I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m not a baker. It’s not even that I don’t bake, I don’t even like to bake. I take after my maternal grandmother, I love to cook and I love to experiment with different dishes, but with baking it’s just too much like math and science. Bleah!

That said, I have a wedding coming up. For some crazy reason it’s kind of a tradition around these western PA parts. People expect their cookies. Being the glutton for punishment that I certainly am, I, along with my future mother and sister in law and my own mother, and baking all the cookies.

Justin’s mom is the opposite of me. Justin’s dad is a picky eater, so she doesn’t get to experiment with cooking, while with sweets it has always been game on growing up in a house of Justin, his father, and his older brother. She’s an excellent baker, but I wouldn’t feel right leaving her to bake 50 dozen cookies.

So my tremulous journey might as well be documented for all the world to see. I figure if I can make a successful batch of cookies then anyone can. Seriously, trust me on that one.

So here we go! My first attempt at something other than chocolate chip cookies: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies. I found this recipe on one of the food blogs I like, Good Things Catered. I really didn’t stray from this recipe at all except I doubled it and added a tiny bit more white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts. I didn’t this it would matter that much since they are the “solid” things in the cookies that don’t really change at all. Of course, this reasoning may be why I cannot bake šŸ˜‰

Ingredients:
2 C. plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted & cooled until warm (I used half butter, half butter flavored Crisco. I can’t remember where I picked this tip up from. What? I didn’t say these were healthy cookies, it’s a wedding for Pete’s sake! šŸ˜‰)
1 C. brown sugar, packed
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 C. white chocolate chips (I added more, basically to use the bag up…and I love white chocolate)
1/2 C. macadamia nuts, halved (same as with the chocolate chips, haha)

Directions:
1. Adjust oven racks to upper & lower -middle positions & heat oven to 325. (This is so important! I let one batch bake too close to the bottom of the oven, definitely resulted in a little too much browning on the bottom of the cookies)
2. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
3. Whisk dry ingredients together; set aside.
4. With electric mixer, or by hand, mix butter & sugars until thoroughly combined. (Justin’s mom bought me an electric hand mixer. I really will be thanking her after this cookie explosion nightmare!)
5. Beat in egg, yolk and vanilla until combined.
6. Add dry ingredients & beat at low speed just until combined.
7. Stir in chips and nuts.
8. Measure out 1/2 cup of dough and roll into a ball.
9. Holding dough ball in fingertips of both hands, pull into 2 equal halves.
10. twist the ball of dough in half until you have two equal pieces, set the pieces jagged-side up on cookie sheet.
11. Bake, reversing position of cookie sheets halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft & puffy, 15-18 minutes depending on size. (Mine were perfect at 15 minutes to the dot, but my oven is pretty hardcore.)
12. Cool cookies on sheets until able to lift without breaking and place on wire rack to cool.

Making Macadamia Nut Cookies When I first read through the original instructions for baking these, steps 8 through 10 confused me until I had the dough in my hands and realized what I needed to do, so I re-worded it the best I could, and included pictures! Lucky you! šŸ™‚ Don’t mind my bright blue nails, I’m going through a sparkly phase. Big thanks you my handsome photographer, Justin. It could have been messy if I attempted it myself!
Making Macadamia Nut Cookies
Obviously I’m a total novice when it comes to this whole baking thing, so I’m not 100% sure if this whole twisty thing is absolutely crucial to the cookie-making process. The only kind of conclusion I can really come to is that after you roll the dough into a ball you cover up all the nuts and chocolate, twisting it open gives you the opportunity to have some on the top so he world can see what awesome goodies you baked inside there delicious little cookies. Maybe? Do you believe my theory?

Anyway, if all goes well and you followed these directions better than I usually do, your house will start smelling amazing. There is one odd thing I noticed about these cookies though, They do a steamy/smokey sort of thing while they bake. It’s not smoke, per say, because there was no burning of the cookies, and it was a little too thin to be burning smoke. I’m not exactly sure why my kitchen looked like Dementors were mating in my kitchen, but the cookies were fine.

Finished:White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

There you have it! My first attempt at something more complicated than pre-made dough or my trusty Chocolate chip cookie stand-by. Right now I have oatmeal raisin dough chilling (ha! literally!) in my fridge, but I have a somewhat bad feeling about them. If they bomb you’ll probably be seeing snicker doodles next instead.

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