Macadamia chocolate chip shortbread cookies

Raw cane sugar is the secret to these cookies giving it a nice crunch.

The Pastry Chef's Baking
A chocolate chip cookie gets stepped up raw cane sugar and macadamia nuts.

Another portion control alert recipe. I had made this and the coconut sheet cake the same weekend so you can imagine my sugar overload then. But it was worth it.

I love shortbread anyway – all that sugar-butter-vanilla goodness is hard to beat. I didn’t think I would like it with the chocolate chips since I tend to be a vanilla purist. And you know I don’t care for nuts in my cookies. But this one beat the odds by being an exception to my pickiness and overcoming my prejudiced taste buds. Because it was good. Like 2-cookies good. Granted, the cookies are small but still. They warranted a second cookie between my jaws.

What’s different about this cookie is it uses raw cane sugar or turbinado sugar. Don’t be tempted to substitute regular granulated sugar! Run out to Target or Trader Joe’s and buy the real deal. Why? Because that’s what made these cookies so good. Turbinado sugar isn’t as refined as granulated sugar so it didn’t absorb into the dough or melt as much during baking. Consequently, it added a nice sweet random crunch to the cookies, somewhat like when you roll sugar cookies into large sugar crystals for added sweetness and crunch but these are inside the cookie. Pair with the buttery-salty flavor from the macadamia nuts and you have a winner of contrasting/complementing tastes and textures.

The dough tended to be a bit dry and crumbly so you do need to beat it a fair amount to get it to come together. Make sure you beat the butter first to nice, soft, creamy submission before you add the dry ingredients. If your dough isn’t coming together, add a dash more vanilla or vanilla bean paste but you don’t want  this dough soft or sticky. Once it comes together, it’s easy to shape into little thick discs. They hardly spread so they’ll end up mostly the size you shape them in. I like the look of having them be small but hearty-thick discs. That way you can also eat two of them and console yourself that two is okay because “they’re not that big”. Go with it.

Macadamia chocolate chip shortbread cookies
From Crazy for Crust

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup turbinado sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup macadamia nuts, finely crushed
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Beat butter and sugar together until blended. Add vanilla.

2. Whisk together flour and salt; add to butter mixture, mixing until incorporated and dough comes together.

3. Add macadamia nuts and mini chocolate chips.

4. Portion into 1-inch dough balls and shape into thick discs. Chill for at least an hour.

5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

6. Space evenly on baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden. Do not overbake or you won't get the soft texture. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely.

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