Sunday, December 2, 2007

Day 1: White Chocolate Cashew Macadamia Butter Cookies

White Chocolate Cashew Macadamia Butter Cookie
To kick off the 12 Days of Cookies, I am posting a recipe that uses an unique product, creamy and fragrant cashew macadamia nut butter (I purchased a jar from my local Trader Joes). The flavor of this cookie is based on one of my all time favorites, a chewy and chunky white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. But macadamia nuts are pretty darn pricey and I've never been able to splurge for them. Even though you don't get the full macadamia nut flavor here since it's mixed with cashew butter, the cookies are still quite tasty.

The dough recipe is very similar to the kind used for peanut butter cookie. If you can't find cashew macadamia butter, you can replace it with peanut butter to make a traditional chewy peanut butter cookie. If you're making peanut butter cookies, you can either omit the chocolate chips or spruce them up with white, chocolate, or butterscotch chips. However, in this original recipe I would only use white chocolate chips because chocolate would overpower the delicate fragrant flavor of the cashew macadmia nut butter. I like to make big, generous cookies so this recipe will only yield about 18 - 20 cookies. If you prefer smaller cookies, use 2 tablespoons of dough and bake them for 10 - 12 minutes instead of 14 to 15.

White Chocolate Cashew Macadamia Butter Cookies

2 C AP flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 C packed light brown sugar
1/2 C granulated sugar
1 C cashew macadamia nut butter
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 C white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside.

In a separate bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter with sugars until light and fluffy. Add the cashew macadamia nut butter, vanilla, and one egg and mix until evenly incorporated then add the second egg.

Slowly add in the dry ingredients. Mix until the dough is almost evenly mixed then add the white chocolate chips and mix until the dough has mixed evenly with no streaks of flour remaining.

Using a large ice cream/cookie scoop (#16 size), scoop about 1/4 C of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roll each scoop of dough into a ball and gently press each ball of dough down until they're about 3/4 in thick. Bake at 350 degrees F for 14 - 15 minutes. The cookies will be lightly browned on the edges but they should be a little underdone in the center. Let them set on the sheet for a minute then gently lift them to a cooling rack.

Makes about 18 to 20 cookies.

Traditional Chewy Peanut Butter Cookie Variation
- Replace cashew macadmia nut butter with equal amount of peanut butter
- Use either chocolate or white chocolate chips or omit entirely
- For traditional sized cookies, use 2 tablespoons of dough. Dip a fork in cold water before making the criss cross design
- Bake for 10 - 12 minutes.

I will be submitting these to Susan for her Eat Christmas Cookies Event. So head on over for even more Christmas Cookies!

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