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Chocolate Shortbread with Macadamia Nut

Macadamia nuts add a touch of island vibes and a wonderful crunchy texture to these buttery Chocolate Shortbread Cookies. Skip the nuts for pure chocolate shortbread and nothing in the way.

Looking for a traditional shortbread? Check out my OG Classic Shortbread Cookies, the mother of all shortbread recipes!

Chocolate shortbread cookies laying flat on a surface

As summer nears, we all dream of a summer vacation. Maybe some of us long to visit Europe to gawk at the architecture and artwork. Maybe some of us just want to lay on the beach all day doing nothing, sipping on a pina colada smoothie, spiked with some rum perhaps?

The latter is my ultimate vacation, especially when that beach is somewhere in the Pacific, how about Maui? Without saying, it is obvious that this chocolate shortbread recipe was inspired by Honolulu Cookies Company’s Dark Triple Chocolate Macadamia.

How to make Chocolate Shortbread with macadamia nuts

Chocolate shortbread cookie dough

Making chocolate shortbread with macadamia nuts

Making chocolate shortbread dough with macadamia nuts (Photos 1 – 4)

  1. Pulverize roasted macadamia nuts in a food processor or chop them with a knife until pieces are smaller than ¼”.
  2. Beat together softened butter, sugar, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl.
  3. Sift together flour and cocoa powder. Stir in the salt and chopped macadamia nuts until evenly distributed. Add to butter mixture.
  4. Mix just until the dough forms.
  5. Roll dough into a log and wrap tightly in plastic. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  6. Slice the log into ½” slices. Freeze for 15 minutes before baking at 350°F until the bottom edges turn darker.
Shaping and cutting chocolate shortbread

Shaping and cutting chocolate shortbread (Photos 5 – 6)

My chocolate shortbread is a true slice a bake cookie recipe. With many other shortbread recipes, I like to roll the dough out and cut into various shapes, but for this one, due to the nut filling, it is much easier to shape the dough into a log and slice this way.

Which type of cocoa powder to use in this recipe?

I have made this recipe with both natural and Dutch-process cocoa powder. They both work well but do yield slightly different flavor.

  • Natural cocoa powder will yield lighter color cookies with a milder flavor but still very delicious.
  • Dutch-process cocoa powder will yield darker color cookies with a more intense chocolate flavor, perfect for those who prefer dark chocolate.

What if I don’t want macadamia nuts in my cookies?

You can omit macadamia nuts or substitute them with almonds, walnuts, pecans, even pistachio.

Take your chocolate shortbread cookies to the next level

  • For even more intense chocolate flavor, add fine espresso ground or instant espresso powder like in these Chocolate Espresso Shortbread Cookies.
  • Add mini chocolate chips to the batter for another dimension of chocolate like these Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies.
  • Coat them in melted chocolate, the darker the better (my preference!).
  • Use both chocolate chips in the dough and dip the baked cookies in melted chocolate. This would make them just like Honolulu Cookies Company’s Dark Triple Chocolate Macadamia!
  • Make them into cookie sandwiches with a chocolate ganache filling like these Linzer Cookies.

Chocolate shortbread cookies on a plate

Baker’s Tips

  • Allow butter to soften at room temperature before making the dough, but make sure you don’t let the butter melt, especially in warmer weather.
  • If you accidentally let the butter soften too much, the cookie dough could become slightly a sticky mess. You will need to refrigerate it longer or freeze the dough log before slicing.
  • If your butter is not soft enough, the dough might not incorporate well and will be a little sandy, crumbly, like pie dough. Keep beating, the friction from the beater will warm the dough up and help it incorporate.
  • Before refrigerating or freezing the dough log, shape it as best as you can and place it on a folded up kitchen towel to try and prevent it from going flat on one side.
  • If you want it perfectly round, you will need to keep shaping it and smoothing it during the refrigeration process.
  • Freezing the sliced cookies before baking is highly recommended as it will allow them to keep their shape better in the oven.
  • If your freezer is not large enough for a baking sheet, freeze the sliced cookies in a smaller container with parchment paper between each layer. Place them on a baking sheet right when you are ready to pop them into the oven.

Storage

These cookies will last up to a week in an airtight container on the countertop at room temperature. I find they actually taste best the day after when the flavors all meld together and they are a little crispier than freshly baked.

Freezing

All shortbread cookie dough freezes well. You may want to freeze this dough in the log form but I recommend cutting the dough into slices before deep freezing them. Once they freeze solid, it will be difficult to slice.

To store, layer the unbaked cookies in an airtight container or a freezer bag with parchment paper in between so they don’t stick together and freeze.

When you are ready to bake, go ahead and bake them straight from frozen. Frozen cookies will need to bake about 2 minutes longer than recipe time.

A stack of chocolate shortbread on a plate

More chocolate cookies

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, send me a photo, rate it and don’t forget to tag me @wildwildwhisk on Instagram. I’d love to see what’s cooking up in your kitchen. Cheers!

Chocolate shortbread cookies laying flat on a surface

Chocolate Shortbread w/ Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts add a touch of island vibes and a wonderful crunchy texture to these buttery Chocolate Shortbread Cookies. Skip the nuts for pure chocolate shortbread and nothing in the way.
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies
Calories: 172kcal
Author: Trang

Ingredients

  • 8 oz unsalted butter (room temperature, 226 g)
  • cup granulated sugar (130 g)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour (260 g)
  • ½ cup cocoa powder (natural or dutch-processed, 60 g)
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts (141 g)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Extra sugar for sprinkling

Instructions

  • Toast the macadamia nuts in a skillet over medium heat for 3 - 5 minutes until toasty and fragrant. Set aside to cool for 15 - 30 minutes.
  • Transfer cooled macadamia nuts to a food processor and pulverize into small pieces no larger than ¼”. You can also chop the nuts on a cutting board with a knife if you don’t have a food processor. Set aside.
  • Beat together softened butter, sugar, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl until combined and fluffy.
  • Sift flour and cocoa powder into a small mixing bowl. Stir in salt and the chopped macadamia nuts. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix until a dough forms.
  • Scrape the dough out of the bowl onto a piece of plastic wrap, roll into a log about 12” long or divide in half and roll into 2 logs about 6” each. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour. If the dough is too soft at this point, you may want to refrigerate for 30 minutes, reshape the logs to make sure they are round, and freeze for another 30 minutes to speed up the process.
  • When the dough is ready, take it out of the refrigerator or freezer and cut it into ½” slices. Place the cookies in a container and freeze for about 15 minutes while the oven is preheating.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • When the oven is ready, place cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet 1” - 2” apart. Sprinkle granulated sugar over the top of cookies generously and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 - 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely
  • Optional: dip cooled cookies in melted chocolate to add another layer of chocolate flavor.

Notes

  • Allow butter to soften at room temperature before making the dough, but make sure you don’t let the butter melt, especially in warmer weather.
  • If you accidentally let the butter soften too much, the cookie dough could become slightly a sticky mess. You will need to refrigerate it longer or freeze the dough log before slicing.
  • If your butter is not soft enough, the dough might not incorporate well and will be a little sandy, crumbly, like pie dough. Keep beating, the friction from the beater will warm the dough up and help it incorporate.
  • Before refrigerating or freezing the dough log, shape it as best as you can and place it on a folded up kitchen towel to try and prevent it from going flat on one side.
  • If you want it perfectly round, you will need to keep shaping it and smoothing it during the refrigeration process.
  • Freezing the sliced cookies before baking is highly recommended as it will allow them to keep their shape better in the oven.
  • If your freezer is not large enough for a baking sheet, freeze the sliced cookies in a smaller container with parchment paper between each layer. Place them on a baking sheet right when you are ready to pop them into the oven.
  • This cookie dough freezes well, and is perfect for making ahead. You can bake from frozen for 2 minutes longer.

Nutrition

Serving: 33g | Calories: 172kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @WildWildWhisk or tag #WildWildWhisk!

A stack of chocolate shortbread on a plate

This post was originally published on 7/10/2017. The post has been updated and republished on 5/14/2020 with the latest improvements, extra tips, and process photos to help you in the kitchen.

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2 Comments

  1. June 19, 2019 /

    5 stars
    What a great combination. Chocolate + shortbread + macadamias. Totally delicious

    • Trang
      Author
      June 19, 2019 /

      Thanks Marie, it certainly is a great combo!

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