice and chewy, not crispy, after baking. If you don’t have golden brown sugar, you can use light brown sugar to get the same consistency and a similar flavor.

In the finished cookies, the brown sugar contributes an almost caramel flavor. This is a great backdrop for the creamy white chocolate chips and crisp, toasted macadamia nuts. As with all baked goods that use white chocolate, it is important to use good quality chocolate that is made with real cocoa butter and not other vegetable fats. Good quality white chocolate will be sweet, but it will taste like vanilla and fresh cream – and that is part of what makes these cookies so delicious.

Be sure not to overbake these to maintain their chewy texture. The cookies will keep well for several days after baking if they are stored in an airtight container. Leftover cookies can also be wrapped and frozen. They’ll lose a little of their chewiness after freezing, but the chopped up cookies make a fantastic addition to an ice cream sundae.

Chewy Brown Sugar White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups light or golden brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup coarsely chopped, toasted macadamia nuts

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract. Slowly stir in the flour mixture, mixing just until no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Stir in white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts until they are well-distributed.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls and arrange on prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 14-16 minutes, until cookies are just set in the center and golden around the edge. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5-6 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 3 1/2 dozen.

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