Brown sugar, chocolate chunks and macadamia nuts are a gourmet twist on the all-American chocolate chip cookies.
Updated September 2009
Recipe: Chocolate Chunk Macadamia Nut Cookies With Brown Sugar
by Michael Recchiuti
Why Use Chocolate Chips When You Can Have
Big Chocolate Chunks?
San Francisco chocolatier and pastry chief Michael Recchiuti writes, “A few years ago I started experimenting with using different kinds of exotic brown sugar in recipes. I looked at sugar as more than just a sweetener, but selected one sugar or another because of the unique and complex flavor profiles each one had. I was amazed at how changing that one ingredient affected the taste of the entire recipe. Some sugars were nutty or floral. Others had heavy molasses notes. And each imparted a totally different personality to the recipe. While these exotic sugars tend to be a little pricier than the others, they’re worth every cent. In the words of Jack White, ‘Sugar never tasted so good.’”
When you’re in San Francisco, be sure to visit Michael’s chocolate shop at the Ferry Building. You can shop online for his chocolates anytime at Recchiuti.com; and read more recipes in his wonderful book, Chocolate Obsession: Confections and Treats to Create and Savor.
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter with 82%
- 1/2 cup dark brown cane sugar, packed*
- 1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons granulated cane sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, preferably Madagascar Bourbon†
- 8 ounces 65% chocolate, chopped‡
- 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
* Explore using exotic, high quality brown sugars like those made by Billington’s, available at many gourmet and health food stores. These are “night and day” sugars with flavors that are noticeably different than if you’d used a less expensive, big name brand. For this recipe, Recchiuti recommends using Dark Muscovado or Molasses sugar. To learn more about these sugars visit http://www.billingtons.co.uk/home/products/unrefined-range.
† This is made from vanilla beans grown on the Bourbon Islands off the African coast of Madagascar. It is slightly pungent and sweeter than other varieties of vanilla extract and has a wonderful aroma. See THE NIBBLE’s review of the best vanilla extract.
‡ Use your favorite high-quality brand of chocolate. Recchiuti suggests E. Guittard chocolate, available at fine stores and at Guittard.com.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottoms of two 12"x18" sheet pans with parchment paper.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt and brown the butter. This should take about 5-8 minutes and you’ll know it’s done when the butter is golden brown in color and has a toasted, nutty fragrance.
- Remove the butter from heat and stir in the brown sugar. Let stand in the refrigerator for 45 minutes.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Remove the butter from the refrigerator and place in a mixing bowl equipped with a paddle. With the mixer on medium speed, gradually add the sugar to the butter and continue beating until fluffy.
- Beat in the egg and vanilla.
- Gradually beat in the dry ingredients.
- Stir in the macadamia nuts and 4 ounces of dark chocolate.
- Roll the dough into 1/2 inch balls. Dip the top in the remaining chocolate pistoles.
- Place the dough on the prepared pans, spacing them 1-1/2 inches apart.
- Bake on the middle shelves of the oven, rotating the pans 180 degrees halfway through the baking time, until set but soft enough to hold a slight indentation when pressed with a fingertip, about 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely on the pans on wire racks.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.
- Yield: 25-30 cookies
Recipe © copyright Michael Recchiuti. All rights reserved. Other content © copyright Lifestyle Direct, Inc. Images are copyright of their respective owners.