Category Archives: Favorite Cookie Recipes

Souvenir From Hawaii — Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts direct from Hawaii star in these indulgent cookies.

When visiting Hawaii, don’t forget to pack your swimsuit, flip-flops, sunscreen — and Costco card.


The cavernous membership warehouse store has some of the best — and best priced — Hawaiian souvenirs you can find. I’m talkin’ surf T-shirts, bags of taro chips, lilikoi cookies, Kona blend coffee, and of course, macadamia nuts. My husband had to buy another tote bag for the plane for all the goodies he brought back home on our trip to the islands last year.

Me? I was content with a big bag of macadamias for a steal.

After all, it’s always good to have a ready supply for when the baking mood hits.

And it did big-time with this recipe for “Macadamia and White Chocolate Chunk Cookies” from Alice Medrich’s “Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy: Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies” (Artisan), of which I received a review copy. Only, I changed it up, substituting dark chocolate for white — TCHO Dark Chocolate Disks 68 Percent ($7.98 for 8 ounces) to be exact, of which I also received a sample. With macadamias one of the richest tasting nuts around, I prefer them with the slight bitter-earthiness of dark chocolate rather than the often cloyingly saccharine white chocolate.

The cookie dough needs to be refrigerated for at least two hours or overnight, so plan accordingly.

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Figgy Cookies

Ground figs and ground pecans give these cookies unique flavor and texture.

These cookies are fig-tastic.

Oh, they’re not like your familiar Newtons with an abundant filling of sticky fig paste. Nope, instead the dried figs in these cookies are ground up and incorporated into the cookie dough, itself.

As a result, the figs take on a more subtle quality, especially when mixed with ground pecans.

The recipe is from “The Gourmet Cookie Book” (Houghton Mifflin), of which I received a review copy last year. The book features the now defunct magazine’s best cookie recipe of each year from 1941-2009. These “Fig Cookies” hark back to 1964. A true oldie but goodie.

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Cookies to Cha-Cha About

Cookies full of chocolate and dried cherries to make your stomach dance with joy.

When my husband and I first met, he wooed me with dancing — even though both of us have two left feet and moves that win more points for sympathy than grace.

We had been friends for a short span, when he asked me to be his swing-dance partner, as he wanted to take lessons.

I had always wanted to learn, so I eagerly said, “Yes!”

We’d meet after work once a week at a local club for lessons. Each week, we’d master a new step or turn — much to our own amazement.

After more than a month, we’d not only become semi-decent on the dance floor, hand in hand, but we’d also started dating.

Flash-forward to after our engagement: With our relationship more serious now, my soon-to-be husband feels the need to tell me that when he asked me to be his dance partner way back when, it wasn’t a scam, nor any kind of scheming on his part to find an excuse to ask me out. Oh no, he merely needed a dance partner. That was it, plain and square.

Flash-forward again to shortly after our wedding: I’m sitting on an airplane, flying home from Chicago with a gabby male seatmate next to me. He tells me a funny story about how he met his wife, then asks me how I met my husband. I tell him about the dancing lessons, and how my husband had asked me to be his partner on pure innocent whim.

My seatmate recoils in laughter, then looks me square in the eyes: “Your husband told you THAT? Listen to me — there is no way any man is going to take dancing lessons without an ulterior motive. Trust me on that!”

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New See’s Chocolate Chips

See's makes chocolate chips now. Woo hoo!

Imagine this: See’s Candies and chocolate chip cookies — all in one.

If that doesn’t get your lips smacking, I don’t know what will.

Now, you can enjoy the truly blissful taste of the two together with See’s Candies new semi-sweet chocolate chips. There’s even a cookie recipe included on the back of the package to make baking a batch super easy.

The chips are larger than your usual ones — about 1/2-inch in diameter. What that means is when the cookies come out of the oven, you get so much more ooey-gooey chocolate in every bite.

Bigger than your average chip.

The recipe makes perfect chocolate chip cookies, too — crispy on the edges, chewy in the center and with a load of chocolate chips throughout.

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For the Love of Cashews

A delicious, sweet solution for all those cashews.

Is it just me? Or does every Costco shopper end up buying those huge tubs of cashews because they’re just way too tempting?

Even among my own family members, I can count quite a few who have a weakness for those lovely, whole crescent-shaped nuts crammed generously into those big plastic containers. Indeed, when I visit, I can’t help but notice the tub sitting on a coffee table or kitchen table, ready to be opened at the slightest hunger pang.

I’m definitely guilty of that. But I also wanted to do more with my hoard of cashews than just shovel them into my mouth.

Leave it to Martha Stewart to come to the rescue.

Her “Butterscotch-Cashew Blondies” are tender with a touch of crunch and a wonderful caramel-toffee-vanilla flavor.

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