Coconut Macadamia Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Coconut Macadamia Chocolate Chip Cookies by twocarolines.com

These incredible cookies were first discovered by our sister Kristin who became obsessed with them at the Nordstrom’s Cafe here in coastal Orange County – they are called the “Nordie” and they are such a sensational combination with crunchy, chewy, sweet, salty and chocolatey cookie perfection.  It took her a number of trials and errors before she found a recipe that not only tasted like the Nordstrom cookie, but was even better!  The original author of this recipe is vanilla and bean – check out her rad blog.  The “Nordie” is a large cookie and it’s baked longer than traditional chocolate chip cookies to make the coconut have a nice toasted flavor, but you can also bake them less time for more chew and less crunch if you prefer.  Another bonus with these cookies is how you can easily save the dough in the fridge or freezer and just scoop and bake what you want to eat or even bake them all and freeze completed cookies until you’re presented with a situation that only an insanely delicious cookie can solve.

2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 cup all purpose flout
1 cup whole wheat white flour (they taste great with only AP flour if you don’t have any wheat)
1/4 cup almond meal (can substitute with wheat germ, wheat bran, or just normal flour)
1/4 cup corn starch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup macadamia nuts roughly chopped
3 cups shredded coconut
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with parchment or silpat
  2. Mix together the flours, almond meal, baking soda, salt and cornstarch.  Set aside.
  3. With the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time until totally incorporated being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Then add the flour mixture in a few batches making sure to scrape the bowl.  Last add the coconut, nuts and chocolate chips mixing on low speed until ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
  5. To make the large cookies use a big 3-4 tablespoon scoop – only about 6 cookies per pan.  Bake about 17-20 minutes until nicely browned.  You can also make smaller cookies if you want and if you do bake them for less time, like check them around 9-10 minutes.  The original cookies are darker than an average cookie with a nice crunch to the outside, but they are also delicious baked just until the bottoms are brown if you prefer your cookie more chewy and less crunchy.  Pay more attention to doneness than bake times as times vary greatly depending on how large your cookies are.

 

Recipe adapted from vanilla and bean 

Wheat Germ Chocolate Chip Cookies

Two Carolines Wheat Germ Chocolate Chip Cookies 2

I realize that this is going to be a bold statement, so you might want to sit down. This is my ALL-TIME favorite cookie. I even posted this recipe twice on my old blog, because it went through quite a few iterations to reach Peak Cookie. It’s inspired by a favorite cookie from Specialty’s in SF that my friend and I used to get all the time during work breaks/after work/whenever we could. This recipe seems fairly close but is even better, if I do say so myself. I added a lot of healthy bits and bobs, so you could probably eat them for breakfast—not that I’ve ever done that*.

*Disclaimer: I may or may not have eaten these for breakfast.

  • 3/4 cup old fashioned whole rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • (Makes approximately 30 cookies)

Preheat oven to 400°. Grease cookie sheets or line with baking paper.

Mix oats, flour and almond meal, in a medium bowl. Add baking soda, salt, cinnamon and whisk until mixed in. Whisk in wheat germ and flax. Chop coconut and pecans very finely in small food processor (or old school with a good knife) and mix into the flour mixture.

Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, honey, egg and vanilla; beat until smooth and creamy. Add the dry ingredients, beating on low speed until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Chill the dough in a refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. The dough should be semi-firm before proceeding with next step.

Use a cookie scoop to scoop out dough and arrange, at least 1 inch apart, onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake cookies, until firm around the edges and barely golden on top, about 9 minutes. Cool the cookies for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool.

NOTE: I think the cookies actually taste the best the next day. Also, the dough can be prepared in advance and kept in the refrigerator, tightly covered for up to a week.

-CK 1.0

Butterscotch Cookies

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I’m more than a little obsessed with cookies. I rarely crave candy—when I want carbs, I want it to have flour and sugar and butter. I know, I know, you can’t stand what a health nut I am! Now is the time where I tell you what diet I’m on and how great it is. Well, if you must know, I’m on what could be called ‘The Inclusion Diet’, and like it’s moniker would suggest, it includes everything. These are the cookie version of my grandpa’s favorite Butterscotch Brownies that I blogged about a while ago and they are the new star item of my diet! If you want to join with me on this Eating Journey™, this is a good place to start.

Butterscotch Cookie Batter:

  • 1/4 cup browned butter
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brown butter in small saucepan. Whisk the dry ingredients together; add eggs and vanilla to butter and whisk until combined. Mix butter mixture into dry ingredients until combined. Stir in butterscotch chips. Scoop onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 8 minutes, let cool.

Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar

Combine brown sugar and butter; bring to a boil stirring constantly. Add milk and boil slowly for 3 minutes. Whisk in powdered sugar until well-combined. Dip the top of the cooled cookies in frosting and place on parchment paper. Pro tip: if you happen to have these a day or two later, warm up in the microwave for 5 minutes so they are a little gooey again. You’re welcome!

Makes 24 cookies.

-CK 1.0

Pfeffernüsse

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Every Christmas growing up, my mom would painstakingly make cookies that we called Peppernuts. They were a household favorite, but the only thing we didn’t like about these cookies is that they have to “age”—it’s pretty much the only cookie that gets better with time. So we would have to wait a week, while looking at that pastel pink glass dish, waiting for the time that we could dig in, but oooooh was it worth it!

Little did I know that years later, I’d be living in Germany, supposedly the home of the Peppernuts, or more accurately, Pfeffernüsse. I have scoured Christmas markets two years in a row now, looking for a freshly baked, truly German Pfeffernüsse cookie to no avail. I’ve quizzed many a German about this and they said they’ve never had a homemade one and they have only seen them in stores. I bought a bag and was sorely disappointed. So, this year I have taken matters in my own hands to make a traditional German cookie that a lot of Germans have never had—funny how things work sometimes.

I did make some adjustments, I added cardamom, since it seems to be such a traditional holiday spice around these parts. The sauce that was always the really hard part was going to be too difficult for me to make with my lo-fi kitchen, so I went with what I saw in every other recipe and did a powdered sugar coating, rather than a divinity glaze like my mom would make. Additionally, these are her favorite cookies in the world, so that is the best endorsement you could ask for! – CK 1.0

Pfeffernüsse cookie batter:
2 ½ cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon  cardamom
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans (it’s hard to find pecans, so used almonds)
Powdered sugar for dipping

Sift flour with cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, pepper, and baking soda. In large bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat 2 eggs and brown sugar until light and somewhat glossy, about 5 minutes. At low speed, beat in flour mixture and nuts until well combined. Dough will be a bit sticky.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheets or line with baking paper. With wet hands, pinch off dough by tablespoonfuls. Roll into 1-inch balls. Place on prepared cookie sheets. Bake 12-15 minutes, until the tops are just barely cracking. Remove to wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. In two batches, place cookies and a good amount of powdered sugar in a large plastic bag. Roll cookies around until well coated then move to a wire rack to finish cooling. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks and try to let them age a few days before gobbling them up!

TwoCarolines_Pfeffernüsse_3.jpg

***IF you want to be ambitious and make the divinity glaze, you will want a stand mixer that you can leave on for 10-15 minutes.

Divinity Glaze:
1 cup water
3 cups sugar
1/8 teaspoon cream tartar
2 egg whites

In large saucepan, combine sugar, and 1 cup water. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil, without stirring, 5 minutes, or until mixture forms a 2-inch thread when dropped from spoon or to 235 degrees on candy thermometer.

Meanwhile, in medium bowl, with electric mixer at medium speed, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Pour syrup in continuous stream slowly into egg whites beating constantly. Beat until mixture thickens slightly and starts to lose shine, 6-8 minutes. Drop cookies a few at a time into glaze; with fork, turn to coat all over. Lift out and, using two forks, place on wire rack (with cookie sheet beneath to catch drips) until dry. Store in tightly covered container at least one week before eating.

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

Two Carolines Chocolate Dipped Coconut  Macaroons.jpg

It’s hard to believe that I didn’t like coconut when I was younger. The Mounds bar was one of the most dreaded Halloween candies (besides Circus Peanuts, let’s be real). I hated the texture and couldn’t get past it. I’m not actually positive as to when I hit the turning point in my relationship with coconut, but I’m so glad I did! Now I’ll take it ALL. The more coconutty-the better. Maybe one could say, I’m nuts for coconuts? I’m so sorry—that was bad and you guys deserve better. To make up for it, here is the recipe for the goodness that is pictured above…

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

  • 3/4 cups egg whites (6-7 eggs)
  •  1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1-2 drops of butter flavoring (not necessary, but I think it adds a little something)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups sweetened flaked coconut

For the chocolate dipping sauce:

  • 2 cups semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons shortening

Directions

Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line three cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpats.

In a medium bowl, beat egg whites until just frothy. Add the sugar, almond extract, butter flavoring, and salt; mix well. Stir in the coconut, two cups at a time.

Use a small cookie scoop to form the macaroons 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Use your hands to mold the cookies a bit and lightly press down the tops.

Bake for 13-17 minutes or until set and light golden brown. Let cool on cookie sheets 5 minutes before removing. Cool completely before the next step. (and do some scientific taste testing, amiright?)

Prepare clean cookie sheets with was paper. Melt the chocolate and shortening and mix until smooth. Quickly, dip half the cookie (you only need to dip the top side of it) into the chocolate and place each one on wax paper to set. Set for at least two hours before ravenously consuming.

 

 

Fake It’s-It: A study in Ice Cream Sandwiches

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Anyone who is from the Bay Area knows a few irrefutable facts. 1) Frisco is not a word and we won’t hear it, 2) Layers are EVERYTHING (and you’ll hear the word “microclimate” often), 3) BART is not just the name of a cartoon character, and 4) The REAL San Francisco Treat is not Rice-a-Roni… it’s the ever glorious It’s-It. It’s ubiquitous throughout the Bay Area, and has spread its delicious love slowly outside the region. I crave them at all times, and love few things more than these treats. I recently made some Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream with the main purpose of filling these bad boys. I had a few people who know my love for all things It’s-It send me a link to this life changing article on Food 52, describing how to make homemade versions! So, you know I got to work on this right away! Instead of regular vanilla ice cream, I went with my clear addiction to PB cup, and added chocolate chips to the cookies, because chocolate. Check the recipe below to craft your own!

Cookie recipe (very slightly adapted from Food 52)

  • cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • large egg
  • teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  1. Heat the oven to 350° F and arrange a rack in the middle of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a standing mixer, or using handheld beaters, cream the butter and the two sugars until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the bowl and do the same with the vanilla.
  4. On low speed, add the flour mixture and chocolate chips and beat until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the oats by hand, mixing just until there are no remaining flour pockets.
  5. Form large balls out of 2 tablespoons of dough and place them 2 inches apart on the parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake one sheet at a time for about 15 minutes, rotating once for even cooking. Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheets for maximum crispness. Freeze completely cooled cookies before proceeding to the next step.

Super easy Ice Cream Recipe here

Chocolate Sauce (I increased the amounts from what is found on the original recipe)

  • 36 ounces of dark chocolate
  • 6 tablespoons of canola oil

Assembly:

  1. Line baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper.
  2. Place cookies, flat side up, on sheets and scoop a generous amount of slightly-softened ice cream on top. (Food 52 suggests 3 parts ice cream to 1 part cookie, but I had eaten too much of my ice cream already to have those proportions—whoopsie!).
  3. Sandwich with bare cookies. Use a spoon or an offset knife to smooth the sides. Wrap each one individually in saran wrap or parchment paper.
  4. Immediately place the cookie sandwiches into the freezer and chill until thoroughly frozen—at least 3 or 4 hours.
  5. When the cookies are sufficiently frozen, melt the chocolate and canola oil in a saucepan over the lowest heat, stirring constantly.
  6. Working with one sandwich at a time, place in the melted chocolate, using a slotted spoon to flip the sandwich over so that all sides are coated. Pick the sandwich up with the spoon, allow some excess chocolate to drip off, and then return to the parchment-lined baking sheet.
  7. Place the chocolate-coated sandwiches back into the freezer and let the chocolate harden for at least an hour.
  8. Enjoy the crap out of your homemade It’s-It.

-CK 1.0

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Panko Cookies

TwoCarolines_OatmealChocolateChipPankoCookies

Of all the sweet treats in the world—of which I love SO many—I think the chocolate chip cookie is my Number One choice. There’s something about it that is so comforting and just the perfect morsel of goodness. They are sweet with a little bit of salt, they have incredible texture, and are easy to make and even easier to eat (maybe too easy). I love experimenting with different combinations of ingredients for the basic chocolate chip cookie. Typically, I tend to like the addition of oats, and another one I like to add is wheat germ. With this recipe, I tried panko crumbs. People have talked about pretzels or potato chips in their cookies, but I though panko would add just the right amount of saltiness and sandiness to the texture. You know what? I was right. SO RIGHT. These are one of my favorite cookies of all time, now. And legit the best cookie dough you’ll ever have. Don’t believe me? I dare you to try it and find out!

1 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour (1 1/2 cups if you like a flatter, chewier cookie)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup panko crumbs
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with silpats or baking paper.
Whisk flour, baking powder, wheat germ, flax seed, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl.
In another bowl, beat butter until soft and creamy. Add sugars at medium-low speed until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat on medium-low until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds.
Add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated and smooth. Gradually add oats, panko, and chocolate, and mix until well incorporated.
After sampling the best cookie dough you’ll ever have in your life, roll the dough into three equal sized logs, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight. Once properly chilled, cut off pieces that are about 1/2″ thick and round the dough. Place on prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 1/2 inches apart, 8-12 per sheet—they will still spread a lot.
Bake one sheet at a time until cookies are deep golden brown, 13 to 16 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through. Let cool completely before gently moving cookies to wire rack. They will be fragile, especially on the edges.

*Bonus, the dough freezes really well, too.
-CK 1.0