If you really wanted, you could bake these babies anytime you want, but when you see the pricetag on macadamia nuts, you'll mumble something about saving them for a special occasion and continue on down the aisle to the honey roasted peanuts or something a tad more reasonable. But when you find a reason to be unreasonable, you ought to jump into it with both feet. There's few cookies that provoke oohing and aahing the way white chocolate macadamia nut cookies do, they're like the lacy red lingerie at the back of the drawer that's reserved for certain holidays. Not that I would ever possibly own anything like that...is it hot in here?
I used to think I had my Man Snagging Method down pretty good, I'm a co-author of sorts on the How to Find Love Through The Stomach series and for the most part, they're best-sellers. So obviously, you must be very careful with this sort of thing because you're playing with someone's heart each time you crack an egg open, slather whipped frosting across a cupcake, or flick the oven to three hundred and fifty degrees. It might be best to ease this person in, start with someone a bit less bold, like apricot walnut scones. Then, when you're a bit more confident of your feelings, try roasted tomato soup and see how it feels. Then, and only then, and only if you're feeling a little scared, a little brave, and a lot excited, should you break out the big guns.
And by that, of course, I mean the salt. The little cuppy that sits on the top the microwave in all it's overpriced glory, just waiting oh so patiently for the proper moment to be sprinkled on top fudge brownies, flecked onto fleur de sel caramels and in this episode, to salt the tops of crisp-chewy white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. I've had this same container of salt for nearly two years because a quarter teaspoon is salty enough to send your sweets over the moon, as if you weren't there already.
These cookies need no help getting hussied up for the occasion, but because I believe that certain situations require excess, I didn't waste any time. I chopped a block of Callebaut white chocolate (you don't want to play around here with those sugary white chocolate chips, they contain hardly any cocoa butter and often taste chemically and grainy - now is not the time to skimp), toasted a few handful of sweet, buttery macadamia nuts and set to work. I think it's safe to say I overloaded on the white chocolate and toasted nuts, but if baking is a reflection of how we're feeling, then I'd say it was appropriate.
Without the fleur de sel, these cookies are just beautiful, but the extra salty bite cuts across the buttery richness of the macadamia and the smooth and creamy sweetness of the white chocolate. If you don't have fleur de sel, kosher salt will work just fine, but you really ought to scoot your little toosh to the nearest fancy little market and spend what's left of your paycheck to get some. Trust me. It's the right thing to do.
Salted White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
Adapted from Baking Bites
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped white chocolate (I like Callebaut)
3/4 cup toasted macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
additional salt, for topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract, then gradually add in the flour mixture, followed by the white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts. If your macadamia nuts are unsalted, add an additional 1/4 tsp salt to the cookie dough.
Drop tablespoonfuls of dough (1-inch balls) onto prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with a bit of salt.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, until cookies are just beginning to turn a light golden color around the edges. Bake an additional minute or so, until slightly more golden, for crispier cookies. Cool for about 2-3 minutes on the baking sheet until cookies are completely set, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container. Makes 2 dozen.