We are introduced, at an early age, to the sweet wondernous of a cookie. From teething cookies to soothe the swollen aching gums of incoming incisors, onto animal crackers purchased in rectangular-shaped boxes bearing a string handle for easy toting by little fingers. Deciding which part of the animal should be eaten first-the trunk of the elephant or the tail of a lion-depended on how hungry one was. Savor each and every one or simply gobble them down as fast as possible.

My next cookie memory would be the ever famous, possibly all-time favorite, the chocolate chip cookie. There is nothing better than to bite into a round circle of baked dough sprinkled with gooey melt-in-your-mouth chocolate. A chocolate chip cookie can dry tears, heal broken hearts, mend scraped knees and elbows and solve sibling arguments. Most of the problems in the world could likely be solved by a properly baked, right out of the oven, chocolate chip cookie. The power of a cookie is underestimated.

I will attempt in the next 365 days to prepare and comment on a year’s worth of different cookies-one for each day. My goal is to share with others my extreme love of cookies-baking them and especially eating them! Feel free to send me your favorite recipe, your earliest cookie memories, or how cookies may have influenced your life. Cookies Rule!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Cookie Recipe #154 - Macadamia Brittle Cookies

A few steps are needed to make this cookie, but you will be glad you did when you bite into one. The praline can be made the day ahead saving one step.

Ingredients: 8 ounces (1 3/4 cups)macadamia nuts, 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 2 cups chocolate chips, 1/4 cup vanilla chips.

Instructions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a baking sheet, spread the macadamia nuts and toast for 8-10 minutes or until fragrant; remove and allow to cool. Coarsely chop cooled nuts, and set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for the praline to make as follows:

In a heavy saucepan, cook the granulated sugar over medium heat. Shake the saucepan 2 or 3 times until the sugar melts, then cook without stirring until the sugar becomes caramel color. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup of the toasted macadamia nuts (reserve the remaining nuts). Pour the praline mixture onto the prepared cookie sheet and let cool completely.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Break apart the praline into pieces and grind in a food processor or chopper. Add the remaining toasted macadamia nuts. Continue grinding until medium fine.

In large mixing bowl, combine softened butter and confectioners' sugar; add flour mixing well, then praline mixture. Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into 2 1/2-inch logs. Arrange on prepared baking sheets about 1 inch apart and flatten slightly.

Bake 8-10 minutes, or until lightly colored. Allow cookies to cool on pan for 2-3 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Melt chocolate chips in microwave for 1-2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute, until thoroughly melted and smooth. Dip one end of each cookie into chocolate and allow to dry on parchment paper. Melt vanilla chips in resealable storage bag until completely melted when pressed on. Cut tiny corner off bottom of one corner and pipe melted vanilla chips over entire cookie in a design of choice. May be placed in refrigerator for a few minutes to hasten hardening.

Makes 6-7 dozen cookies.

"Christmas Cookies" by Kaye Hansen & Liv Hansen, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, New York, NY, 2005.

Cookies Rule!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment