Cookie Monster: Macadamia Cream Cheese Cookies

Cookie Monster

Weekly recipes to serve with a glass of milk.


[Photograph: Carrie Vasios]

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a secret love of kitsch. I like Tiki bars, aprons with cherries on them, and Saved by the Bell. My house isn't decorated with cat clocks, but that's what so great about having a secret love. Only your closest friends can send you a postcard of two kids kissing and know that deep inside you wish you could put it on your fridge.

On my recent trip to Hawaii, I found myself in kitsch heaven. There were tourists everywhere actually wearing Hawaiian shirts. I got "lei'd" when I checked into a hotel. The supermarket had a wall of Spam. And, more than once, I found myself drinking a mai-tai with a colorful paper umbrella in it. It was everything I had hoped for.

When I got home, I wanted to recreate a little of that Hawaiian magic so I bought myself a jar of salted macadamia nuts and turned on my oven. I didn't want to make the classic (and delicious) white chocolate macadamia cookies, but I did want to pair macadamias with vanilla. Because macadamias are a little soft and creamy, I thought that cream cheese would make the perfect, tender cookie base.

And I was right: these are soft cookies with a prominent vanilla flavor. Because they are so mild, I went heavy handed on the macadamias. (I call for salted nuts but don't worry, these cookies aren't salty.) The cream cheese simply makes for a soft, moist baseā€”in fact you can hardly taste it at all. The resulting cookie is just the kind of nutty vanilla sweet that would be welcome on pupu platters everywhere.

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Macadamia Cream Cheese Cookies »

About the author: Carrie Vasios is the editor of Serious Eats: Sweets. She likes to peruse her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar. You can follow her on Twitter @carrievasios

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