White Chocolate Macadamia Oatmeal Cookies

It’s been nice to get back into my own kitchen over the past several weeks, apart from having a couple of extra sink-fulls of dishes to do. Sometimes, as with all passions and art forms, it can be hard to find your creative spot, really feel inspired, or not let discouragement hold you back. Cooking for me is no different, and while so often these days I’ve been searching for my hibernating enthusiasm and questioning my talents, I’ve had to remind myself that what I do in my own kitchen can only be judged by and help myself. While I’m still struggling with it all, much of my curiosity and motivation has returned.

This past weekend Greg and I went over to a friend’s house for a birthday dinner celebration and football watching, and of course wanted to whip up a batch of something simple to take along. While walking through the grocery store on Friday night (yeah, we know how to party) I thought I’d make some white chocolate macadamia cookies, since I’ve never had one before. Greg suggested oatmeal as well since that’s his thing. There was so much food around the table, I couldn’t help but feel thankful especially knowing people in my own neighborhood still don’t have electricity. With my family living so far away it was so comforting to borrow someone else’s for the evening, and spend a little time laughing and bonding over food, board games and football.

That’s really the point of cookies to me though, they’re comfort food. While they’re usually not the first thing I’ll make for dessert, when the mood strikes it’s great to know they can be made quickly, with plenty to share with friends. These cookies were adapted from this Hershey’s recipe.

White Chocolate Macadamia Oatmeal Cookies
Makes about 34 large (3″) cookies

1 cup Granulated Sugar
1 cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
1 cup Unsalted Butter
2 Eggs, large
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 1/2 cups AP Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 cup Macadamia Nuts, chopped
1 1/2 cups Oats
20 oz. White Chocolate Chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (F) and line 4 half sheet pans or cookie pans with parchment paper (or in my case, 2 with two more sheets of parchment ready to go for the next round).

In a mixer, beat the butter and sugars together until creamy and completely blended. Add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, mixing until completely blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure it all comes together. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together, and add to the mixer slowly on low speed. As soon as the flour is in add the nuts, oats, and white chocolate chips. There’s no need to over-mix, stop mixing as soon as it’s all incorporated. If you need to knead the last bit of chocolate chips in because you’ve got a 4.5 qt mixer, go ahead – I had to as well.

Scoop 8 golf ball sized rounds of dough onto each sheet and press the tops down gently to flatten slightly. I use an industrial red handled scooper/disher, but heaping tablespoons will work just fine. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes, checking after 10. 13 minutes was the sweet spot in my oven. You’re looking for golden edges, and puffy in the middle without looking wet.

These cookies are great with a cup of coffee. Next time I make them I’d like to actually use less white chocolate chips. I think they’re very sweet and since they don’t have any of the bitterness of dark chocolate, I’ll probably cut the amount down to 12 – 15 ounces. Of course, it all depends on how into white chocolate you are!

{psst: with the holidays just around the corner, these would make a great addition to homemade cookie boxes, stocking stuffers, or pot luck parties. They stay nice and moist for several days when kept in an airtight container.}

Halloween Kitchen Gadgets & Goodies

The truth is, I don’t need any more spatulas. I think I have seven. But until last week I didn’t have any miniature FRANKENSTEIN spatulas! These days kitchen gadget retailers are finding all new ways for you to spruce up your kitchen for the holidays, and I’m eating the Halloween novelty goodies right up. I’m so excited about my black table cloth, skeleton apron, and gauzy window hangings that I might just leave them out until Christmas, about the time my parents will come over and INSIST I take them down. These are a few more kitchen-y things I’d “die for” (ha!).

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1. Zombie Head Cookie Jar – Wandering fingers will think twice before nibbling on your cookies. 2. Purple Finger Spreader – The final touch to any cheese plate. 3. 400 mL Graduated Glass Beaker – An amazing way to serve up your home brew or wicked punch, even cooler with some paper straws! 4. Uglydoll Ice-Bat Salt & Pepper Shaker – It’s just too dang cute, and his head comes off. 5. Bones Sprinkles – Add the sweet crunch of bones to your cupcakes.

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6. Scary Creature 8″ Plates – I’m not even sure I could eat off of a plate with a spider on it. 7. Halloween Printable Treat Labels – Perfect for homemade Halloween goodies! 8. Skeleton Hand Bags – These filled with white cheddar popcorn are my favorite! 9. Black Cake Stand – A little bit gothic, a little bit chic, I’d use this cake stand year-round. 10. Smoky Black Glass Plate – For a wicked party display.

Hope everyone’s Halloween plans are coming together well. Here in the greater NYC metro area we’re still out of power, but hoping to get it back soon. This whole hurricane thing is putting a kink in my blogging stride, what with no electricity and all, but hopefully I’ll be able to update again this week! xo, Jenny

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