sweet and salty brownie cookies

The first time I made these cookies, Joy the Baker’s chocolate brownie cookies with white chocolate and roasted macadamia nuts, I couldn’t taste them. I was into third week of a month of Whole 30, and taking it so seriously that when I almost absentmindedly licked some chocolate batter off of my finger I squealed and jumped backwards. Despite not being able to take a tester bite, I had a hunch these cookies were the business. For starters, Joy the Baker really knows her way around a delicious sweet. Secondly, the star ingredients–two kinds of chocolate and salted roasted macadamia nuts–are pretty hard to argue with. And finally, there was the smell. Holy heck, did sniffing these cookies while they were baking test every bit of my Whole 30 resolve. I decided right then to make them as soon as I could eat sweets again.

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My resolve was strengthened by the entirely positive feedback I got from the lovely folks I shared the cookies with. I made them originally for a sweet friend’s birthday, and she texted me to share that her husband had taken a bite and said, “you can really taste the roastedness!” Dang right you can. And the two kinds of chocolate, and the brownie-like richness, and the healthy sprinkle of salt on the macadamia nuts. They are, as Laura said (I sent some of my first batch to her as well, since I had also made sprinkle covered chocolate caramel truffles, and couldn’t resist sharing them with Ed), ridic. I made them again during my first Whole 30-free weekend, and they absolutely lived up to my expectations.

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These cookies are also wonderfully easy to make. It’s rare that I remember to set butter out to soften before making sweets (though as I type this I have butter softening on the counter for another Joy the Baker treat–I’m feeling very pleased with myself), and I always feel like I over do it a bit when I soften butter in the microwave. For this recipe, bittersweet chocolate and butter are melted together over a double broiler and then combined with sugar, espresso powder, and vanilla. Yum. Three eggs are mixed in one at a time–though nothing too bad seems to happen if you do what I did and accidentally toss them in all at once–followed by the rest of the dry ingredients. The resulting batter definitely has the thick texture of a brownie, and the baking time may make you worry that the cookies aren’t quite done. But don’t worry! A bit underdone is exactly as done as they should be.

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I’ve liked every Joy the Baker recipe I’ve tried, and these cookies jumped right to the top of my favorites list. In general I’ll take a cookie over a brownie if given the choice, but the combo is just genius. I had originally hoped to share this recipe in time for Valentine’s day, because I think these cookies would be a great heart day gift, but life got in the way. Luckily, these tasty cookies are a perfect anytime treat. For a birthday, a holiday, or just to celebrate the end of a month of sugar (and dairy and legume and grain and alcohol) free eating.

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chocolate brownie cookies with white chocolate and roasted macadamia nuts
from the Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes
makes 2 dozen cookies

ingredients
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (chips or coarsely chopped chunks)
3 tbs unsalted butter
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp instant espresso or coffee powder (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup white chocolate (chips or chunks)
3/4 cup macadamia nuts, roasted and salted (see note)

instructions
Note! If you buy raw macadamia nuts, toss them in 1 tsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt. Roast at 350 degrees for 8 minutes, or until nuts are lightly golden. Allow to cool before folding into cookie batter. I strongly recommend roasting more macadamia nuts than you need for this recipe, because they are delicious all on their own.
Place racks in the upper third and middle of the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Gently simmer 2 inches of water in a medium saucepan. Place bittersweet chocolate and butter in a medium-sized heatproof bowl and place the bowl over, not touching, the simmering water, creating a double boiler. Once the butter has melted, remove the bowl from the simmering water and stir until chocolate is completely melted. Allow mixture to slightly cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Whisk the granulated sugar, espresso powder, and vanilla extract into the warm chocolate mixture. Whisk the eggs in one at a time until well incorporated. Add the chocolate mixture, all at once, to the flour mixture. Fold to incorporate. When flour just begins to disappear into the chocolate mixture, add the while chocolate and macadamia nuts. Fold thoroughly. Batter will feel thick.
Dollop batter by the tablespoonful (I use a very handy scooper) onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 11 minutes–the cookies are best slightly underdone. Let rest for 5 minutes on the baking sheets before removing to a cooling rack. Cookies will keep in an airtight container, separated in layers by a piece of waxed paper, at room temperature for 5 days.
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2 thoughts on “sweet and salty brownie cookies

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