For various reasons, people tend to think I have my dumplings together. I am here to assure you of precisely the opposite. An inconvenient alternate hypothesis, you might say, and I would agree.
I am not the smartest one in the room. I am not exceedingly gifted in any discernible fashion. I am not the hardest-working. I am not even lucky. Blessed (and thankful), but definitely, definitely not lucky.
So how does one such as myself end up so colossally mistaken as successful?
I f*cking show up.
Survival, as it seems, has its benefits. (Though sometimes it sure doesn’t feel that way. Also, please excuse the ensuing riposte.) Take an event, such as graduating University from a notoriously cut-throat program. Break that down into the five years it requires. Then assign some probability of you passing each year (that probability may stay level, it may not), say 75%. Then you can look at it two ways. You either walk into Freshman 101 thinking less than one out of four of you will make it out the other side (23.73%) OR, you keep your head down and just try to stay out of the bottom 25% for each of those 5 years.
I was not the smartest one in any of the classrooms I was ever in (at least where it “mattered”). But somehow every September came enrollment day I managed to still shamelessly show up.
To just show up.
Call it the Universe, I say it’s Jesus, but one thing that keeps happening when I drag my beaten ass out to show up, is that somehow, He does too.
Now, am I out of the woods? Am I in the clear? Well, I’m still alive (I think), so that probably means I got a bit more surviving to do. Life is still a slobbering rampant rottweiler bitch but maybe, maybe just around the corner there might be a baby corgi. (Who am I kidding, I don’t even like corgis, shiba inu all the way.)
Let’s not dumbly romp into any haughty expectations here. I warn you now because that’s what I did, and was then rudely euchred out of by the very thing that was supposed to be the crown jewel of this entire endeavour. Nonetheless, a wildly delicious cookie with notes of malted milk, salted caramel, and toasted oats.
Miso Burnt White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies with Torched Hokkaido Milk Caramel
- 355 g all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 245 g unsalted butter, softened
- 5 g extra virgin olive oil (can sub with more butter, obviously)
- 175 g white sugar
- 125 g brown sugar
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract (honestly, I like artificial vanilla here better)
- 1 1/2 tbsp red miso
- 2 heaping cups roasted macadamia nut halves
- 1/2 cup burnt white chocolate crumble (recipe follows)
- 2 tbsp toasted coconut flakes, crushed
- 24 Hokkaido milk caramels, (actually these little buggers stabbed me in the back hard, just use Morinaga)
- Cream the butter and sugars in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until the butter is pale and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time (scraping down the sides ALWAYS), until the mixture is completely homogeneous. Beat in the vanilla and miso.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt in a separate bowl then add all at once to the creamed butter mixture. Beat on low speed until the mixture starts to gain traction but there’s still quite a bit of loose flour kicking around.
- Add the macadamia nuts, burnt white chocolate, and coconut flakes. Beat on medium for about a minute until a stiff dough forms.
- Using a 2 1/2-inch cookie scoop, scoop out the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet (no need to space them out at this point, they’re just going into the freezer). You should get about 24 cookies.
- Unwrap the caramels and smush one right on top of each cookie dough mound.
- Freeze the dough completely before placing in an airtight container for longer freezing (cookies on demand, better than sliced bread).
- To bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, place the rack in the top third of the oven, and line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Place six frozen cookie dough portions on the lined baking sheet and bake in the top third of the oven for 18 minutes. 6 minutes before the cookies are done, take out the pan and bang it on the counter several times so the cookies flatten slightly (this results in a cookie that is denser and chewier, with that crinkly look).
- Once the cookies are done, remove from the oven and torch the melty caramels with a blowtorch until somewhat charred (think roasted marshmallow).
- Enjoy warm or completely cooled.
So what’s my beef with Hokkaido milk caramels? They got hard like nipples do once things cooled. Still delicious, but just not what I was going for. Reflection: since I get pissed about the tiniest things that didn’t go as planned and write it off as enough of a disaster for me to justify disowning myself, maybe fix that first before blaming those poor Hokkaido milk caramels. Second thought: probably easier to just swap out the caramel for trusty old Morinaga though.
To make the burnt white chocolate crumble…you burn it. It’s actually super easy to burn white chocolate because the amount of dry milk solids and sugar in it. Just microwave around 2 cups of white chocolate chips in a glass mixing bowl for 1 minute at a time until the chocolate seizes up, and keep going, until it becomes crumbly. You can stir a bit in between if you think some parts are being neglected. Cool completely and store in an airtight container in the fridge. What you end up with it crunchy brown-buttery, caramelly bits that are much more interesting than the unadulterated version.