White Chocolate Cranberry Macadamia Cookies

April 12, 2011

I sat in a math talk (it goes with the territory) on Friday evening (it’s love). Since words like natural numbers and limits define the edge of my math comprehension, and words like rational approximates and loop products have never been in this household’s dinner conversation, my eyes began to wander around the lecture hall. I could not stop watching a girl who was compulsively rocking back and forth in her chair. And then, I tried to stifle my grin as I thought about my favorite David Sedaris story, A Plague of Tics.

I took to violently shaking my head, startled by the feel of my brain slamming against the confines of my skull…I’d like to think my nervous habits faded during high school, but my class pictures tell a different story. “Draw in the missing eyeballs and this one might not be so bad,” my mother would say. In group shots I was easily identified as the blur in the back row. For a time I thought that if I accompanied my habits with an outlandish wardrobe, I might be viewed as an eccentric rather than just plain retarded. I was wrong. (Naked p. 18).

I’ve been reading David Sedaris, Bill Bryson, and Ruth Reichl as of late, but it hit me a couple of days ago that I hadn’t read a book that was a challenging read since college. Since college! 4 years ago! I was an English major!

I went to the library and picked out City of God by E.L. Doctorow. I decided to start with this one solely because my friend Ali is  his granddaughter. If I’m separated by a mere degree from a prominent American writer, I mind as well read something he wrote. I didn’t realize until after I’d checked the book out that City of God is actually dedicated to Ali, as well as her brother and cousins.

Ali is very modest and Will and I were friends with her for a year and a half before she mentioned E.L. Doctorow was her grandfather. We were hanging out in her mom’s apartment when Will noticed she had a bookshelf dedicated to everything E.L. Doctorow ever wrote. “Wow, you guys must be big fans,” Will said. “We are,” Ali said, “He’s actually my grandfather.”

I baked these White Chocolate Cranberry Macadamia Cookies in between chapters. I really like them. They are buttery and crispy, and the salty-sweet-tart combo makes for great cookies. I’ll be making them again for sure, as my friends enjoyed them quite a bit as well. Guess I’m not nearly as modest as Ali!

(Adapted from White Chocolate, Cranberry, and Macadamia Nut Cookies from Bon Appetit, December 2006)

I decreased the amount of brown sugar to 3/4 cup based on Epicurious comments

I got 60 cookies from this recipe using a tablespoon sized scoop. Feel free to chop the recipe in half unless you have a lot of people you’d like to share your cookies with.

These keep for a few days at room temperature, or for 2 weeks in the freezer.


  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips (about 8 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped roasted salted macadamia nuts (about 4 1/2 ounces)
Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt into a bowl.
Use a standing or handheld mixer to beat butter until it fluffs up. Add brown and white sugars and beat until combined. Beat eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla. Add the sifted flour mixed and beat until just mixed.
Use a fork to stir in cranberries, nuts, and white chocolate chip.
Drop by the spoonful onto the cookie sheet. Bake 12-16 minutes until cookies are lightly browned.

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