White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
These cookies take familiar ingredients into the realm of something truly special, celebrating the floral vanilla notes of real white chocolate and the buttery richness of macadamia nuts. Milk powder is sizzled in butter, turning into bonus brown-butter bits that make the cookies sandy and crisp on the outside and fudgy on the inside, all while amping up the macadamia’s nuttiness. If using the optional vanilla bean, the hit of vanilla is amplified by steeping the pod in butter and adding the seeds to the dough along with the extract. An overnight chilling before baking deepens all the flavors and improves the cookies’ final texture.
- Serves: 12 persons
- 1cup plus 6 tablespoons/280 grams granulated sugar
- 1vanilla bean (optional)
- 12tablespoons/168 grams unsalted butter
- 3tablespoons/20 grams nonfat milk powder (see Tip)
- 2teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2teaspoons kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal)
- 1teaspoon baking powder
- ½teaspoon baking soda
- ¼teaspoon almond extract
- 2large eggs
- 2cups/240 grams all-purpose flour
- 1cup/130 grams roughly chopped roasted and salted macadamia nuts, plus more to garnish
- 1cup/160 grams roughly chopped white chocolate, plus more to garnish
- Flaky salt
Step 1Add the granulated sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using a hand mixer). If using the vanilla bean, use a sharp paring knife to split it in half lengthwise. Use the back of the knife to scrape out the seeds and add them to the sugar.
Step 2In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter (with the vanilla pod, if using) and cook until foamy, swirling the pan occasionally. Whisk in the milk powder and cook until light golden brown, whisking constantly, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking, whisking constantly, until very deeply browned, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat, remove and discard the vanilla pod, if using, and with a stiff spatula, scrape the butter and all the solids into the bowl with the sugar.
Step 3Stir to distribute the heat of the butter, then add vanilla extract, salt, baking powder, baking soda, almond extract and eggs. Mix with the whisk attachment on medium-high speed for 6 minutes, stopping once to scrape the bowl and whisk. (This dissolves some sugar and makes the cookies extra chewy.)
Step 4Add the flour and mix with a stiff spatula until evenly combined into a dough. Add the nuts and chocolate to the dough and mix until combined.
Step 5Divide the dough into ¼-cup (75 gram) portions using a #16 scoop, or a measuring cup. Roll the portions into balls, flatten them slightly into disks, and arrange on a parchment-lined quarter sheet pan or plate. Garnish each portion by pressing pieces of extra chocolate and nuts on top of the cookies. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to 4 days. (Once chilled, the portions can be transferred to a resealable plastic bag and frozen.)
Step 6When ready to bake, arrange a rack in the center of the oven and line a sheet pan with parchment. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Arrange 6 dough portions on the pan and lightly sprinkle each with flaky salt. Bake until puffed, cracked and golden along the edges, 13 to 15 minutes. (If baking frozen dough, increase the bake time by 2 minutes.)
Step 7Using a spatula, transfer the cookies to a rack to cool. Repeat with remaining cookie dough. (No need to cool the sheet pan between batches.)