When I was younger and we’d have family gatherings my mum would always put out a bowl of nuts. My uncle doctor would warn us kids away from them saying that kids weren’t allowed to eat nuts because they could choke. I didn’t really see the logic in this, couldn’t I choke on anything? So one day I stealthily swiped a macadamia from the bowl to see what all the fuss was about. It was love at first bite. I love the soft creaminess of them. Ever since then I’ve loved macadamias but I rarely buy them. They’re way too moreish to keep in my house in any sort of quantity.
Just before we left to get married, the lovely people at Australian Macadamias sent me a one kilogram bag of macadamias. Luckily they were well-sealed so I could leave them until I got back but I was dreaming of white chocolate and macadamia cookies while I lazed the days away on the beach in Thailand (I’m not kidding I really did think of them!). I based the recipe on Chris’s vanilla sugar cookies over at The Cafe Sucre Farine. They looked so delicious I was pretty sure that adding white chocolate and macadamias would only improve them. Instead of granulated sugar I used brown and it gave them such a lovely texture almost like shortbread but not quite as crumbly.
Making these hardly put a dint in my macadamia supply so I’ll be featuring a few recipes with these delicious nuts in the next few weeks. They’re rather versatile.
When I come across a biscuit recipe that doesn’t start with beating the butter and sugar together until light and creamy I will be shocked!
When they are nice and fluffy add the egg yolks and mix until they’re totally combined.
Now add the flour in two batches. Normally I take the bowl off the stand and use a spoon to mix in the flour in biscuits but the recipe used the stand mixer so I gave it a go too. Let me tell you, no more hard work mixing biscuits by hand for me. The mixer took care of it rather nicely.
Now add the star ingredients – macadamias and white chocolate. You’ll notice that the macadamias aren’t exactly small chunks. The food processor fairy has yet to grant me my wish for a KitchenAid food processor (this is the food processor I’d like if you’re listening fairy) so I had to crush the nuts with my mortar and pestle. There were nuts everywhere and it took me about 20 minutes to crush a cup of them. Yes I’m a little bit special with some things.
Anyway, mix them in until they are just combined.
For this step there’s no avoiding a bit of hard work. Use a tablespoon of dough at a time and roll it into balls and place them on a lined baking tray. Leave about 3cm between each dough ball. Bake the balls at 160C fan-forced for 17-19 minutes or until golden.
Now here is where you learn from my experimenting. My balls of dough didn’t quite spread out how I thought they would. They were still delicious in blob form but I wanted a flatter biscuit so I quickly whipped the tray out of the oven and pressed them all down. With the next lot I pressed the balls to about 2-3cm thickness before baking and they turned out perfectly.
Leave them to set on the tray for 10 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
I think they’d keep pretty well in an airtight container. It’s day 3 for my batch and they still taste like they were baked this morning.
Serve them with a nice cup of tea. Enjoy!
What about you? What’s your favourite type of nut?
- 1¼ cup lightly-packed brown sugar
- 250g (9oz) butter, chopped and softened
- 3 large egg yolks
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2½ cups plain AP flour
- 1tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- 1 cup roasted macadamia nuts, crushed (measure before crushing)
- 75g (3oz) white chocolate chips or crumbled white chocolate
- Pre-heat the oven to 160C (320F) fan-forced and line two oven trays with baking paper.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until they are light and creamy.
- Add the egg yolks and beat until combined.
- Tip in the sifted flour, baking powder, salt and cream of tarter in two lots and mix until the dough is formed
- Now add the chocolate and macadamias and mix them in.
- Using one tablespoon of dough at a time, form the dough into balls and place them on the trays 3cm apart. Gently press them down with your fingers or the back of a spoon to make them 2-3cm thick.
- Bake the cookies for 17-19 minutes or until golden.
- Leave them to cool on the trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
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