Nothing says Easter like chocolatey, coconut goodness
When I asked my brother what type of cookies he would like for Easter he simply said chocolate...which provided me with much flexibility. I selected Sunset Magazine's Chocolate Macadamia Nut Clusters. These cookies were a breeze to make and had a rich chocolatey flavor. Between the chocolate and the coconut, they are pretty sweet, but the macadamia works perfectly to offset the sugar overload. As is par for the course, I messed up the recipe the first time round: instead of melting the butter and chocolate together, I melted the chocolate by itself and creamed the butter with the sugar. It all ends up in the same bowl, so no harm done. Creaming the butter with the sugar is a pretty common, basic step in the cookie dough making world, hence an easy mistake to make. I did melt the butter with the chocolate on the second batch I made and there was no discernible difference in final product. Note that for the mixed in chocolate chips and coconut, I used semi-sweet mini chips and grated (not long shreds) sweetened coconut. I found this worked better than big chips and big shreds of coconut.
The other cookies in the photo are sugar cookies with royal icing and white sanding sugar. I had intended to roll out the cookies to make bunny and egg cutouts, but the dough simply would not roll; it kept cracking and falling apart. The dough was just too dry. With no other options, I just rolled the dough into balls and then pressed them down with the bottom of a glass.
Chocolate Macadamia Nut Clusters (adapted from Sunset Magazine)
8 oz of chopped bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 cup of butter
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup unsalted roasted macadamia nuts
1 cup grated sweetened coconut
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a heat proof bowl, melt chocolate and butter together over simmering to boiling water until smooth. When completely melted and smooth, remove bowl from heat and let cool 15 minutes or so.
With an electric mixer, mix sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add in melted chocolate/butter mixture. Add in flour and baking powder until just combined (don't over beat). Stir in chocolate chips, coconut and macadamia nuts.
Drop 1 tablespoon at a time onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake until edges are firm but middles are soft about 10 minutes or so (I went about 12 minutes in my oven). Remove from oven and let sit approximately 5 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to wire rack.