Chocolate and Macadamia Cookies
One of the best things about shopping at Waitrose is that they always have a conveniently placed rack filled with recipe cards, should you need ideas for a family meal, dinner party or for any other culinary event, really. So far all of the recipes that I have attempted from this rack have been outstanding - including a main of medium, rare lamb steaks accompanied by a sauce involving creme fraiche, dijon mustard and cranberry sauce with burgandy, that I recently made for some friends. Mmmmm.
I am fully aware that this is as much of a marketing ploy, as it is a helpful resource, considering that many of the ingredients in the recipes are labeled as Waitrose-own or some other Waitrose-specific brand. But these labels are, after all, only suggestions and it is easy to substitute most things that are listed. This cookie recipe, for example, originally called for Green and Black's Organic Cocoa, but, let's be real, I am not paying for that. Some things are worth the money and some things just aren't, and in this case any generic cocoa will work.
One great thing about this recipe - it only yields 16 cookies, which is actually perfect because I usually end up with a surplus and I'm sure you can imagine who generally ends up eating the leftovers....
I whipped these babies up on the 23rd, allowing me to share a few with my co-workers, at the shop on Christmas Eve, and to put the rest out for family on Christmas Day. These cookies are super simple - basically cocoa and butter. Furthermore, while their rich taste renders them irresistible to the chocolate lover, their bite-sized nature makes the cookies ideal for that family member or friend who can't handle too much dessert.
115g butter, softened
60g icing sugar (powdered sugar), sifted
100g plain flour
20g cocoa [This is where I was supposed to succumb to big corporation mass marketing. I defy you Green & Black's!!!!]
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
75g white cooking chocolate, roughly chopped (I'm not a white chocolate fan, so I left this out)
25g macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
1) Preheat oven to 180C (gas mark 4, or the equivalent for your oven). Cream the butter and icing sugar together until pale. Sift together the flour and cocoa and beat into the creamed ingredients with the vanilla extract. Stir in the macadamia nuts and white cooking chocolate (if using).
2) Using your hands, dusted in a little cocoa to stop the mixture sticking, roll the mixture into 16 walnut-sized balls and place them on 2 buttered baking sheets (lining the sheets with baking paper works just as well).
NOTE: At this point the mixture was a bit crumbly, but the butter will bring it all together as it melts in the oven.
Press each one down with a fork and then bake for 15 minutes until cooked through. Cool for a couple of minutes on the trays, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.