Macadamia Halva Cookies @ Not Quite Nigella

These cookies are a variation of my small batch cookies because sometimes you just want a small batch and not dozens of cookies. These cookies are great because they:

1 – Can be made in a very small batch – two cookies are totally doable!

2 – No mixer or beater needed! Just a spoon and a bowl.

3 – They do not require rest or refrigeration before cooking!

4 – They taste absolutely delicious! Baked halva makes them even more chewy and addictive.

Macadamia nut cookies

What is halva? Halva is a general term for a range of sweet confections that first appeared in Persian cuisine. Halva can be found all over the world, from Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe to the Middle East and can usually be purchased at delicatessens selling Indian, Arab, Jewish, Greek or Turkish. Semolina halva is more like a jelly but sesame halva looks like a dense sesame paste with a grainy texture. In this recipe we use sesame halva. I used homemade halva with chocolate stripes. I made homemade halva last year for Christmas presents and my friends loved it.

These cookies are what I consider the path to cookies of least resistance. They’re so easy they’re made before you even know it. These are the cookies Mr. NQN would make if the urge to bake cookies struck him (and we didn’t have a pantry and freezer full of cookies). Mr. NQN is a funny guy. We recently went for an off-grid experience. There was no internet at all so we ended up passing the time playing board games. He tried to teach me chess but all the rules were too much for me so we settled on Scrabble.

Macadamia nut cookies

I think we both expected me to do better at Scrabble because I like words and he likes numbers, but it started off badly for me. Mr. NQN got a lot of high value letters while I just got a lot of vowels. He laid down a 45-point word, then followed with a series of 25- and 35-letter words. And when I pulled a scale of 6 vowels, half O and half E, I let out a howl of frustration. Luckily we were in the middle of nowhere so no one could hear me.

“I’m so close to flipping this painting,” I said dramatically. I wasn’t kidding.

Mr. NQN smiled calmly.

“You are a smiling assassin! You hide all the tiles to 10 points! How did you get them? I yelled, all pissed off and frankly hysterical and paranoid.

Luck turned for me and we added up the scores. I won in the end but Mr NQN was happy for a rematch and another even after losing. I guess that’s why he’s so good at sports. I expect to be excellent at something right away and if I’m not interested I don’t continue, but Mr. NQN shrugs his shoulders and continues and tries again. And PLAY FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME!!

What a fool. Who do this ?

So tell me dear reader, are you one to persevere and persevere (and if so, are you as good at sports?)? Are you competitive in games? Have you ever returned an array (or table)?

Macadamia nut cookies

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Halva Macadamia Cookies

Note 5.0 out of 5 by 2 readers

An original recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes per batch

Serves: 8

  • 60g/2oz. butter, soft, room temperature not melted
  • 60g/2oz. brown sugar
  • 30g/1oz. caster or superfine sugar
  • 2 tablespoons beaten egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 110g/3.9oz. plain all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of baking soda
  • 115g/4oz. halvah, cubed
  • 50g/1.7oz. macadamia halves
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Macadamia nut cookies

Step 1 – Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix the butter and the two sugars with a spatula. It should quickly form a cohesive mixture if the butter is soft. Add beaten egg and vanilla. Then add the flour and baking soda.

Macadamia nut cookies

The cookie dough after adding the flour

2nd step –Divide the dough into 8 balls and stick 3-4 halva cubes and 3 macadamia halves in each. Roll in sesame seeds and place four balls on each platter. Bake each plate for 14-15 minutes. Cool on the tray and serve.

Macadamia nut cookies

Macadamia nut cookies

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