Well, it’s official. I’m obsessed with Hawaii, and seriously, I’m not even done sharing all of my stories with you yet. But it’s time to get back to the food. One of my favorite snacks in Hawaii was macadamia nuts, either roasted and salted or baked into buttery, crispy cookies.
Here’s proof of my obsession. You can just make out the lone macadamia nut cookie at the front of my plate, under the hoisin rib but in front of the strawberries, steamed bao, dumpling, and kimchi fried rice. This was the best buffet I’ve ever attended. Anyway, long before my flight home, I resolved to bake macadamia nut cookies for myself. And with much success, here they are!
To make the cookies, cream 2 sticks of softened butter together with 3/4 cup of sugar. I used an electric mixer. I also finally figured out the trick to softening butter quickly! I put it in the microwave on the warming function for about a minute, and it came out perfectly. What a time saver!
Next, beat 2 egg yolks, one at a time, into the mixture. Once they’re incorporated, mix in 3/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 2 cups of flour, and 2 cups of chopped macadamia nuts into the bowl, and fully incorporate them into the butter mixture. The cookie dough will be pretty crumbly, but it should stick together if you push down on it.
Now here comes the messy part. Spread a 1.5 foot piece plastic wrap out on your counter, and pile 1/3 of the cookie mixture onto it. Shape the dough into a log using your hands. Then, wrap the plastic around the dough, and continue squeezing and shaping it until it holds together. If your dough starts spilling out of the plastic, you can wrap another sheet around it. I made my dough into rectangles, but circular logs would also be nice. Repeat this process until all of your dough is used up. Place the logs into the refrigerator for at least 1.5 hours until they are very firm.
Once that time is up, preheat your oven to 350ºF. Unwrap one of the logs and place it on a cutting board. Using a very sharp knife, slice straight down the log crosswise to create your cookies. I cut my cookies to be about 1/4 inch thick, but try to keep the slices uniform so the cookies bake evenly.
Space the cookies on a baking sheet lined with a baking mat. They don’t spread, so you can squeeze them on. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes until they just start to get brown around the edges. Rotate your pan halfway through for even cooking.
Once the cookies are cool enough to handle, place them on a cooling rack to fully crisp up. I like these cookies just as they are, but you could choose to drizzle them with melted chocolate, or you could bake white chocolate chunks into them from the beginning. These cookies are wonderful! Not too sweet, not too salty, and full of the buttery and nutty flavor I enjoyed on vacation.
These cookies are my current favorite snack. Well, except for plain salted and roasted macadamias. I even bought some macadamia nuts still in their shells from a shop in the Honolulu airport! I love cracking nuts, but these macadamias are impenetrable. I’ve tried a hammer and a nut cracker, but nothing works. Does anyone know the secret to getting inside?
- Butter- 2 sticks
- Sugar- 3/4 cup
- Egg yolks- 2
- Vanilla extract- 3/4 teaspoon
- Salt- 1/4 teaspoon
- Flour- 2 cups
- Macadamia nuts- 2 cups chopped