Salty Sweet Nantucket Cookies

If good things come in threes, then today is a perfect example! Despite being a little sleepy, I started the day with a 7.5 mile run (good thing #1) through Central Park with Alma. The legs felt good, but man it was COLD out there. I wore full length spandex, gloves, and ear warmers for the first time this season.

The rest of the day was busy, busy and I was tired and hangry when I arrived home. Luckily, I was able to prep dinner fairly quicky. I microwaved a spaghetti squash for 2 minutes to soften it up and then I cut it in half. I placed the squash face down on a lightly oiled cookie sheet and baked for 30 minutes at 350 degrees (you may need to cook the squash longer, depending on your oven).

Spaghetti Squash

Once the squash had cooled a bit, I used a fork to scrape out the strands of squash. It looks a lot like spaghetti!

Spaghetti Squash

I topped a big plateful of spaghetti squash with Newman’s Own marinara sauce, black olives, and shredded cheese (good thing #2). I’m not a big pasta fan, but I LOVE marinara sauce, so this was perfect for me!

What’s so great about spaghetti squash?

  • low in calories, only 25 per 1/2 cup serving
  • good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Iron, and Potassium
  • a great “in-season” vegetable to enjoy during the winter months
  • long storage life – keep in a cool, dark place for up to 30 days

Spaghetti Squash

And what was good thing #3, you ask? Cookies! Of course. I’ve been salivating over the recipes in my Salty Sweets cookbook and per Matt’s suggestion, I decided to make Nantucket cookies.

Salty Sweets

The addition of sea salt really made the flavor in these cookies pop – SO GOOD!

Nantucket Cookies

Excerpted from Salty Sweets by Christie Matheson, © 2009,  and used by
permission of The Harvard Common Press.

Ingredients:

2¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon fine salt

2/3 cup (1 stick plus 1 2/3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened

¾ cup granulated sugar

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

1 ½  teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1 cup dried cranberries, preferably unsweetened

1 cup white chocolate chips or chunks

Grinder sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and fine sea salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter with the sugars until creamy. Add the vanilla and beat until thoroughly combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  4. Slowly add the flour mixture to the mixer bowl, mixing it in a little at a time, until the flour is well incorporated. Stir in the cranberries and white chocolate chips.
  5. Use an ice cream scoop or two spoons to drop balls of dough (about 2 tablespoons each) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until set and just golden.
  6. Remove the cookies from the oven and immediately sprinkle them with a light dusting of grinder sea salt. Let cool on the baking sheets for about 1 minute, then remove them to a wire rack and let them cool completely. The cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Make 30 to 40 cookies (err…maybe 29 if you’re like me and nibble on the batter!)

The only modifications I made were: I replaced 1 cup of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat and I reduced the granulated sugar by 1/4 cup (my white chocolate chunks were pretty sweet!).

Cookie Batter

Mmm, what’s better than white chocolate, cranberries, and a sprinkle of sea salt? If you haven’t given the salty-sweet combo a try yet, these cookies are a great place to start!

Salty Sweet Nantucket Cookies

Question: What’s your favorite salty-sweet combo? See above for my answer!

Having trouble sleeping? Exercise might be the cure.

You all know how much I love salad bars, so I was excited to read this article that suggests health care savings might be found in offering healthier food options in the office.

  • Ha! I just bought a spaghetti squash at the store today! I had almost the exact dinner planned for tomorrow!

  • That all looks so good and I’ve never had any of it!

    Sweet and salty?? Do peanut butter cups count!

  • I had a similarly lovely 7.5 mile run today!

    And sweet + salty? HELLO LOVER.

    P.S. also had newman’s own marinara sauce for dinner tonight, with homemade calzones!

  • +1 on loving marinara sauce!! I really could eat almost anything if it has marinara on it!

    Also, I think those chocolate cupcakes with the peanut butter (?) frosting on the cover of the cookbook look awesome. Let us know if you ever make those.

  • lol @ “Hello Lover!” I love the salty/sweet mix! I’m a sea salt + chocolate junkie! Also on my radar- chilis+chocolate. YUMMERS!

  • My favorite salty sweet combo is an oldie but goody – chocolate covered pretzels!

  • My favorite sweet and salty combo is dark chocolate topped with sea salt. However, after looking at the ingredients and delicious outcome of your baking fun…I may just change my mind. Those cookies look amazing! I already love white chocolate, cranberry, and oatmeal cookies, but adding sea salt sounds outstanding! I will be trying this recipe!

  • Oooh I have to try spaghetti squash now! I think my fave sweet/salty combo is maple syrup on bacon! So damn good.

    Hey – I got my package yesterday! Thank you so much for the extra goodies – I haven’t tried those bars before so yay!

  • That white chocolate cranberry cookie is my absolute favorite, need-to-put-the-cookie-jar-up-high, lick-the-bowl-clean cookie.

    The salty-sweet combo I like best is this fruit salsa that is really popular here in Trinidad, called chow–it’s either mango or pineapple mixed with garlic, salt, cilantro and hot pepper. Everything tastes better with some chow on it 🙂

  • Jennifer Phillips

    Megan,
    I absolutely love your blog. You are an amazing women and your self-discipline and focus has inspired me to be healthier. Plus, you are teaching us how to do it in a practical way. Thank you for your willingness to communicate your daily life with us!

  • Jessicat

    MEG!
    I’ve come out of hiding to let you know that I love to keep little ziplocks of salted nuts and dried fruits on hand at all times (see: lady, old). Lately I’ve been digging a ratio of one salted cashew to two craisins per bite. As per our discussion of individually brewed cups of coffee: https://shop.melitta.com/itemdy00.asp?T1=64+007&Cat= . SO cheap! SO good.

  • AahhhH! Spaghetti Squash is so amazing! I do that nearly same thing(in a vegan way) all the time. Totally delish.

    Sweet/salty? I enjoy putting maple syrup and sea salt on my sweet potatoes….if that counts

  • Aahhh, I must check out that cookbook!

  • Ellen

    Spaghetti squash! I’m definitely going to try this. Sounds tasty and healthy. The cookies look de-lish. I really don’t think I have a favorite salty-sweet combo because I tend to keep them separate. That’s why going out to brunch is so hard…eggs vs. pancakes–I can never choose!

    http://www.firednfabulous.blogspot.com/

  • Thanks for the link to that article – so true.

  • LOVE spaghetti squash!!

    My favorite sweet/salty combination is definitely chocolate or yogurt covered preztels! Those things are so addicting!! I love them! I buy them from the bulk bins at Whole Foods but only on occasion because I can seriously polish off an entire bag in about 10 seconds! haha!

  • chocolate.
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  • I’m a salty sweet fiend. I must try these!

  • Joe

    How has no one brought up chocolate dipped potato chips? They are like the gold standard of Salty + Sweet goodness. Soooo good.

  • Elise

    Those cookies were amazing!! The sweet/salty ratio was perfect and I they were so moist- you definitely have a special baker’s touch!! I definitely recommend!!

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