Martha Stewart and I... we go way back. Back to the 90s when her show Living was on the air. I can remember so many people hating her and I never understood that. I mean, sure everything she does turns out perfectly and she is a little anal and precise and doesn't let her guests (the few she had on Living) talk much. But, that's what I liked so much about her. She's REAL. She doesn't change herself for television (frankly, it seems she's incapable of doing so).
I adored that show and miss it. Her new show... I've only see a couple of times and it's just not the same. It's too live audience oriented. I miss the days of sitting there enthralled as Martha showed the viewers how to fold a fitted sheet perfectly. Granted, yes... she did iron her sheets before she folded them, bless her little OCD heart, but... honestly, that is one of the most valuable things I've ever learned. Where else on television would someone show you how to fold a fitted sheet?
I guess part of the reason I'm obsessed with Martha is because she is really close to being the epitome of the domestic goddess. And I don't know about you... but, that is so what I want to be. I mean, granted... she's not as glamorous about it as I want to be. I want to be able to entertain people in my beautifully decorated and immaculately clean and neat home, I want to be able to cook delicious meals for them with herbs grown in my own garden, I want them to notice how clean and neat and organized my linen closet is when they accidently open that door instead of the bathroom door and of course, I want them to compliment my top and shoes, because a true domestic goddess is fashionable as well (something that Martha is lacking). And most of all, I want it to look effortless. (the hardest part). In the end... I forgo cleaning out the linen closet, because I try on about 15 different tops and shoes and always end up wearing the first one I put on and I settle for my guests just having a good time and feeling comfortable and loved. Linen closet be damned.
It's a constant work-in-progress. But, I've got a damn good start: I can fold a fitted sheet. Boo-ya.
Aside from her home-keeping prowess... she is also a damn good recipe writer. Everything I've ever made from her has been awesome. So, when I recieved Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook for my birthday from my dear friend Stephanie, I was thrilled! And seriously... this book is incredible, just about every recipe in there is a "must make."
It has taken me awhile to make anything out of it, because I was (am still) trying to lose weight and get into kick-ass Amy shape. But about a month ago, I was staying the weekend at a friend's house and wanted to bring something yummy. And I immediately turned to Martha.
adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook
Martha's recipe stops at the white chocolate chunks/chips. I threw in some of my own additions for fun: toffee pieces, butterscotch chips, and macadamia nuts. What's not to love?
I have some ideas to enhance these cookies even more, the next time around. But, I have to say these cookies are delicious! After the first day, they do get a little sandy in texture, so if you're looking for a more straight up chewy cookie then you might play around with the butter and shortening ratios.
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup vegetable shortening, room temperature
1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
8 oz best quality white chocolate chips or chunks
1/2 cup toffee pieces
1/4 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts (salted is what I used)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment (I used a hand mixer), beat the butter, shortening, and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes) scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in 2 batches, beating until just combined. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
Drop 2 tbsp of dough at a time about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until lightly golden brown around the edges, about 15 minutes. Let cookies cool on sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer parchment and cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.