A few months ago I had the amazing opportunity to visit the Greyston Bakery, located in Yonkers, New York, to tour their bakery, as well as the rest of the amazing foundation that they are apart of. The full article can be found here, but as a refresher, the motto of Greyston is "We don't hire people to bake brownies, we bake brownies to hire people!". This motto refers to the pledge that has been made to employ the otherwise "unemployable", to offer jobs to anyone who needs one, without references, background checks, or resumes. The work that is being done in this bakery goes far beyond the delicious confections they produces, they are changing the lives of every one of their employees, in a profound and incredible way.
I could ramble on about the bakery, and the Greyston Foundation in general, for hours- anyone who has spent any time with me since my visit knows that, but today I wanted to concentrate on another side of things. This weekend, after putting up my Christmas tree and relishing it's cheerfulness with its lights and decorations, I had a ridiculous urge to bake cookies. Far too lazy to spend the time making cut out sugar cookies, or gingerbread men, I decided to pull out my Greyston Bakery Cookbook and turn to these wonderful folks for a recipe. They did not fail me. The recipe I settled on was simply titled the Good Cookie- a mix of lovely macadamia nuts folded into base similar to a chocolate chip cookie but with an extra egg. The result? Crisp, buttery, light and absolutely delicious.
I am choosing not to recount the entire recipe here (mainly because I think that you should all buy the cookbook and support this amazing organization), but I will tell you its highs and lows. It calls for a cup of ground macadamia nuts- yum. The texture variation that this added to the cookie, along with that silky macadamia flavor is just a major score. Every bite gets a little rather than some bites getting a lot, and it creates a lovely special cookie. The chocolate chips are of course delicious-when isn't chocolate? They also do a lovely job of varying up the cookie and giving some relief to the macadamia flavor. The cookie itself was almost effortlessly delicate, crispy where it should be, a little under baking rendered softer centers, less filling than a chocolate chip cookie almost reminding me of a short bread. The downside? Getting them off of my baking sheet was a bit of a challenge and I ended up with a few really ugly cookies, however, ugly or not, that didn't affect the taste!
The Greyston Bakery definitely has a winner with these cookies-and with their bakery cookbook. If you like to bake, or know someone who does- this is definitely a great gift idea. Maybe they will even thank you with some fresh baked treats!