Thursday, April 26, 2012

Toasted Coconut & Salty Macadamia Nut Cookies

Remember how I showed you how to make brown sugar at home? It was only a couple of days ago, so I'm sure it's still fresh in your brain, right?

Well, here's a great way to use it really wickedly!

The first step in making these incredible Toasted Coconut & Salty Macadamia Nut Cookies is to make a deep dark brown sugar using a mixture of granulated white sugar and a good helping of dark cooking molasses.

This will give the cookies a rich and robust, almost brown buttery flavour.

Now, I just love this combination: toasted coconut and macadamia nuts.

That can never be wrong. It will transport you straight to flavourville. Get a one-way ticket because you won't want to come back.

Don't be too scared when you toast the coconut. Let it get crispy and nicely browned - just don't go as far as to burn it....obviously, right?

I like to use sweetened flaked coconut, but you can use unsweetened. No big deal.

The best part is the roasted and salted macadamia nuts. These cookies have a sweet salty thing going on and I'm totally digging it. I think you should get into this too.

The dough gets some chillin' time in the fridge before I roll it into balls. I like to flatten the dough balls with the palm of my hand after I place them on the baking sheet - the dough is kind of stiff so it needs some coaxing to spread out a bit.

I like these slightly under-baked. Their gooey centers will set up as they cool.

They're soft, chewy and super buttery. There's butteryness from the butter, the creamy macadamia nuts and I really do find that molasses enhances buttery flavours.

How many times did I say butter?

You will love these. If you don't, just sent them back to me. My Dad will eat them...

To quote him "This is one tasty cookie". But he lied, because he really at 6. 

PS. I'm giving a talk and book signing today at Maple Leaf Foods! See you there!

Toasted Coconut Macadamia Cookies
Makes 16-18 cookies

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp dark cooking molasses
1 large chilled egg
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut
¾ cup whole roasted & salted macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

Place sugar and molasses in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater/paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until uniformly brown and it looks like very dark brown muscovado sugar, about 2 minutes. 

Add butter and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl several times during creaming.

Once fully creamed, scrape down the bowl once more, add egg and vanilla extract and beat on medium speed until well incorporated, about 30 seconds. The mixture may look slightly curdled at this point – that’s OK. Add the flour mixture all at once and mix on low until mostly combined, about 20 seconds. 

Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in macadamia nuts and toasted coconut until evenly distributed. Cover the dough in the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate about 20 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Roll 1.5-oz portions of dough into balls and place on prepared baking sheets, spreading them 2 inches apart. Flatten them with the palm of your hand bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cookies sit on the baking sheet for 30 seconds before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

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