Friday, February 28, 2014

caramelized white chocolate macadamia nut chunk cookies...

It's official. After 2+ years of laughing in the face of sickness, sick. I blame it on my husband. He got it first. Then he decided to bring it home. Sheesh. Selfish. ;) No in all honesty, he was pretty bad and I am SO glad he's feeling better! Now if only I could feel a bit better... Until then, these cookies will have to tide me over. 

Friends, there are cookies and then there are cookies.

These little babies, these caramelized white chocolate packed babies, are cookies worth talking about. Or hoarding. I'm all about cookie hoarding as well. No judgement here. 

After discovering the stuff, I got on a huge caramelized white chocolate kick, as you probably already know. I haven't been able to stop since. There was a while where before I made anything, I said to myself, "Christina? How much better would this be with some caramelized white chocolate added as well?" It was a full-blown addiction. I think I may have needed an intervention. 

Some things work with the ingredient and some don't. But this recipe- this glorious recipe... it was BEGGING for the stuff to be added. And add I did!

I mean, it only makes sense really. It's a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie for goodness sakes. I'm convinced that (for the most part) anything that has good 'ol white chocolate in it will be a quazillion times better when swapped for the liquid gold stuff instead. Sure it takes a little more time on your part, but goodness gracious, it's worth every dang second you spend. 

The steps for making the caramelized white chocolate chunks are the exact same as this recipe, but for the ease of all ya'll, I'll repeat here as well. Remember: to get a good caramelization, you REALLY need to use the best quality white chocolate you can find. Look for a white chocolate with "cocoa butter" as the first ingredient. Baking chips and/or candy coating made without cocoa butter WILL NOT work. Stay far away from the hydrogenated oil stuff. I used Ghirardelli Classic White Premium Baking Chips.

Makes about 27 cookies
For printable recipe, click here.

  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vanilla sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 cup caramelized white chocolate chunks
  • 1 cup macadamia nut pieces (mine were salted) or halves, chopped up

To make the caramelized white chocolate chunks:
  1. Line a sheet pan with parchment or silpats and set aside.
  2. In a large non-stick skillet, empty your white chocolate chips. Over a low heat, you are going to slowly melt and cook your chips! Using a rubber spatula, stir the chocolate pretty frequently. This is not a recipe you can walk away from. Stick around. **Also, it is good to note that you want to make sure NO water touches your chocolate. This will cause it to seize up!**
  3. Over your low low flame, the lowest your knob will go, continue to cook your chocolate, stirring frequently, for 35 minutes. Smash out any lumps with your rubber spatula.
**I've received a few inquiries asking how I can support standing at the stove for 35 minutes while cooking this caramelized white chocolate. My answer- I personally didn't mind the process. I actually thought it was neat to see the changes happen :) Maybe that's because I worked in kitchens where I was standing for 8+ hours at a time, haha. I know that's not standard. So, if this isn't your thing (which it might not be!) there are recipes out there that suggest cooking the white chocolate in the oven, to which you only stir every 10 minutes or so. I tried that route, and it didn't work as well for me...which is why I'm showing this route. You are MORE than welcome to find the way you like best. Just make sure whatever route you choose, your chocolate hardens into a chocolate chip like consistency. I can't vouch that the oven route will do that, but it's worth a shot! Happy cooking!**

  • Top left picture, you can see I just added my chips to my pan and at about 2 minutes in, my white chocolate is completely melted. White chocolate melts at a much lower temperature than any of the other chocolates, which makes it easily burnable. So keep stirring continuously.
  • Middle picture: At about 8 minutes it will start to thicken up and brown along the bottom. Just keep stirring and folding over itself.
  • Bottom left picture: Here, I've been cooking my chocolate for about 15-18 minutes. It's a lot thicker and slightly browned in color. Keep cooking and stirring!
  • Bottom right picture: Here, my chocolate has cooked for 30 minutes. I've stirred, squashed, flipped over, and mixed continuously throughout the whole cooking time- and it's a nice peanut butter color. It smells nutty and caramelized- it's perfect! You will see this color change dramatically at around 23 minutes.

  • 4. Once your chocolate has reached that nutty peanut butter caramelized color, quickly pour onto your sheet pan lined with parchment or silpats. Spread out so that it is about 1/4" thick and sprinkle top with sea salt, if desired. Depending on how well you stirred and the chocolate you used, you may end up with a some bits throughout. Don't even fret about that. Once baked, it will melt away and you won't be able to tell the difference. 

    5. Place pan in fridge and allow to cool and harden for one hour. Remove from fridge and break up into small chunks! Allow chunks to sit at room temperature until ready to use. If not using white chocolate chunks within that day, allow to sit room temperature overnight loosely covered to allow any moisture to dissipate. Then chunks will store room temperature for weeks. Just keep in an air tight container.  

    If your chocolate is starting to brown too quickly, this means the pan is too hot. Simply remove pan from heat and allow to cool a tad on unheated surface, while stirring constantly. Give it a minute or two of this. Then, just place pan back on low low heat and cook some more. 

    For the cookies:
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F and place racks in the center of the oven. Line sheet pans with silpats and set aside. 
    2. In a stand mixer bowl, cream your butter and sugars until light and fluffy with a paddle attachment. Add in your egg and vanilla and mix again until fully combined. Stop mixer, scrape sides and bottom of bowl, and mix again. 
    3. In a separate bowl, mix together your flour and baking soda. **If your macadamia nuts were NOT salted, now would be a good time to add a pinch or two of sea salt as well**
    4. While mixer is on low, add all of your dry ingredients. Mix until JUST combined. 
    5. Next, add your macadamia nut pieces and your caramelized white chocolate chunks. Mix again until JUST combined.
    6. Scoop dough by the tablespoon or using a 1 1/2" ice cream scoop and place 2" apart on your baking sheets. Place sheet pans in the fridge and chill 15 minutes before baking.
    7. Bake cookies in the upper middle rack of your oven for 10-11 minutes or until lightly golden brown around the edges and just set in the middle.
    8. Remove pans from the oven and allow cookies to cool for 5-7 minutes before moving them to cool completely on a cooling rack. 

    I've kind of come to realize there are two types of cookie lovers out there- the classic chocolate chip kind and the white choc/mac nut kind. And boy are those peeps protective over their favorited cookie! No worries, lovers of this particular kind of cookie will love this updated version! I promise!


    1. I'm literally drooling. The fact that I even clicked on this post when I'm only Day 5 into Whole30 was a mistake, but these are definitely going on my "yummy" Pinterest board to be made in exactly 26 days. :)

      1. Hahaha! Oh man that cracked me up. Glad to be of service, friend! :)

    2. Fun take on a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie! This looks so much better than the original!!

      1. These definitely take a little more time to make than the classic, but they are so worth it in the end!

    3. Your cookies always look amazing! Craz-mazing! Everytime I'm like, "why aren't those in my kitchen" :)

      1. If we were next door neighbors, they would be. That's a promise!


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