Healthy(ish) White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Happy Thursday to everyone!

Like I mentioned in yesterday’s post, our friends Mike and Tayler welcomed a healthy baby boy yesterday!  I got a text from her in the morning and then before I could even go on my lunch break she had had the baby.  Talk about efficient!  I hadn’t even done half the things on my to-do list for the day.

Anyway, I had sneakily asked her what her favorite cookies were a few weeks ago and she told me white chocolate macadamia cookies.  I had a grand plan to go into their house while they were gone and lavishly (gaudily) decorate in blue owls and whales (apparently all the rage in the baby boy world).  Then in the middle of it all would be the most wonderful white chocolate macadamia nut cookies the world had ever seen.

Reality: Tayler told me that her mother-in-law would probably stay at their house with their daughter during this whole process so then I got scared and visualized me going in unexpectedly and being mistaken for a burglar, being pushed down the stairs (they have A LOT of stairs), and crushing my cookies in the process.

I am going to wait til they get home on Friday and take them over.

I have been having a conundrum over desserts.  I like making healthy foods, but do I like making healthy desserts?  I feel like desserts are meant to be indulgent. I feel like I should cram all the butter, sugar, and eggs that I can into them.  I also feel like this is an easy way to make something taste good.

Butter and sugar are delicious.  They are also not good for you.  It’s not particularly hard to make a dessert made with all these ingredients taste good.  The same way a baked potato tastes good with cheese, butter, salt, etc etc.  The skill and challenge comes from using healthy ingredients to make a delicious dessert.

My first thought was just to try and make healthy desserts for us to eat at home.  I would make regular desserts for other people.  I thought about it for awhile, but it still didn’t sit right with me.  If I wouldn’t want someone to make me an unhealthy dessert, then why was I making one for someone else?  Granted, if someone specifically asked me to make them something with butter, sugar, etc then of course I would, but I find that a lot of times people just haven’t had the chance to have a healthier alternative and might actually like it!

I found a recipe for gluten free white chocolate macadamia cookies (geez, this is such a long name for a cookie!), but again I ended up with some gluten in it due to my spatial/size estimation problem again (keep reading).  They do not have any eggs, butter, or processed sugar.  They could be vegan if you find vegan white chocolate, but I am not that hardcore.  The -ish part of the name comes from the white chocolate in the cookies, although there’s less than the original called for.  I am quite proud because I changed this recipe around a bit and they still turned out well!

Healthy(ish) White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

adapted from here

– 2 cups almond flour
– 1/2 cup oat flour (didn’t have enough almond flour! doh.)
– 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan butter
– 1/4 cup honey
– 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
– 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
– 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
– 1/4 tsp sea salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix the almond/oat flour, baking soda, and salt.

2. In another bowl, mix the Earth Balance, honey, and vanilla extract.  I just used a spoon to do this, but if you want to cream it more, use a hand mixer.

3. Add wet to dry ingredients and mix. Fold in chocolate chips and macadamia nuts.

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Spoon out dough onto parchment and flatten with your fingers (I found the dough stuck to the spoon when I tried using that).

5.  Cook at 350 degrees for about 10-12 minutes.

Yield about 15 cookies

Here is a photo log of my escapades:

I am continually surprised by the selection of healthy/organic/gluten free foods that Giant carries.  I think the layout of this particular Giant was pretty awesome, so I took a picture with my new phone (which rocks!).
I went for only the ingredients for the cookies, but was overwhelmed by health and bought a few extra things that I “needed.”
– gluten free oats (I know I’ll have to make something gluten free one day!)
– chopped macadamia nuts
– pure maple syrup
– agave nectar (I couldn’t decide btw this and honey for the cookies)
– GIANT bottle of vanilla extract
– Earth Balance peanut butter (wanted to try)
– white chocolate chips
I ran out of maple syrup so I was going to get some anyway when I went shopping.  I couldn’t decide if I wanted to use honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup for the cookies, but decided on the honey because I didn’t want to go too crazy changing the recipe around.
Wet + dry
Ta-da!
These turned out really well.  I may try and tweak the recipe some more, but I’m pretty satisfied with the way they turned out.  So is my stomach because I ate three of them 🙂
I am excited to play around with more recipes.  The more I make things, the easier it is for me to know what substitutions I can make.  The daunting task comes when I think about making something totally from scratch.  When do I need eggs vs no eggs? How much flour do I start with? Do I even need flour?  Do I need baking powder? Soda? Both??
So my question today to readers is what advice to you have about altering recipes or coming up with your own?

Thanks everyone for reading and commenting and I will talk to you all again soon!
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