Saturday, June 3, 2017

Macadamia Nut Cookie Recipe and Dotted Rays

There are certain events and foods that you encounter in this world that are so unique that you remember forever where you were when you experienced it.  And that is how it was for me when I first tasted macadamia and white chocolate cookies in my early 30s while living in the Midwest. Before then I had not been a fan of white chocolate and if I had not receive those cookies as a gift that probably would have continued to be the case.  But ever since my first bite of this delightful combination I've been a huge fan.

Finding the right recipe to repeat that taste sensation however proved elusive. What I wanted was a cookie that emphasized the macadamia nut, wasn't too sweet, and also wasn't in proportions to feed an army. Having been disappointed in recipes I've tried in the past I decided to come up with a recipe myself.  The result I'm happy to report is a crispy cookie with a slightly chewing texture that isn't too sweet that I absolutely love.

The reason cookies are on my mind (and the impetus for this recipe) is the long flight we are facing for our upcoming trip to Israel.  After researching how to survive a long flight (as knitting is not allowed) I decided to pack a picnic basket to help us pass the time more enjoyably.  Because while our airline is know for it's excellent security it is not known for its delectable cuisine.  To say I found that piece of information disappointing is an understatement. However, I have chosen to rise above it. Now despite the probable discomfort, boredom, and length of the journey I know that I will have wonderful cookies and other tasty treats squirreled away.   I feel happier already.  And I hope after you try these cookies you will feel happier too.

Macadamia Nut Cookies ~

~yield~ 2 dozen good sized cookies


5 oz. (10 Tbs.) unsweetened butter, softened
1/2 cup white granular sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup macadamia nuts (I used dry roasted with sea salt), coarsely chopped
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup flake coconut (sweetened)


1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.

2.  In a large bowl using a wooden spoon or mixer set on low speed combine butter, white sugar, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla.

3.  Combine flour, soda and salt in a small bowl.  Add to the butter mixture using a wooden spoon or mixer set on low speed.  Combine until mix comes together as a dough.

4.  Stir in nuts, white chocolate, and coconut.

5.  Drop by rounded tablespoons onto cookie sheet and flatten slightly to promote even baking.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are golden in color.  Remove from oven and let sit 30 to 60 seconds on baking sheet before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.

6.  Store in air-tight container or freeze left over cookies.

Dotted Rays Forever ~

This is Stephen West's Dotted Rays design which is a super easy and fun knit.  I think it also looks fantastic with my jean jacket so I'm seriously considering taking it on our trip!  It's one of those pieces that is easy to throw on and makes you look stylish without any effort.  As Simcha can attest.

I asked Simcha to model this project to show how it can also be worn like a cowl.   I was, to be honest, surprised at his level of cooperation and enthusiasm for the task.  He was a model german shepherd throughout the session.  Just like the brochure claims all German Shepherd Dogs are. Hahaha.  Frankly a few years ago I could not have envisioned ever saying that about Simcha!  But those early years are all forgotten now.  We do love him to pieces and he's been an amazing gift to us.  Did you know that his name translates to "joy" in Hebrew?  Steve named him Simcha because after the sadness and loss of Mr. Puffy he brought joy back into our lives. And he truly has.   

You might notice that on one side my scarf is not shaped like a smooth crescent.  That's because I creatively blocked that end to create a flared scallop edge which I think makes the scarf more dynamic and interesting visually.  This is an example of how doing something very simple such as creative blocking can change your piece into something original and an expression of your own personality.  For more creative blocking tips I refer you to my Lunna Voe post.

Particulars:  Dotted Rays designed by Stephen West; US 6 needles; Fiberstory Sock Gradient set (colorway "summer punch") 560 yrd 100% merino.  I had less yarn than the pattern calls for so I simply knit until I ran out of yarn.  It's still a nice size, although I wouldn't recommend going any smaller than this.  Blocked relaxed dimensions:  52" by 14."  I say "relaxed" dimensions because merino wool will not hold a block well.  Already it has shrunk from it's 58" immediate post blocked length and it might continue to shrink and require reblocking periodically if it gets too small. That merino wool will not hold a block well is something to consider when choosing a shawl yarn.  Previous Stephen West designs I've knit are his Doodler Shawl and Pogona Shawlette.

Until next time be well, love well and whether you are traveling or staying at home this summer I hope you will take time to enjoy a picnic and if you do be sure to toss in a cookie or two!  And perhaps some crusty sourdough bread too.