Brown Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies

Ok guys, lets be real… these cookies are AMAZING!! Really, I am drooling over here thinking about how soft and rich with white chocolate each bite is… then, the perfect crunch of a macadamia nut hits you, and, BAM! Game Over. No need to look for another recipe. I will be giving you some tips and tricks for making these cookies, but please visit Joy’s site for the full recipe and step-by-step instructions.

Confession. I messed up quite a few times making this recipe.  I find though, that it is how you recover from your mistakes that really shows who you are as a baker.  It is the same in life; we are all imperfect and will make many mistakes in our lifetime, it is how you learn from them and press forward with integrity that establishes true character.

My first hiccup with this recipe started at the grocery store… as I strolled down the aisles of Smart ‘n’ Final, I reached the section that would host my final and most important ingredient (besides butter)… macadamia nuts.  Now, as I compared the different brands and prices, I finally decided on purchasing the large bag of roasted macadamia nuts… mainly because I like to have a little extra just in case disaster strikes.  It wasn’t until I began chopping them at home that I realized they were SALTED!!  Now, this really isn’t the biggest deal in the world, but as you may know, bakers like to control the amount of salt they use in a recipe. I am no exception to this rule.  In fact, I would say I pay more attention to salt now that I’ve fallen in love with using coarse salt in most recipes.  You can imagine the slight moment of panic that followed this realization of added salt… accompanied by a Phoebe-esque “Oh No!”  Luckily, I’m quick on my feet and promptly washed off the excess salt… no biggy.

Now, the first thing you’ll want to do when you have all your ingredients is to brown the butter… this needs to cool slightly before you can continue.  Browning butter really adds to the flavor of a recipe, bringing in a nutty flavor which pairs nicely with the macadamia nuts in this case!!  To brown butter, use a pot that has a lighter bottom (to track the color of the butter) and melt the butter on medium heat, past the foamy stage, till you reach a yellow then finally brown color.  Once the color of the butter is to your liking, transfer to a heat proof bowl to cool.  Don’t worry if you accidentally burn the butter on your first go around because you had the heat up too high and weren’t using the correct pan, like I did… oops… just try again.  Note: you will find little black sediments at the bottom of your pan, this is normal and can either be sifted with a mesh cloth or added to the recipe if you prefer a slightly burnt flavor.  In my second attempt at browning my butter, I over-corrected and didn’t brown it enough.  I hope you’ll learn from my mistakes and become the fearless butter browners I know and admire.

While you wait for your browned butter to cool, you may prep your dry ingredients for later and chop up your white chocolate and macadamia nuts.  I would recommend LARGE chunks because, why not?

From here on, the recipe is pretty standard… cream the butter and cream cheese with the sugar, then add the eggs and vanilla.  Towards the end of your mixing endeavors, you’ll need to whisk the dry ingredients together before adding them to the dough, THEN fold in your large chunks of white chocolate and macadamia nuts. I made a mistake here too, and thought the recipe said to fold the chunks into the dry ingredients before mixing altogether… my bad.  The dough turned out fine though, at the expense of my poor mixer, working extra hard and, I’m sure becoming off balanced… I should have known better, I should have known. Oh well!

Before you get too excited about your cookies, please, PLEASE refrigerate your dough for at least an hour… this makes all the difference!  Chilling cookie dough solidifies the fat which takes longer to melt than room temperature dough; this means that the cookies won’t spread thin and look like wafers. (this has been a problem of mine for such a long time… patience is a virtue my friends)  Once your dough is chilled, scoop out 1.5″ sized balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake at 350° for 11-12 minutes or till golden brown, yet still slightly gooey inside.  A tip I LIVE by is to always rotate your baked goods at the halfway mark… this will correct any hot spots you may have in your oven and evenly distribute baking.  Once cookies are out of the oven, I tend to leave mine on the cookie sheet for another minute or two till they settle in and are solid enough to transfer to a cooling rack.

You are now free to taste your cookies!  All that hard work melts away in your mouth with each bite.

Happy tasting… and happy baking!

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