As you all know, we have been going through the arduous process of selling our house/buying another one for the past few months. I appreciate your patience as I have less time to do blog entries during this period (Helllloooooo photography stuff . . . where are you hiding in all this packing stuff?!?). But the house buying process is as exciting as it is intimidating, and definitely the gem of the entire process has been Mr. B.
Mr. B is the seller of the house we want to buy. He is one of the sweetest, kindest people I have ever met. He is a retired contractor, and not only has he helped us through building a new patio and sprucing up our current house, absolutely free of charge, but he offered to give us $10,000, of his own personal money, to help us sell ours. Legally we couldn’t accept this money, but what a guy, huh? He reminds me of a towering, ocean-swept sea captain, with a dash of Santa Claus merriment– and he is always busily working on something or other and gearing up for the next adventure. These are the cookies that I love to make for Mr. B, because he loves macadamia nuts (and regular nuts, too, apparently, because he likes me! :). I call them $10,000 cookies in his honor, and I hope that he is part of our family forever. We love you, Mr. B. These cookies are for you. 🙂
(adapted from Hershey)
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
1 (12 oz.) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
Cream room temperature butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat well. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl (with mixer stopped, obviously) and add baking soda and salt. Mix. Add in flour and beat until combined. Stir in chocolate chips and macadamia nuts. Use a cookie scoop to evenly portion cookie batter onto a silpat-lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Rotate pans and switch top and bottom racks, and bake for 4 minutes more, or until just browned on the edges. Allow to cool on cookie sheets for several minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
Now, in pictures! 🙂
I have said it before, and I’ll say it again. My cookie “rule to live by” goes something like this:
Cold Ingredients are the enemy of good cookies.
Your cookies are like people– they don’t like to go to a party in the cold and sit outside, shivering. They want to get nice and comfy before they will spread out and relax for you. No big deal– just get your butter and egg out of the fridge to take a little siesta on the counter about 1/2 hour before you need them, and that will work just fine. It’s OK if your ingredients are cool to the touch, but they shouldn’t be cold. Start out by creaming your butter and sugars together with a stand mixer until the mixture is light and kind of fluffy looking– it will also lighten up a bit, in color, when it’s ready.
Next, add in your egg and vanilla. I beat these in, and then I stop the mixer, scrape down the sides, and mix again. This scraping step just helps to make sure that the oil-based stuff on the sides gets all mixed in with the water based stuff you just added. How’s that for a scientific explanation? “Add this stuff to that stuff . . .” hehe.
Next I add in the baking soda and salt, and beat the mixture a few times. I used to mix all the dry ingredients in, at once, but I found that sometimes the salt might not get completely mixed in (yielding a few VERY salty cookies that are a horror to discover the hard way– trust me). So I like to take the extra step of mixing the salt and baking soda into the mixture before I add the flour. Of course, that means you add the flour next. You’re so smart. I love working with you.
A word about flour. I read an old cookbook once that said that “the type of flour you use will determine how much flour you use.” Whoa. That is so true. I personally find that higher quality flours, like King Arthur brand, require a sqidge less than is called for in most recipes, while the cheaper brands (like Aldi flour, which I use, mainly because I’m poor– haha) need a squidge more. Since I use Aldi flour I pack my 2 1/4 cups of flour and level them off. When I use KA flour I scoop the flour (unpacked) into the cup and level off. Seriously. It sounds so fussy but it makes all the difference between a soft cookie and a stiff one that never spreads. Get to know your flour– your cookies (and all other baked goods, for that matter) will thank you. 😉
Now it’s time for the best part– stir in your chocolate chips and chopped macadamia nuts. You can either chop the nuts roughly with a knife, or you can give them a whirl in the food processor if you want finer pieces. Then whip out your secret weapon– the cookie scoop (I use the black one here for cookies). Using a cookie scoop seems a little fussy, too, but honestly it will turn your cookies into something any bakery would be proud of. It speeds up the process and makes all the cookies the same size. It also keeps them taller and softer, because the dough doesn’t spread as much when it starts from a single, tall lump. You can also freeze individual scoops of dough and make cookies right from the freezer ANYTIME YOU WANT. Yes. You can make 1 single, ooey-gooey cookie just for yourself, with zero effort after the kids go to bed. This means that you get to EAT THE ENTIRE COOKIE, YOURSELF, WITHOUT SHARING WITH SOMEONE UNDER 2 FEET TALL. Oh, baby. Yessssss.
Bake your cookies on a silpat-lined baking sheet at 350 degrees (use an oven thermometer to check temp– sometimes mine is off by as much as 50 degrees! :() for 10 minutes. Then switch your top sheet and bottom sheet, and rotate the sheets. Bake for 4 more minutes and pull the cookies out when they are JUST starting to get golden brown around the edges. Each oven is different, so watch them closely and pull when they are still slightly pale on top but browned around the edges. Fussy? Yes. But your perfectly browned cookies will be worth it. You won’t have some cookies that are pale on top and super brown on the bottom. You won’t have one sheet that’s overdone and one sheet that’s underdone. All you’ll have is perfect, chocolate chip perfection. You’re welcome.
Let your finished cookies sit on the baking sheets for several minutes before you remove the cookies to cooling racks. This waiting step just helps ensure that your cookies don’t fall apart while they’re still warm. Of course, if a few cookies DO just HAPPEN to break because you picked them up, warm, I suppose you’ll have to eat them. I would never be a proponent of wasting. 😉
When the cookies have rested for 2-3 minutes, go ahead and move them over to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Pour yourself a big, tall glass of milk and have a few of these little guys, warm from the oven.
But don’t forget to package some of these sweet little cookies up and share them with a neighbor or friend. Good people are hard to find– take time to appreciate them wherever you find them. As Mr. B says, “Life is short. Always go for a win/win.” 🙂 When you have a choice, always choose to be kind and make someone’s life a little better.
You did it. And I’m just so proud of you.
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