Macadamia-Almond Christmas Cookies

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Inactive: 30 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 to 5 dozen cookies
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Ingredients

2 cups macadamia nuts

11/2 cups sugar

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon almond extract

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

2 cups white chocolate chips

1 cup pistachios, roughly chopped

1 cup dried cranberries

Nonstick cooking spray

48 to 60 red-and-white striped chocolate kiss candies

Directions

  1. Put the macadamia nuts in a food processor and process until smooth and buttery (this should measure about 1 cup). Add the sugar, butter and shortening and pulse until blended. Add the eggs and vanilla and almond extracts and pulse until blended. Add the flour, baking soda and salt and pulse until just incorporated. Transfer the cookie dough to a medium bowl and fold in the white chocolate chips, pistachios and cranberries. Cover and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes. Adjust the oven racks to the upper and lower thirds and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray. 
  2. Scoop out heaping tablespoons of dough, roll into balls and space about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. (You will need to bake the cookies in batches; be sure to allow the baking sheets to cool in between batches.) 
  3. Bake until the bottoms and edges of the cookies are golden brown but the middles are still soft, about 10 minutes. (The cookies will bake a bit after they come out of the oven) Press a chocolate candy kiss into each warm cookie. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
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