- The Washington Times - Monday, December 8, 2003

The holiday season is dusted with cookie crumbs. As you move from desk to desk at work, you’re greeted with platters of cookies. Stop to see a friend, and you can’t escape an invitation to eat more cookies.

Even though you’ve a mountain of cookies within reach, you may be inspired to do a little baking yourself. You can reciprocate to everyone else’s gestures while satisfying your own appetite for hot-from-the-oven cookies.

Because the holidays are a special time, you’ll want to prepare a deluxe recipe that goes beyond the ordinary oatmeal or chocolate-chip batter, but if you’re cooking for one or two, you don’t want a big-batch recipe.

Having too many available cookies is dangerous to your waistline and takes up valuable kitchen storage space. Macadamia nut madness is the perfect solution.

The small-batch recipe crams macadamia nuts into every available millimeter of dough. After all, why feature macadamia nuts if you’re not going to use them excessively? The cookie is an indulgent blend of rich macadamia nuts, dark chocolate, butter and sugar. After baking and cooling, drizzle the cookies with a glaze of chocolate, butter and cream. The glaze is ample, just in case you want to lick the pot.

Depending on your definition of a heaping tablespoon, you’ll get a yield of 12 to 16 cookies, enough for you, your loved one and some very special friends. If you find you have more than you can eat or give away — an unlikely scenario — freeze the leftovers. You’ll welcome cookies again after the sugar season.

Macadamia nut madness

1 cup unsalted butter

⅓ cup light brown sugar

½ cup confectioners’ sugar

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons flour

¼ teaspoon baking powder

⅛ teaspoon salt

3/4 cup roasted, salted macadamia nut halves (see note)

3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks

Chocolate glaze (recipe follows)

Combine butter, brown sugar and confectioners’ sugar in bowl of electric mixer. Beat at high speed until light and creamy. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture by the quarter-cup, beating after each addition. Remove bowl from the mixer. Stir in nuts and chocolate chunks by hand.

Scoop batter out by heaping tablespoons, and arrange 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Press down to flatten to an even ½-inch thickness.

Bake in 300-degree oven for 20 minutes or until cookies are light golden brown. Remove to wire rack to cool completely. Place sheet of waxed paper under rack. Prepare chocolate glaze. Dip a fork into the glaze and generously drizzle over cookies. Let stand at room temperature until set, about 1 hour. Makes 12 to 16 cookies.

Note: Do not use unsalted macadamia nuts. The batter won’t have a good balance of sweet and salty.

CHOCOLATE GLAZE:

1 3-ounce bar semisweet chocolate

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon whipping cream

Pinch of salt

Combine chocolate, butter, cream and salt in a small, heavy-bottomed pot. Place over very low heat and stir constantly until the chocolate melts. Remove from heat. If chocolate firms up before use, briefly place over low heat.

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