A few weeks ago I bought some wattleseed with no particular plan for it. At first I wanted to bake it in scones, but it isn’t scone weather here for a good four or five months yet. I tossed up a few other options but ultimately decided on a big batch of cookies so I would have enough baked treats to give as gifts.
I made the dough for these cookies a few days ago, but didn’t get around to actually baking them until today. W woke up early from her nap, so she happily played with a finished carton of soymilk on the kitchen floor while I rolled and sugared and photographed. Once I got the first batch in the oven, the whole house started to smell nutty and buttery and sugary and all types of good.
Wattleseed is an Australian ‘bush tucker’ that comes from the acacia plant. Originally used by the Aboriginals to make a type of flour, these days wattleseed pops up in the odd hipster café or market stall. It is easy to buy online, but if you can’t find it you could replace it with some nutmeg and cardamom, or even a couple of tablespoons of instant (or very finely ground) coffee.
The taste of wattleseed is somewhere between coffee and dandelion root, but muted. These cookies are subtle – not too sweet, delightfully chewy, and laden with macadamia crunch. They’re a good afternoon tea cookie with a mug of earl grey, or late-night dessert with a cold glass of milk.
WATTLESEED & MACADAMIA COOKIES
Yields 34 cookies
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
10gm roasted wattleseed
1 cup macadamia nuts
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp molasses
1 tsp vanilla essence
¼ cup granulated sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 170°c/350°f.
Spread the macadamias in a single layer on a baking tray and roast for 10 – 15 minutes. Check regularly and remove as soon as they start to brown. Leave to cool.
In a medium sized bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and wattleseed. In a large bowl cream the sugar and the butter until fluffy. Mix in the egg and egg yolk, the molasses and the vanilla essence.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir through until just combined. Roughly chop the macadamias and add to the dough.
Wrap the cookie dough in plastic and pop in the fridge for at least two hours or up to overnight. Though tempting, don’t skip this step. Chilling the butter in the dough will prevent the cookies from spreading and flattening while baking.
Scoop the chilled dough into tablespoon-sized balls. If using granulated guar, roll the balls in the sugar to form a think coating. Place on a tray lined with baking paper, leaving approx. 4 inches between balls. Gently flatten with a fork and bake for 15 – 18 minutes.
Remove from oven and leave to cool on baking tray for 2 or 3 minutes before transferring to a wire tray to cool completely. Best enjoyed fresh with a cold glass of milk, but will keep stored in an airtight container for up to a week.