About three years ago, I was honored to have been appointed to the American Board of Optometry--the group of people who write and administer board certification exams in my profession. We're a new board, so we've come to work closely together even though we're scattered all over the country. The other board members know of my cooking adventures--we were all together the year my Ginger Apple Torte won that week's Food52 contest. Since then, they have been clamoring for me to bake for them. We have a meeting next week, so I collected everyone's cookie ideas, and started searching for recipes. This one is based on a request for white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. I started with Alice Medrich's wonderful recipe, but I couldn't find macadamia nuts. I did have a bag of hazelnuts in the freezer and thought they'd be a worthy substitute. I loved her idea of grinding oats into a flour; I was out of oats (I also made a batch of oatmeal raisin cookies.), but I had some multi-grain cereal in the pantry and thought that would work. The result is buttery and crunchy with a hint of almond and vanilla. It's worth seeking out a good bar of white chocolate--I used Ghirardelli--because the white chocolate chips are really not the same. Or you could make these into a healthy-ish breakfast cookie by replacing the white chocolate with raisins or dried cranberries. I chose them for the "road trip" because we all ate them for breakfast! —drbabs
about 24 cookies
multigrain cereal, whirred in the food processor till mostly fine powder
white whole wheat flour
kosher salt (Diamond Crystal, or use less)
unsalted butter, room temperature
brown sugar, packed
large egg, room temperature
toasted and skinned hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
Whisk together the pulverized cereal, flour, baking soda and salt. In a stand mixer on medium speed, blend the butter and sugar together till light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extracts, and stir till thoroughly blended. Scrape down the sides well.
By hand, gently stir in the flour mixture till just combined, and then fold in the hazelnuts and white chocolate chunks. Refrigerate mixture at least while you heat oven or for several hours to overnight.
Heat oven to 350. When the oven is heated, scoop tablespoon sized balls of dough about 2 inches apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet. (The cookies spread a good bit.) Bake for 15-17 minutes, reversing cookie sheet halfway through, till golden brown. (Because my oven is so temperamental, I always bake one sheet at a time. I fit 9 cookies on a large cookie sheet. It took 3 batches to bake all of these.)
Let cookies cool on sheet for 5 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.