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Souvenir From Hawaii — Macadamia Nuts

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.

They bake up crunchy yet tender, thanks to ground up oats, which complement the texture of the chopped macadamias.

Plus, they make me think of sand and surf — even if I’m a long way from there now.

Macadamia and Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

(Makes about 36 cookies)

3/4 cup rolled oats

3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and still warm

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 cup (4.5 ounces) dry-roasted salted macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

1 cup (6 ounces) dark chocolate chips or dark chocolate disks that have been roughly chopped

Pulverize oats in food processor or blender until fine. Add flour, baking soda, and salt, and pulse to combine. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine melted  butter with sugars and vanilla. Whisk in egg. Stir in the flour mixture just until all dry ingredients are moistened. Let mixture cool for a few minutes if it is at all warm. Stir in the nuts and chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and preferably overnight.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.

Remove dough from the refrigerator to soften. Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough and place about 2 inches apart on the ungreased or lined cookie sheets. Bake until cookies are deep golden brown, 13 to 15 minutes. Rotate pans from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. For unlined pans, use a metal spatula to transfer cookies to racks to cool; for lined pans, set pans or just the liners on racks. Cool the cookies completely before storing or stacking. May be kept in an airtight container for several days.

Adapted from “Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy: Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies” by Alice Medrich

More Alice Medrich Recipes to Make: Pebbly Beach Fruit Squares

And: Nibby Pecan Cookies

And: Sesame Seed Cake

And: Olive Oil and Sherry Pound Cake

Plus Scenes From Hawaii: All About Kona Coffee

And: Honolulu’s Amazing Fish Auction

And: Pioneering Oahu Chefs

And: A Tale of Two Farmers

And: Maui Dining