Chunky Cream Cheese and Macadamia Nut Cookies

Still not over my cream cheese craving, I made these cookies from The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook, which has been on my cookbook shelf for years. I had made cream cheese cookies before, but with chocolate chips. Everyone liked them, but they didn’t do much for me. Using macadamia nuts instead intrigued me. So, here we go.

Chunky cream cheese and macadamia nut cookies

Beat together 1/2 cup of unsalted butter and 8 ounces of cream cheese, both at room temperature. Add 3/4 cup of brown sugar. The recipe asks for dark brown sugar, but I used light because, well, I’m recently having a hard time following directions. (See Pecan Cheesecake Bars). To this mixture, add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and the zest of 1 orange. I used orange zest from the spice aisle. Not optimal, but, hey, that’s what I had.

Sift 1&1/2 cups of AP flour (preferably unbleached) and 2 teaspoons of baking powder. Add this to the cream cheese mixture with a wooden spoon. Stir in 3/4 cup of coarsely chopped macadamia nuts. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour or overnight.

Drop dough by heaping teaspoons about 2 iches apart onto lightly buttered cookie sheets. Flatten each cookie slighty with the back of a spoon. I found that spraying the spoon with cooking spray kept the dough from sticking to the spoon.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Eight minutes was sufficient in my oven. The cookies should be lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.

Teaspoon-size cookies should yield about 4 dozen cookies. I made them a big larger and got about 3 dozen.

These cookies are very dainty and delicate. And, most importantly, very good. The hint of orange really accentuates the flavor. I took these to work, and they didn’t last long. That, of course, is the best compliment to a baker.

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