A very close friend of mine has a beautiful Macadamia nut farm on the Big Island in Hawaii, so I’m always trying recipes with “mac nuts”. The first time I visited, I had visions of eating handfuls of fresh macadamia nuts straight from the trees, but it turns out they’re a tough nut to crack! The shells are the hardest in the nut family. It actually takes 300 pounds per square inch of pressure to crack the nut shell. Nevertheless, this cookie is well worth the extra price for shelled macadamia nuts. It gets its deep buttery flavor from browning the butter first.
White Chocolate Chop Macadamia Nut Cookies
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces)
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
2 sticks unsalted butter
½ cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
¾ cups packed dark brown sugar (5 1/4 ounces)
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 ½ cups white chocolate chops (I like Guittard)
1 cup lightly toasted macadamia nuts, chopped
½ cup unsweetened lightly toasted coconut
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large (18- by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
2. Heat 12 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted.
3. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let mixture stand 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds.
4. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny. Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in white chocolate chips and nuts giving dough final stir to combine ingredients.
5. Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons (or use #24 cookie scoop). Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet. (Smaller baking sheets can be used, but will require 3 batches.)
6. Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack to cool.