Friday, September 23, 2016

White Chocolate Chunk Macadamia Nut Cookies

Today is White Chocolate Day. By definition, white chocolate is not actually chocolate.White chocolate doesn't contain any cocoa solids (chocolate liquor) and does not have 'chocolate' flavor. But I like the unique creamy flavor that good white chocolate does have -- of course it depends on the brand and that varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. (see below) 

White chocolate contains cocoa butter, a product of the cocoa bean used to make chocolate. White chocolate that's used in baking and candy making is a blend of milk, cocoa butter, sugar and often vanilla. The same ingredients you'll find in milk chocolate, except without the cocoa. If you are going to bake with white chocolate, make sure to buy the very best. Cheap white chocolate often has the cocoa butter replaced by vegetable fat. Check the ingredients on the package. It should have a cacao percentage just as good dark and milk chocolate bars do.

Examples of good white chocolate:
E. Guittard has 31% Cacao White Chocolate wafers. Great for baking (and eating).
Green & Black's White Chocolate uses cocoa butter, pressed directly from the crushed cocoa beans. They also use a blend of milk and Bourbon vanilla. Available in 3.5 oz bars.
Divine makes an awesome White Chocolate Bar. All natural without coloring or preservatives. 
Askinosie has a bean to bar white chocolate and uses goat's milk instead of cow's milk. The main ingredient in their white chocolate is 34% natural, non-deodorized cocoa butter. The cocoa butter is pressed in their factory, and they are the first small-batch chocolate maker to do this. After pressing the beans to create the cocoa butter, they combine them with goat's milk powder and organic cane juice, and then craft it for days in their 85-year old German melanguer, making their white chocolate one of the only single origin white chocolates in the world. It has a very unique buttery/nutty flavor, less sweet than many other white chocolate.
Merckens chocolate makes a great 2 pound bar, terrific for baking (or eating). Available through King Arthur Flour
Trader Joe's has good (and inexpensive) white chocolate for baking, as well as terrific white chocolate chips.

Because it's comprised mainly of cocoa butter, white chocolate can be used in so many ways. Check past posts for White Chocolate Mashed Potatoes,  White Chocolate Coffee Cake, White Chocolate Truffles and a host of other white chocolate candies and baked goods.


2 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1⁄4 tsp salt
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1⁄2 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sweet butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
1 1⁄2 cups white chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F.
In medium bowl combine flour, soda and salt. Mix well, set aside.
In large bowl with mixer blend sugars and salt at medium speed. Add butter and mix to until it forms grainy paste, scraping down sides of bowl. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat at medium speed until fully combined. Add flour mixture on low speed until just combined. Fold in macadamia nuts, and white chocolate chunks (chopped white chocolate). Do not overmix. 
Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges begin to brown.
Move immediately to cooling rack.

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