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CULINARY SOS

This Cookie Rocks

March 08, 2000|ROSE DOSTI

DEAR SOS: I recently purchased some unbelievably decadent chocolate macadamia nut cookies from Rock, chef Hans Rockenwagner's new restaurant and bakery in Marina del Rey. It's a cookie lover's paradise. Could you do me and other cookie monsters a favor by getting the recipe?

ABBY TAYLOR

Los Angeles

DEAR ABBY: Chef Rockenwagner says he's happy to share the recipe and jokes, "[I] have to warn them, because the cookies are addictive." He also suggests using whole nuts for maximum crunch. "The crunch of the whole nuts in the soft cookie is tremendous."

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Rockenwagner's Espresso-Macadamia Nut Cookies

Active Work Time: 20 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 1 hour plus 30 minutes chilling

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped

3 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, plus more for greasing

1/2 cup flour, plus more for flouring

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso powder

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

50 whole macadamia nuts

* Melt unsweetened chocolate, 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips and butter in top of double boiler set over, but not touching, simmering water. Stir occasionally until mixture is smooth and completely blended. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

* Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in medium mixing bowl. Set aside.

* Combine eggs, sugar, espresso powder and vanilla in large mixing bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture holds a ribbon when beater is lifted away, about 4 minutes. Fold in cooled chocolate mixture. Sift half flour mixture over top and fold it in gently.

* Repeat with remaining flour mixture. Fold in remaining chocolate chips and macadamia nuts. Cover batter and chill in refrigerator 30 minutes.

* Grease and flour 2 large baking sheets. For each cookie, spoon about 2 tablespoons batter onto baking sheets, placing cookies at least 1 inch apart and making sure nuts are evenly distributed.

* Bake at 400 degrees until cookies are puffy and shiny, 7 to 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

25 cookies. Each cookie: 253 calories; 105 mg sodium; 44 mg cholesterol; 19 grams fat; 23 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams protein; 0.04 gram fiber.

Grateful for Gratin

DEAR SOS: For years my family and I have enjoyed the specialty potatoes at Le Chene restaurant in Saugus. Would you please try to obtain the recipe? I'm sure the potatoes are high in calories, but they are oh, so good.

M.A. KAUZOR

Van Nuys

DEAR M.A. KAUZOR: Here's the recipe for Potatoes Au Gratin provided by Le Chene French Cuisine in Saugus. Yes, they are good.

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Le Chene Potatoes Au Gratin

Active Work Time: 10 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

6 baking potatoes

Butter, for greasing

1 1/2 cups milk

1 1/2 cups whipping cream

2 cloves garlic, minced

Salt, pepper

1 1/2 cups grated Swiss cheese

* Thinly slice potatoes and layer into greased gratin dish or 1 1/2-quart casserole.

* Mix milk, cream, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over potatoes. Sprinkle cheese evenly on top. Place dish on baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees until potatoes are fork tender and top is nicely browned, 1 hour 30 minutes. Cover casserole with foil halfway through baking to keep potatoes from getting too brown.

6 servings. Each serving: 415 calories; 170 mg sodium; 108 mg cholesterol; 30 grams fat; 26 grams carbohydrates; 12 grams protein; 0.51 gram fiber.

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