You know that whole thing everyone says: "stressed spelled backwards is desserts" -- yeah, that thing. Well, I believe in the power of that saying. Okay, so maybe "power" is a little strong... but, baking/creating sweet treats is really and truly a stress-reliever for me, and most people I know. What is it that makes it so relaxing and therapeutic?
I think it has something to do with the amount of attention you have to pay to your ingredients and your measurements. When you're dealing with baking sodas, baking powders, different types of flours and sugars, there really is such thing as "too much" or "too little." It seems like there's a lot more trial and error for me when it comes to creating a new dessert recipe.
I think it also has to do with the fact that at the end of the whole process you're going to have something that's going to taste like happiness. Dessert tastes like happiness. Happiness comes in many shapes and forms, like chocolate, peanut butter, lemon, for example. But, overall, desserts in general are comforting and, most importantly, they're always there for you. Chocolate would never call you names. Caramel would never go to the grand opening of that new shoe store with your snooty next door neighbor. And pie would never make fun of you for that new "vintage" hairstyle that you're desperately trying to bring back.
Really, I believe that food, in general is great way to relieve stress. Whether you're cooking something, baking something or even just enjoying a nice meal at your favorite restaurant, it's a wonderful escape from the every day chaos that we all go through each and every day. No matter who you are, you've got some kind of chaos. For me, it comes in the form of a 2-year-old daredevil that loves watching things break and making wet, gooey, stick-in-your-rug concoctions with anything and everything he can get his hands on.
So, you'll have to excuse me if I hide in my bedroom, pretending to shower, but secretly sneaking the last chocolate chip cookie. Or if I get away to the grocery store and eat a whole bag of chocolate covered pretzels on the drive home. Remember... Stressed spelled backwards is Desserts, people. So, it's okay.
Today I've got a tasty treat for your enjoyment that's bound to be a hit with any citrus lover you know. It's got a great key lime flavor with a bit of nuttiness from the brown butter glaze that's covering the top, and it melts in your mouth. Literally. It's got that great texture that you find in Wedding Cookies, but without all the powdered sugar mess that comes along with them. Oh, and the macadamia nuts? Don't even get me started on those...
Key Lime Macadamia Cookies:
- 1 cup salted butter
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons key lime juice
- 1 tablespoon key lime zest
- 2 + 1/4 cups flour
- 3/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts
- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 4 tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Place butter in a small pan (preferably one with a light colored bottom) over medium heat. Now, you have to pay very close attention, as your butter is going to be ready before you know it. Your butter will melt, then it will become foamy and then it will begin to turn a very light golden brown and finally to a nice, deep brown. You will smell the difference! Once it reaches the deep brown, nutty stage, remove it from the heat and transfer it to a small bowl to cool.
Place chopped macadamia nuts in a skillet over medium heat. Stir and toast nuts until fragrant, and until they're just starting to get a nice light brown color. Remove from heat.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Stir in key lime juice and zest. Slowly mix in flour until well combined, then fold in macadamia nuts. Shape dough into balls (I used about 1 tablespoon for each) and place on ungreased baking sheet.
Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until bottoms are golden brown, but not the tops.
Place cookies on a wire rack to cool.
While cookies are cooling, mix your brown butter, powdered sugar and milk in a small mixing bowl. Consistency should be runny.
When cookies are cool, use a spoon to pour glaze over the tops of cookies. I used about 1 large teaspoon for each cookie.
Allow glaze to set slightly, then devour!
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.