White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies are such an underrated classic. These cookies are soft and chewy, packed full of creamy white chocolate chips and nutty buttery macadamia nuts.
This white chocolate macadamia nut cookies recipe is based on my favorite chocolate chip cookies with the tropical flair of these chocolate chip macadamia shortbread cookies. They have crisp edges and a soft chewy center. Each bite is bursting with texture and flavor. Love at first bite guaranteed!
How to make White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies from scratch
Prepare the macadamia nuts
I used roasted unsalted macadamia nuts from the bulk bins at my grocery store for this recipe. I also like to toast them up for a few minutes in a skillet before making the recipe until they are fragrant. This will bring out their nutty buttery flavor even more.
You can skip the toasting step if you want but I highly recommend it for any nuts in any recipe.
There are 3 kind of macadamia nuts you may find at the store:
- Raw macadamia nuts – you can use this type but you will definitely need to roast them first. Just roast them in a skillet over medium heat for 3 – 5 minutes until toasty and fragrant.
- Roasted unsalted macadamia nuts – this is what I use. I recommend toasting them as well, but you can skip if you don’t want.
- Roasted salted macadamia nuts – I don’t usually buy salted nuts, but if this is the only type you can find, you can use it, just reduce the amount of salt called for in the recipe so the cookies don’t turn out too salty.
Roughly chop the nuts to the size you desire or you can leave them on the larger size as well. I do like to leave some bigger pieces for a really good crunch.
Melt the butter
Melt the butter in a saucepan and allow it to cool back down to room temperature. This could take up to 1 – 2 hours, so plan your day accordingly.
Why do we use melted butter in these cookies?
Melted butter will result in chewier cookies, and that’s the result we want in these.
Can I use softened butter instead?
You can use softened butter if you want, but the final cookies will be more cakey than chewy.
Can I use brown butter?
Yes, absolutely. Brown butter will add a wonderful flavor to these cookies. Here’s how to brown butter. One thing to note is that you will be boiling off the water in the butter during this process, so you’ll want to add 1 – 2 tablespoons of milk or sour cream to the cookie dough.
Making the white chocolate macadamia nut cookie dough
- Beat together cooled melted butter and sugar for 2 minutes until fluffy and light in color.
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract to the mixture.
- Beat for another 2 minutes until fluffy.
- Add the dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula if necessary.
- Add white chocolate chips and chopped macadamia nuts.
- Stir to incorporate.
At this point, here are some ways to prepare the dough for baking:
- Refrigerate the dough in the bowl for about 30 minutes before portioning. This is helpful if the dough is very soft and too sticky to work with right away. Set a timer so you don’t forget about it and come back to super hard un-scoop-able cookie dough.
- Portion the dough with a large cookie scoop right away, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and then refrigerate the dough. You can keep them close together to fit them on one baking sheet.
- Roll the portioned dough into round balls if you want them to stay rounder and neater after baking. You’ll want to do this after the dough has been refrigerated for at least 30 minutes before or they will stick to your hand.
- When you’re ready to bake, place cookie dough about 2” apart on a baking sheet and bake one tray at a time.
Can I use other add-ins?
- Replace macadamia nuts with some other type of nuts if you prefer.
- If you want to use all white chocolate chips, omit the macadamia nuts and add an extra cup of chips
- If you want to use all macadamia nuts, omit the white chocolate chips and add an extra cup of macadamia nuts.
- You can replace white chocolate chips with a different type of chocolate chips or other baking chips if you prefer. Try butterscotch chips like in these Chocolate Butterscotch Chip Cookies.
- You can use white chocolate baking wafers or white chocolate chunks instead of the chips, but the cookies may spread more.
Measuring flour correctly for this recipe
I tested this recipe multiple times and it can be quite finicky. I made this recipe the first time many years ago and I don’t remember the cookies spreading too much. But this time around, my first test batch spread quite a lot so I made adjustments and recorded all my measurements in grams as well.
- I always try to fluff up the flour in my container before measuring, then scoop and level.
- Different measuring cups will also give different amounts of flour. I have a metal and a plastic set, they seem to vary by about 10 g or so. I usually use my metal set.
- Spooning the flour into the measuring cup, then leveling tends to give less flour overall. This is not how I typically measure my flour.
➤ So remember to fluff the flour, scoop and level, and to be absolutely exact, use a kitchen scale for measuring.
Chilling the dough
For the sake of delicious white chocolate macadamia cookies, some sacrifices will have to be made, and that means you will have to exercise patience. This is not a no-chill cookie recipe.
➤ At least 1 hour of chilling is required, and 2 – 3 hours is recommended. Chilling overnight is totally acceptable. Your patience will be rewarded.
I usually portion the dough right after mixing. However, if it is too soft, you can chill it for about 30 minutes to make portioning easier.
The issue with throwing the whole bowl of cookie dough into the fridge is that you may forget about it and by the time you come back to it, the dough will be too hard to scoop. Set a timer if you need to.
Always bake one batch at a time
For the best, most evenly baked cookies, only bake one tray at a time. It is also a good idea to bake just a few as a test batch to gauge the correct baking time for your oven since oven temperature can vary.
Also, see if there are hot spots, so you can decide whether rotating the baking tray is needed.
If you need to rotate the baking tray, I recommend doing it closer to the end, or ⅔ of the way through to get it to brown more evenly.
More troubleshooting tips
My cookies spread too much and are totally flat
- Did you measure the flour correctly? If you have less flour the cookie dough will be too wet and will spread more.
- Did you chill the cookie dough enough? 1 hour chilling is minimum but check to see if the cookie dough ball is still too soft. Refrigerate longer if this is the case, even freezing the dough for a bit should help.
- Did you add enough chocolate chips and nuts? Less filling can cause the cookies to spread more.
My cookies didn’t spread at all and are too thick
- Did you measure the flour correctly? Too much flour will cause the cookies to spread less.
- Did you reduce the amount of sugar? Sugar is considered a wet ingredient, reducing it, will affect the texture of the cookies and cause them to spread less.
- Did you add too much filling? Try to keep a combination of chocolate and nuts to about 2 – 2.5 cups total.
How to store fully baked white chocolate macadamia nut cookies
Fully baked cookies will last for up to 3 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Beyond that, the cookies will still taste good but they will start to become harder.
How to store unbaked white chocolate macadamia cookie dough
You can refrigerate this cookie dough for 2 – 3 days. To refrigerate the cookie dough, make sure to portion them first, and place them in a parchment-lined airtight container in one layer. Bake as instructed.
You can also freeze this cookie dough for 3 – 6 months. If you don’t have space in the freezer for a tray of cookie dough, you can refrigerate the dough balls first until they harden completely, then transfer them into a freezer bag and keep frozen. Bake from frozen, do not thaw. Increase baking time by 1 – 2 minutes.
More recipes with macadamia nuts
- Macadamia Coconut Croissants
- Tropical Cinnamon Buns
- Chocolate Shortbread with Macadamia Nuts
- Tropical Rugelach
- Big Island Cookies
- Tropical Mango Oatmeal Cookies
- Chocolate Covered Macadamia Nuts
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!
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
- 8 oz unsalted butter (melted and cooled, 227 g)
- 1 ¼ cup brown sugar (light or dark, 229 g)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (46 g)
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 ⅓ cup all-purpose flour (310 g)
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup white chocolate chip (~6 oz, 169 g)
- 1 ½ cup macadamia nuts (roasted & unsalted or raw, chopped, 210 g)
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until completely melted. Turn off the heat and let the butter cool to room temperature, 1 - 2 hours. Transferring the melted butter to the stand mixer bowl should help it cool faster.
- Roast the macadamia nuts in a skillet over medium heat for 3 - 5 minutes until toasty and fragrant. Let cool and roughly chop into smaller pieces.
- Add brown sugar and granulated sugar to the cooled butter and beat with the paddle attachment for 2 minutes until fluffy and lighter in color.
- Add the egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract, and continue beating for another 2 minutes until fluffy.
- In another mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir in the kosher salt and give it a good mix to distribute. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredient mixture in the stand mixer bowl, stir until incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary.
- Add the white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts, and stir to incorporate. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl with a spatula and give it another good mix as needed.
- Portion the cookie dough with a large cookie scoop and place it on a parchment lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, and up to 2 - 3 hours before baking.
- Optional: If you want the cookie to be rounder, roll the portioned dough into balls. If the dough is too soft right after mixing for rolling, refrigerate it for 30 minutes, then roll into balls.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Place 6 dough balls on a baking sheet, about 2 inches apart and bake 1 batch at a time for 15 minutes, until the outer edges of the cookies are golden brown and the center is still slightly gooey.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- If using salted macadamia nuts, reduce the amount of salt in the recipe.
- Other types of chocolate can be substituted if you prefer.
- You can use white chocolate chips, white chocolate baking wafers or white chocolate chunks, but the cookies may spread more if using wafers or chocolate chunks.
- This recipe will yield about 17 - 18 large cookies, about 3” - 4” in size.
- You can use a smaller cookie scoop to make smaller cookies, and double the number of cookies. Smaller cookies will bake faster, reduce the baking time by 3 - 4 minutes in this case
- The cookie dough can be kept frozen once portioned. You can bake from frozen and increase baking time by 1 - 2 minutes.
- Refer to the post for more troubleshooting tips and FAQs.
This post was originally published on 3/31/2017. The post has been updated and republished on 6/19/2020 with the latest improvements, and extra tips to help you in the kitchen.