These American-style cookies are simply irresistible eaten while still warm and the chocolate chunks are still soft and melting. Macadamia nuts, with their buttery flavour, add a crunchy texture, but can be omitted if you prefer. Like the chocolate, the nuts should be kept in fairly large pieces.
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Use walnuts or pecan nuts instead of macadamia nuts. * For cherry and almond cookies, use plain white flour instead of the cocoa powder, and substitute 55 g (2 oz) dried sour cherries and 55 g (2 oz) flaked almonds for the chocolate chunks and macadamia nuts. If you want a pronounced almond flavour, use ¼ tsp pure almond extract instead of the vanilla.
Plain chocolate is a good source of copper and provides useful amounts of iron. The scientific name of the cocoa bean tree is Theobroma cacao, which means ‘the food of the gods’. Casanova was reputed to drink hot chocolate before his nightly conquests – in fact, he was said to prefer chocolate to champagne. * Butter contains useful amounts of the important fat-soluble vitamins A and D. Vitamin A is essential for healthy vision and skin, while vitamin D is needed for the formation of strong, healthy bones.