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Macadamia Halva Cookies @ Not Quite Nigella

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

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

2 – Don’t need a mixer or a beater! Just a spoon and a bowl.

3 – They don’t require any resting or refrigeration before baking!

4 – They taste utterly delicious! The baked halva makes these even more addictively chewy.

Macadamia Cookies

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

These cookies are what I consider the path to least resistance cookies. They’re so easy they’re made before you even know it. These are the cookies that Mr NQN would make if the urge to bake cookies ever struck him (and we didn’t have a pantry and freezer full of cookies). Mr NQN’s a funny guy. We recently went away on 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 Cookies

I think we both expected that I would do better at Scrabble because I love words and he loves numbers but it started off badly for me. Mr NQN got a lot of the high value letters while I got just a whole lot of vowels. He put down a 45 point word and then followed with a series of 25 and 35 letter words. And when I drew out a range of 6 vowels, half O’s and half E’s I let out a loud howl of frustration. Luckily we were in the middle of nowhere so nobody could hear me.

“I am soooo close to flipping this board,” I said dramatically. I was not kidding.

Mr NQN smiled calmly.

“You’re a smiling assassin!! You’re hiding all the 10 point tiles! How did you get them?” I howled, all ridden up and quite 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 suppose that’s why he is so good at sport. I expect to be great at something straight away and if I’m not interested I don’t continue but Mr NQN just shrugs and keeps going and trying again. AND PLAYING FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME!!

What a lunatic. Who does that?

So tell me Dear Reader, are you the type to persist and keep going (and if so, are you also good at sports?)? Are you competitive at games? Have you ever flipped a board (or a table)?

Macadamia Cookies

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella

Macadamia Halva Cookies

Rated 5.0 out of 5 by two 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 NOT melted
  • 60g/2oz. brown sugar
  • 30g/1oz. caster or superfine sugar
  • 2 tablespoons beaten egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 110g/3.9oz. plain all purpose flour
  • Pinch bicarb of soda
  • 115g/4oz. half cubed
  • 50g/1.7oz. macadamia halves
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Macadamia Cookies

Step 1- Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line 2 baking trays with parchment. Mix the butter and two sugars together with a spatula. It should quickly form a cohesive mix if the butter is soft. Add the beaten egg and vanilla. Then add in the flour and bicarb.

Macadamia Cookies

The cookie dough after adding the flour

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

Macadamia Cookies

Macadamia Cookies

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