November 25, 2007

Taste of the Tropics Oatmeal Cookies



Ingredients:
8 oz (total) chopped macadamia nuts and semisweet chips*
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut**
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 egg



Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, vanilla and sugar. Add the egg, beat until fluffy. Add the flour, baking powder, coconut, salt, nutmeg, and oatmeal. Mix until well combined. Fold in nuts and chips. Place 1 tablespoon sized blobs of dough on the cookie sheet (about 1/2 inch apart) and bake for 12-14 minutes or until they look "set" and the bottoms are just brown. Carefully, remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: about 2 dozen cookies


*My mom bought me a bag of these Mauna Loa Premier Baking Pieces: Macadamia Nut Hershey Special Dark chips. It's basically a combination of coarsely chopped nuts and semisweet chips. If you can't find a bag near you (I can't even find a mention of it online, although I know they've been out for at least a year) just substitute a combination of macadamia nuts and chocolate chips to equal 8 oz with your preferred proportion of chocolate to nut.


**I find that unsweetened, dried coconut is often sold very cheaply at health food stores. If you can't find it and have to substitute sweetened flaked coconut, you might want to reduce the amount of sugar you use accordingly.


My thoughts:
These cookies are tropical in that wholesome 1950s way-add some "exotic" ingredients like coconut and macadamia nuts and you are halfway to Hawaii. They are also very, very addictive; even people who had eaten two or three couldn't stop themselves from eating just one more. The coconut was an interesting addition, the flavor was there but because of the oatmeal, there wasn't that slightly stringy texture that coconut-heavy cookies sometimes have.