White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies (Vegan)

December 13, 2014
This is the first day in my Twelve Days of Christmas series, so keep an eye out over the next couple of weeks for a recipe a day! 

These cookies are the kick off to my Twelve Days of Christmas series. I'm posting holiday inspired recipes every day for twelve days, ending on the 24th. They are (of course) all vegetarian, mostly vegan, and always healthy. You're looking at recipes for all times of the day and various dietary restrictions. I'm excited. I hope you are too. It's an exciting time of year.

I love everything about the holidays, and had all of these holiday recipes in mind. I was trying to figure out how to post them all with continuing to post a new recipe once a week when Graham told me I should do this series! I'm pretty sure he was joking but I was instantly thrilled with the idea and started planning right away. Since we're moving in a little over a week and have next to no decorations, this is an outlet for my holiday spirit. Prepare yours(elves). And by that I mean Santa's elves, not Tolkein's elves. I got nothin against Tolkein's elves, but it's Christmas!

These are a much healthier, vegan version of white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, but without any soy or palm-oil based "chocolate" chips. Instead of butter I used a half-and-half blend of cocoa butter and coconut oil. This mixture ends up being a very similar consistency to butter, and the chocolate flavour of the cocoa butter overwhelms the coconut so they really taste like white chocolate. I know cocoa butter is a little pricy but they only need a little bit. I use Divine cocoa butter. They're seriously good. This recipe took a few trials but I'm really, really happy with the final result. I've also added some cranberries to make them more festive. Heehee.

1/4 cup cocoa butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped

Melt the cocoa butter on the stove top* and add the coconut oil, stirring until melted. Put this mixture in the fridge for 20-30 minutes, or until white but still soft in the middle. If you leave it too long just set it on the counter until it softens.

Heat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Lightly toast the macadamia nuts in a dry pan over low-medium heat until fragrant and you can see the oils starting to release, then chop them and the cranberries.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, macadamia nuts, and cranberries.

Cream the coconut sugar and vanilla into the re-solidified cocoa butter and coconut oil mixture until significantly lighter in colour. Add the applesauce and mix again.

Add the sugar mixture to the flour mixture and mix well with a wooden spoon, or with your hands if you're feeling frisky.

Shape equal balls of dough, about golf ball size to be the same as those pictured, and place them an inch apart on the pan. Press gently to make small discs, then bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden.

Let them cool for five minutes on the pan and then remove and place on a cooling rack.

1. It takes forever to melt cocoa butter in the microwave, so use the stovetop unless you want your microwave to explode. Just kidding. It's easier on the stove though.

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