Macadamia Butter Cookies with Dried Cranberries

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The month of December is flying by and I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t made any Christmas cookies. Last night I discovered macadamia nuts in the pantry and the rest is history. The first few times I made these cookies I followed the exact recipe which is on the Cooking Light website. Then I started thinking, wouldn’t these cookies be better with a tad more macadamia nut butter and some chopped macadamia nuts. Now they are richer and more delicious but probably borderline medium-low fat at best. These make great cookie gifts for the holidays and you can tell your friends they came from Cooking Light(wink!)

2 cups macadamia nuts for the nut butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup sweetened dried cranberries

1 cup chopped macadamia nuts

2 tablespoons granulated sugar, to sprinkle on top

1. Place nuts in a food processor and process until smooth, a couple of minutes and be sure to scrape down sides of bowl a few times. Combine macadamia nut butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in bowl of standing mixer and beat at medium speed until smooth. Add vanilla and egg; beat well.

2. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt and nutmeg, stir with a whisk.Add flour mixture to sugar mixture and beat until combined. Stir in chopped nuts and cranberries. Chill for 10 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 375°. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpats.

4. Use small ice cream scoop to scoop out small balls of dough and place evenly on cookie sheets. Sprinkle sugar on top of balls and gently press the top of each cookie with a fork. Dip the fork in water and press top of cookie again to form a crisscross pattern.

5. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. I can fit 2 cookie sheets on one rack in my oven but baking 1 sheet at a time in the center of the oven is preferable to having to rotate cookie sheets from top to bottom of oven for even browning. Cool a few minutes, remove cookies from pan and continue cooling on wire rack. Repeat procedure with remaining cookies. Yields 42 large cookies.

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