Archive for the ‘Macadamia Nuts’ Category

Cookies on the Fly Part II: Continuing Service to Nowhere

March 19, 2012

So I’m still stuck in the airport.  I’ve thoroughly explored concourse D, and now I realize why I’ve never bothered to go beyond gate D9:  gates D10-D15 are boring.  Of course, that doesn’t set them apart from the rest of the concourse much.  So to ease the tedium, I’m returning to my original intentions:  cookie-blogging & cherry-eating.  Yes, I bought another bag of the bloody expensive chocolate cherries from the gift shop.  I couldn’t help it.  After I picked up the first bag that spilled, they smelled so good sitting on the seat next to me that I wanted to eat them in spite of the fact that they’d been on the floor.  So here we go again.  I’m noticing now that the packaging has a little dotted line and a picture of scissors on top.  Note to the marketers:  don’t sell something that must be opened with scissors IN AN AIRPORT.  We’re not allowed to have scissors because we might threaten to snip rude airline employees.  Okay, the bag is open.  So far, so good.  Tasting…  Wow.  Go buy these.  Second row down, middle item.  Yummy.  My fellow passenger in standby purgatory agrees.

So, on to the cookies before poor Janice has an apoplexy.  This was a variation on a recipe from The Ultimate Cookie Book called Brazil Nut and Orange Cookies.  As I dislike Brazil nuts (and therefore had none on hand), I substituted macadamia nuts.  I also played with the icing a bit; I’ll address that when we get there.

Macadamia Nut and Orange Cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp grated orange rind
1/3 cup orange juice
1/4 tsp lemon extract
1/4 cup macadamia nuts
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts  (So in other words, you need a full cup of whatever nut you use, but reserve 3/4 cup; only 1/4 goes in the cookie.)
Raisins  (Optional, and I opted against them. Seemed like a clash of flavors to me.)

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In a large bowl, cream butter with sugar.  Add eggs and mix well.  Sift together dry ingredients and add to egg mixture.  Mix in orange rind, orange juice and lemon extract.  Fold in macadamia nuts and raisins, if desired.

Drop spoonfuls of batter onto cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.  I didn’t grease the cookie sheets, and they stuck, so then I did grease them and they spread out too much and got too brown on the edges.  I’m going to say lining the sheets with parchment paper would be the better way to go.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes.  Watch them carefully.  They’ll get a bit brown on the edges before they’re quite done, and that’s fine, but they can go from light brown to over-baked quickly.

Meanwhile, prepare icing.

Icing

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tbsp water
1 tsp lemon juice

I switched up the ingredients a bit.  I used orange juice instead of lemon because I had fresh oranges on hand, and since orange is a less intense flavor than lemon, I replaced half the water with orange juice as well.  It was still a faint flavor.  If I had it to do over, I would either use lemon as directed, or use all orange juice and no water.  Mix together confectioners’ sugar, water and lemon juice.  Spoon over hot cookies and sprinkle with chopped nuts; let cool.  I ran out of icing and wound up making two batches.  Even though the liquid to sugar ratio was the same, the first batch was runny; it just soaked into the cookies and disappeared.  If your icing consistency is too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar so you won’t have to ice them twice like I did.  It should ooze or stream slowly to coat the surface of the cookie, but not run or soak in like a liquid.

So there you have it.  Enjoy!  Soon to come are recipes for my very favorite muffins (despite an infamous baking powder incident), and my mother’s awesome oatmeal cookies.

Not-So-Challenging Baking: Drop Cookies

September 10, 2011

This has been a tired & lazy kind of week, so when it came time to bake, I wanted something quick and easy (and when it came time to blog, I procrastinated).  Easy baking generally means drop cookies.  This is the cookie group traditional chocolate chippers fall into.  Most cookie books have a section for them, or specify which ones they are.  Drop cookies are about the simplest thing you can make and still be baking from scratch.  You just mix them up and toss them on the pan; there is no rolling, cutting or filling involved.  The drop cookie du jour is a favorite of mine, though I’d never made them myself before:  macadamia nut & white chocolate cookies.  I get them from Subway all the time, and I figured it was high time I added them to my repertoire.  This recipe is a variation on the chocolate chip cookie recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.  It turned out well, though the cookies didn’t keep for very long.  After a few days they got a bit dry & crunchy, though that may have been because I over-baked them just a bit.  They don’t really brown on top much, and if you take them out a minute or two before they’re totally done, they’ll probably have that moist, chewy texture suited to this type of cookie.

Macadamia Nut and White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 12-ounce package (2 cups) white chocolate chips
1 3 1/2-ounce jar macadamia nuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 375°F.  In a large mixing bowl beat the shortening and butter or margarine with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.  Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and baking soda.  Beat mixture till combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla till combined.  Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer.  Stir in remaining flour.  Stir in chocolate pieces and nuts.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes or till edges are lightly browned.  Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.  Let them cool on the pan for at least a few seconds before you try to transfer them, or they’ll fall apart.

When it comes to cookies, do as Subway says:  “Eat fresh!”
See you next week!