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Cookies for Two Seasons

Coconut Macadamia
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Lemon Thyme Cookies

by Charlie Burke

Click here for printer-friendly version of recipes

Coconut Macadamia Chocolate Chip

My wife, Joanne, is an innovative and skilled baker who enjoys coming up with
variations of common recipes, and she came up with this coconut macadamia
cookie during our recent cold winter months. She made a batch the other
day, and I knew I had this week’s recipe.

She tells me cookies made with all butter are more chewy, have richer flavor and
spread more during cooking, while shortening results in crisper, more rounded
cookies. Here she uses a combination and chooses butter flavored shortening to
maintain the buttery taste. All butter or all shortening can be used, according to
your preference.  

Joanne typed the macadamia nut cookie recipe for me yesterday while I was
boiling sap in our sugar house. It has been a very late maple season, with the first
real sap run having starting only in the last week, nearly a month later than

Gathering sap late in March keeps one in tune with the early signs of spring.
Yesterday, I saw and heard the first Red Winged Blackbird of the season, and the
volume of bird songs in the woods was noticeably higher. Today at 6:30 a.m. the
sun was well up, and the sunlight was somehow different from winter’s cold,
silvery-gray light. A crow carrying a branch for a new nest flew over, a silent
promise of new life.  

The seasons in New England are, to me, perfectly paced, so that each is  new and  
eagerly grasped upon arrival. Seeing these signs of spring, I thought I’d include
Jo’s lemon thyme cookie recipe, as well. She associates them with summer when
our lemon thyme plants threaten to over-run our herb garden, so be sure to try
this recipe with fresh lemon thyme which you will be able to buy in a couple of
months at farmers’ markets. In the meantime you can use ordinary fresh thyme
with excellent results. Jo included this recipe in the Sanbornton Farmers’ Market
“Sharing Our Bounty,” and it prompted the most comment of all her
recipes. The dough for this cookie can be frozen, then sliced whenever a new
batch is needed - an added bonus.
Coconut Macadamia Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
¼ cup butter
½ cup butter-flavored shortening
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
12 oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1 cup coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients and set aside. Using an electric mixer cream shortening
and butter together. Add the white sugar followed by the brown sugar and cream
until the mixture is fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg.
Add the vanilla. Gradually add the flour mixture until all is incorporated and
smooth. Add the chocolate chips, coconut and nuts. Mix until blended.

Cut a piece of parchment paper the size of your cookie sheet or use a
silpat (a
silicone mat that is reusable and results in uniform, well browned cookies).  We
obtained ours from the King Arthur Flour store in Norwich, Vermont; they are
also available in their catalogue and in kitchen supply
stores. Using a teaspoon, scoop cookie dough and form into round balls and
place them two inches apart on the baking sheet..   

Bake in the 350 degree oven for 12 minutes or until the cookies are lightly
browned and set - light pressure in the center will not leave an indentation.  
Remove from oven and cool in the pan for 5 minutes.  Move to a cookie rack until
completely cool. Place onto a plate if they last this long!

Lemon Thyme Cookies:

2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 large egg
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon fresh lemon thyme or thyme (leaves only),
1 tablespoon minced crystallized ginger

Combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. In electric mixer on low
speed, blend confectioners sugar and butter until blended, increase speed to high
and beat until creamy. Reduce speed to low; beat in egg, lemon rind, thyme and
ginger and add flour, mixing until just blended. Divide dough in half. Shape each
half into a 12” by 1 ½” log; wrap each in plastic wrap and place in freezer for 2
hours or until firm enough to be sliced. The dough can be kept frozen, tightly
wrapped, for up to a month.

To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees, cut dough into ¼ inch slices and place 1
inch apart on non -greased cookie sheets.

Cook for 12 - 14 minutes; edges should be golden and cookies slightly crisp.

About the author An organic farmer and avid cook, writer Charlie Burke is the
vice president of the New Hampshire Farmer’s Market Association (
org) and helps run the Sanbornton Farmers' Market. Along with his wife, Joanne,
he grows certified organic herbs, greens and berries at Weather Hill Farm in
Sanbornton, NH.
The Heart of New England
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