SHF:ISTBE # 1
Domestic Goddess has launched a new effort, Sugar High Fridays. I forget what the balance of the acronym stands for but the SHF sums it up enough. The first effort involves cooking with white chocolate. I’m a purist. I’m not a huge fan of white chocolate. It’s not really chocolate. At times it can be elegant particularly when paired with fruits. But next to the complex and sexy dark chocolate well, bah.
But I do like a group challenge so here I am with the only way that I do like white chocolate, Macadamia Nut White Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Macadamia nuts are a rich, buttery tasting nut. They are so high in fat and calories that I only think of them as very, very special occasion only type of eating. I associate macadamia nuts with trips to Hawaii. Every where you go throughout the islands there are huge displays of macadamia nut products, gift packs of dry roasted nuts, chocolate covered nuts, macadamia nut brittle and cookies.
Surprisingly Australia, is the world’s top producer, followed closely by Hawaii, Africa then Guatemala, according to a recent USDA report.
In the early 1900s a sugar plantation manager from the Big Island, visited Australia and was impressed by the beauty of the tree. He brought the seeds back to Hawaii where he planted them at Kapulena. For the next 40 years, the trees were raised primarily as ornamental trees and not for their fruit. It wasn’t until the 1950s and a lot of research hours later that were focused on cultivation did the nut reach commercial production.
Today most of Hawaii’s macadamia nuts come from the Big Island of Hawaii. The biggest commercial producer is Mauna Loa with the U.S. being the biggest consumers followed by Japan.
Photo credit: Hawaiian Macadamia Nut Associates
Macadamia White Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
12 oz. white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped macadamia nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Lightly grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
Cream butter and sugars in large bowl until blended and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
Blend in flour, baking soda, and salt.
Stir in white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts.
Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until firm. Remove to wire racks to cool.