Not Mrs. Field’s Cookies

March 19, 2010

Remember Mrs. Field’s?  I know she is still around, I just passed one of her dated looking store-fronts in a mall the other day.  But does anyone still eat those cookies?

The first time I had one (and the second, third, fourth, fifth, etc.), I thought it was the most delicious thing I had ever tasted.  My mom is a good baker and we often had cookies in our house, but her cookies didn’t taste like Mrs. Field’s.  Maybe because Mrs. Field’s cookies are usually warm?  Maybe because of a high chocolate to cookie ratio?  Maybe because there was a “no nut” option for this no-nut-lover?  Maybe because there are things in those cookies that I don’t want to know about?  I think the real reason is because they are so incredibly sweet.  When you are a kid, sweet = good.  Now that my palate is a little more sophisticated, I like a better balance of flavor.  Even in my cookies.

I have to give the woman credit for introducing us all to the white chocolate and macadamia nut combination.  I’m sure someone made it before her, but my 10-year old self had never tried it.  Yes, I have gone on and on about how I don’t like nuts in my baked goods, but super salty macadamia nuts are another story.  Especially when combined with white chocolate which is so sweet.

I made these cookies as a potential peace offering to my husband.  I don’t usually push things he doesn’t like on him but I was dying to try that Golden Split Pea Soup.  So, I made a big salad, bought one of his favorite breads, and baked with white chocolate which, if you ask him, is the only chocolate he likes.  (Randy lives in a bit of a dream world where he thinks he doesn’t like chocolate but inhales anything chocolate that is put in front of him.  And while I am “taking the piss out of him” as he is fond of saying, I must tell you that he also inhaled this pasta salad and asked me what made it so good.  BEETS!  One of his most hated things!)

Anyway, fortunately the soup was a hit and so were the cookies.  My boys liked them too.  A cookbook note.  If you are a cookie baker and are looking for a good and comprehensive book, I have to recommend Nancy Baggett’s The All-American Cookie Book.  I always turn to this book when I need inspiration and it never disappoints.  Great photographs and well-researched and charming recipes.  Everything is clear, right down to the table of contents – something I can’t say about many of my baking books.

One Year Ago: Garlic Ciabatta Bread and Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad

White Chocolate – Macadamia Nut Cookies
The All-American Cookie Book
Makes 25-30 cookies

Baggett suggests you wipe off the nuts if they are salted.  Because I love to taste salt in my baked goods, I opted not to take that step.  They were not overly salty.  She also recommends greasing the baking sheets or lining them with parchment – neither of which I did.  The cookies came off just fine.

1½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/3 cups all-purpose white flour
¾ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons (1¾ sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1½ tbsp. milk
2½ tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. almond extract
8 ounces top-quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped, or 1 1/3 cups top-quality white chocolate morsels
1 1/3 cups (about 6 ounces) coarsely chopped macadamia nuts

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

In a food processor, process the oats in on/off pulses until ground to a powder.  In a medium bowl, thoroughly stir together the ground oats, flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.  In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until lightened, about 1 minute.  Add the sugar and brown sugar and beat until very fluffy and smooth.  Add the egg, milk, vanilla and almond extracts and beat until incorporated.  Beat or stir in the flour mixture until evenly incorporated.  Stir in the white chocolate and macadamia nuts until evenly incorporated.

Using an ice cream scoop or spoons, drop the dough onto the baking sheets in generous golf-ball-sized mounds, spacing about 3 inches apart.  Pat the mounds down slightly.

Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, in the middle of the oven for 12 to 17 minutes, or until the tops are pale golden and the edges are just lightly browned; be very careful not to overbake.  Reverse the sheet half way through to ensure even browning.  Transfer the sheet to a wire rack and let stand until the cookies firm up slightly, 2 to 3 minutes.  Using a spatula, transfer cookies to wire racks.  Let stand until completely cooled.

Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month.


  1. i was never a fan of mrs. fields; they always seemed so undercooked/raw.
    i love these though. oats in a cookie with choco always taste so good.

    Comment by dawn — March 20, 2010 @ 2:02 am

  2. I love the way you write about food. I’m one of those people who is known to read cookbooks as bedtime stories. This story would give me very pleasant dreams. I will try these sometime soon (and I know I won’t shake off the salted macadamia nuts).

    Comment by Penny — March 20, 2010 @ 3:38 am

  3. I am of the opinion that nuts in cookies are gratuitous as well. Except for white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. Those I could ingest at lightning speed and not thing twice. From what I can see, Mrs. Fields has nothing on you!

    Comment by Joanne — March 20, 2010 @ 3:40 am

  4. Mrs Field’s cookies were a huge thing when I was growing up in Illinois. I even have her cookie cookbook, and the cookies do have a lot of sugar in them. Your cookies look delicious, and white chocolate with macadamias is just the best.

    Comment by lisaiscooking — March 20, 2010 @ 2:15 pm

  5. I remember when Mrs Fields’cookies started popping up in malls and my friend Lise was raving about them and eating one every day for breakfast! I always thought they were way too sweet but then I was not brought up in America! I heard even Godiva makes their chocolate sweeter for the American market!
    This above recipe is great and definitely pleasing to husbands and kids!

    Comment by tasteofbeirut — March 20, 2010 @ 9:01 pm

  6. I love your post. I loved going to the mall with my mom and getting a Mrs. Fields cookie until she sold out to the Japanese company. She only had her stores for a few years and then sold. Then her cookies turned into every other cookie. I haven’t eaten on in probably 25 years. I’m going to have to try your out. Thanks!! Lisa

    Comment by Lisa — March 21, 2010 @ 4:05 pm

  7. I remember when some cookies tasted better before. But now that I bake them, homemade is infinitely better. These cookies look awesome.

    Comment by veron — March 22, 2010 @ 12:46 am

  8. Thanks for the cookbook recommendation! I’ll add it to my ever growing list. ;) I love white chocolate in cookies but don’t often use it.

    Comment by Ashley — March 26, 2010 @ 3:46 am

  9. My hubby is heading up to Whidbey Island this weekend for a boys weekend and requested I make white chocolate mac nut cookies, so I’m trying this recipe today! And while he’s gone, I’m having a girlfriend over to cook and we’re going to try your Macadamia Shortbread Brownies tomorrow!

    Comment by Emily — April 20, 2012 @ 5:40 pm

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