Thursday, December 21, 2017

White Chocolate Coconut Macadamia Cookies

White Chocolate Coconut Macadamia Cookies - made dough December 10, 2017 from Delightful E Made
One thing I'm always mindful of, especially around the holidays, is to look for ways to give back. It may sound sappy but I feel fortunate to have achieved what I've achieved and I'm very much aware that I didn't do it on my own. Yes, I worked hard for it but I also had opportunities that opened up because of the support from others. That's something I'll never forget. So in the spirit of giving back, I was delighted when my friend Hildy made me aware of an opportunity to help support a local domestic violence shelter. They were holding a benefit for the shelter and needed dozens of cookies to serve at their benefit.
The cookies had to be dropped off between 9 am - 5 pm on a certain Friday. That posed some logistical difficulties for me because that meant I had to get home early enough on Thursday night to have time to bake dozens of cookies, cool them, package them up and I had to find time during the work day Friday to leave work long enough to deliver them to the drop off site, about 10 miles from my office. That may not sound like a big deal but I'm still working 13-14 hours a day and oftentimes meetings come up that I have to attend so it isn't easy to get away from the office, even for half an hour at lunch.
M&M Cookies

Soft and Chewy Gingersnaps (recipe to follow)
BUT, you make time for what's important and this was important to me. I spent the weekend before the drop off making the cookie dough to park in my freezer: my new gingersnap recipe (recipe to follow), M&M cookies, snickerdoodles, and this recipe I wanted to try for White Chocolate Coconut Macadamia Cookies.
Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodles

White Chocolate Coconut Macadamia Cookies
The dough for this ended up being rather soft, which worried me a bit since soft dough usually means the cookies spread thin, even when baked from frozen dough. Fortunately, in this case, the softness of the dough was attributable to the cream cheese in the dough and for whatever scientific reason I can't explain, that also helped the cookies retain their shape and remain fairly thick.
I love coconut and macadamia nuts so this was almost guaranteed to be a winner with my taste buds. And so it was. Brown sugar caramel overtones paired nicely with the sweetness of the white chocolate and coconut and the macadamia nuts added a nice crunch and contrast. The recipe made more than 2 dozen cookies. I ate one and baked the rest for the shelter. I stayed up late that Thursday night to bake 4 kinds of cookies but that's the kind of late night I like to put in: cookies for a cause.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract (I used vanilla)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, lightly toasted, roughly chopped
  1. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter, cream cheese, brown sugar and granulated sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla extract and coconut extract (if using); mix until combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Do not overmix. Fold in the chocolate chips, coconut and macadamia nuts.
  3. Portion into golf-ball size dough balls, cover and chill or freeze for several hours or overnight. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Evenly space dough balls on baking sheets and bake for 11-12 minutes or until cookies are golden brown at the edges and no longer look raw in the middle. Do not overbake. Remove from oven and let cool for 2-3 minutes before transferring cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

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