March 19, 2008

White Chocolate & Macadamia Nut cookies

Chocolate & Macadamia nut cookies

As far back as I can remember, we would often have a box or two of Hawaiian Host chocolate-covered macadamia nuts courtesy of a visiting relative or friend of my parents'. It seemed to be the favorite pasalubong (gift from travels) during those times along with cans of salted macadamia, Almond Roca and Violet Crumble (ooohh how we would fight for these!) among a few others. And so for a very long time, that was all I knew of that nut. That it either came salted in a can or covered in delicious milk chocolate, but always from the exotic islands of pineapples and grass skirts.

Of course now I'd like to think that all these years exposed to more types of food from here and beyond have not only helped to expand my waistline (groan) but also my little knowledge of foods somewhat. Like for example, I know now that the macadamia nut is not only native to Hawaii as I ignorantly presumed, but also to Australia, Brazil and some other countries in South Africa and South America.

I found them to be abundant in Beijing, piled high among an assortment of dried fruit and nuts. I wish we had as much variety here and for the same reasonable price. I bought tons of the stuff, some to eat right away and the rest packed away for home. I stuffed myself silly with the sweetest, most delicious chestnuts I had ever tried! As far as the macadamia nuts were concerned, I already knew what I wanted to do with them...these cookies of course! I don't know what it is about white chocolate and macadamia nuts, but they make a good marriage.

I found several recipes online which I morphed into this one here. It worked out perfectly. Not too sweet, which is what I was afraid of because the chocolate I used - Ghirardelli white chocolate chips - were not unsweetened. I undercooked them a little to leave it a little gooey and chewy, the way I like my cookies to be. It was a little tricky to shell so many of the nuts in one go, but nowhere near as crazy hard as shelling those pili nuts was! The nice ladies in the market thoughtfully threw in a couple of those 'keys' you use to pry the shell open. All you have to do is slip the key into the crack, they all have 'em, then twist until the shell cracks further.

Now if you can resist popping all of it into your mouth, you can proceed to make these wonderful cookies!

Macadamia nuts

White Chocolate & Macadamia Nut Cookies
adapted from several diff. recipes at
Can make up to 2 dozen

1 stick butter, softened
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup white vanilla sugar
1 egg
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a large bowl, cream the butter with both sugars until smooth. Then beat in the eggs, slowly. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt before gradually stirring into the creamed mixture. Mix in the nuts and white chocolate. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 10 minutes or until it starts to turn golden brown.


Patricia Scarpin said...

Oh, my goodness! I made white chocolate and macadamia cookies on the weekend, too. They turned out so delicious - and yours are perfect!

Barbara said...

sounds delish. Shall I send my address? :)

village mama said...

just in time for Easter, thank you!

christine said...

Haha thanks Patricia, what a nice coincidence! :)

Sure Barbara, I'd love to send you some. If only they'd really stay fresh. And umm, if only I had any left. :)

You're welcome, village mama.Happy Easter! :)

ChichaJo said...

Whoa! These look fantastic Nens! Will there be a repeat? :) :) :)

Love that little macadamia key...

My oh my do I remember those Hawaiian Host pasalubongs!

christine said...

Hey Jo! (heehee I sound like those little kids on the street) If I get my hands on more raw macadamia, there will definitely be a repeat and I'll save you some! :)

princess_dyanie said...

wooowww!!! I love macadamia!!! :) yumm yumm yummm ;)

Anne said...

So tempting!These are my fave cookies :) I always have this everytime we eat at Subway (",)

katrina said...

You're so right about the white chocolate and macadamia combo! Which makes me wonder...would it be overkill to eat these cookies with Sebastian's White Choc. Macadamia ice cream? *evil grin*

A snack/dessert my family enjoys is mixing the salted macadamia nuts with plump golden raisins. Salty/sweet, crunchy/chewy, yum/yum!

christine said...

Hi Dyanie!! Hehe you sound like a macadamia monster. :)

Hi Anne! So the Subway cookies are good? I'll have to try them! :)

Katrina, that sounds like a great combination! Your family really knows how to enjoy food. :)

oggi said...

Yummy cookies! I love macadamia and white chocolate together.
I hoard Violet Crumbles whenever I see them in a specialty store!
I agree the Chinese chestnuts are the best and the sweetest. I recently rid my pantry of all Chinese food items partly for fear of "tainted food" and for political reasons but can't get myself to throw away my Chinese chestnuts. I love them too much!:D

christine said...

Oggi, what is it about those chestnuts?! They're amazing! We littered our hotel room and many a taxi cab with chestnut crumbs, we couldn't get enough of them!

Dan @ Leavenworth Wine Tours said...

I love macadamia - having grown up with hawaiian host myself, now i cant wait to go to Beijing and hoard!