by Stephanie Zonis
About 2-1/2 dozen cookies
These are for any white chocolate devotees in your life. They are simple, home-like cookies, crammed with chunks of white chocolate, with a lovely flavor of lemon. Please use the best-quality white chocolate you can find; it really does make a difference. As an indicator, cocoa butter should be very near the top of the white chocolate's ingredient list. You can substitute another nut for the macadamias, if you use them; pecans or walnuts would be good choices here. Also, if you use dried apricots, it is easiest to cut them up with a good kitchen shears; you'll want them snipped into relatively large pieces. Dried cranberries, if used, can be used whole. Any dried fruit you use should be soft and moist. If you like, split the batch after adding the white chocolate chunks; make half with macadamias and half with one of the dried fruits (I think dried apricots look particularly pretty and festive) .
The cookie dough is made up the night before you'll bake it, then chilled. The refrigeration period allows the flavor of the lemon zest enough time to permeate the dough, and I find that the cookies spread less and have a neater shape if the dough is chilled prior to baking. Note that these are at their best when very fresh, so eat them quickly or freeze them. These would be a nice gift if presented in a pretty tin or basket with another kind of cookie or some chocolates for visual contrast. They are not too difficult, either, so kids can help with this recipe.
7 Tbsp. (1 stick minus 1 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg, graded "large"
Grated zest of 1 large lemon (no white pith, please)
1-1/4 cup unsifted all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda (if lumpy, sift before measuring)
8 ounces (about 1-1/3 cups) coarsely chopped,
best-quality white chocolate chunks
2/3 cup coarsely chopped, unsalted macadamia nuts
OR 1 cup coarsely snipped dried apricots OR
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
In medium bowl, combine softened butter, brown sugar, and vanilla. with large spoon, cream together until fluffy and well-mixed. Add egg and beat in. Stir in lemon zest. Add flour, baking soda, and salt and mix in until combined. Stir in chocolate chunks and nuts or dried fruit until well-blended. Cover top of bowl with a paper towel, then cover with plastic wrap (the paper towel prevents any condensation dripping back into the cookie dough). Chill overnight.
Next day, line cookie sheets with aluminum foil, shiny side up. Adjust rack to center of oven; preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Form cookie dough into balls a scant 1-1/2 inches in diameter, and place on foil-lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart (these spread somewhat during baking; I place 12 cookies on a 15-1/2 by 10-1/2 inch sheet). Bake one sheet at a time in the center of the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, turning sheet back-to-front about halfway during baking time. Cookies are done when they have lost their "raw" look, the edges are a light golden brown (with some areas a bit darker), and the tops have some spots of darker golden brown. Do not overbake!!
Allow cookies to stand on sheets about 2 to 3 minutes after removed from oven, then transfer to cooling racks. If you prefer, you can serve these warm (but not hot!). Otherwise, cool completely before serving or storing airtight.
Copyright © 1999 Francesca Chocolate Productions. All Rights Reserved.
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This page created November 1999
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