Almost every coffeehouse I worked at in the late 90’s made sure to offer four kinds of cookies: chocolate chip (of course), peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, and the very fancy (at least for suburban Minnesota) white chocolate macadamia nut. Chocolate chip was my number one pick each time, and I never was a huge fan of the latter: the white chocolate was overly sweet, and the macadamia nuts were left in huge pieces that could crack a tooth.
Years later when I was developing cookie recipes I finally found a white chocolate that I liked, and discovered that using that good chocolate and finely chopping the macadamia nuts so they weren’t so overwhelming made for a delicious cookie. I use it often; my Half-n-Half White Chocolate Raspberry Cookies which are another favorite.
This cookie is based on my Chocolate Chip Cookie 2.0 recipe, with a small change: I use more brown sugar here than white sugar for a little more rich, caramel-y sugar profile to shine through.
I also have a variation (see notes) that includes cacao nibs and orange, which I love equally as much as the original. The bitter complexity of the cacao nibs really balance the sweet flavor of the white chocolate, and adds a nice bit of crunch. I find myself adding them even if I don’t include the orange pieces.
Ingredient Notes For Making White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies:
- All-purpose flour: Make sure your all-purpose flour is not too high or low in protein; I like to use Gold Medal unbleached all-purpose for cookie baking. At 10.5 percent protein it is a good, moderate choice to keep baked goods tender.
- Unsalted butter: I use unsalted butter in my recipes so I can control the salt content. This recipe uses both salt in the dough and sprinkled on top before baking, so unsalted works well here in order to keep the cookies from getting too salty.
- Pure vanilla extract: I prefer the flavor of pure vanilla extract over artificial, and recommend it here since this recipe includes a tablespoon of vanilla. However, if you love a brand of artificial and use it regularly, it will work fine.
- White Chocolate: Use a white chocolate that you love! I have used Valrhona’s Ivorie and Ghirardelli’s White Chocolate Baking Bar with good success.
- Macadamia Nuts: I like using salted nuts in this recipe, and don’t find them too overwhelming.
Measuring Flour For Baking Cookies:
*Throughout my recipes posted on this website, 1 cup of flour equals 142g. Please note that 1 cup of flour can range anywhere from 120g to 142g, depending on the baker or website. I found that after weighting many cups of flour and averaging the total, mine always ended up around this number. Weighing your flour instead of using cup measurements is the surest way to get the result I intended when developing the recipe.
Different brands of flour have varying levels of protein, ranging from low to high, which can result in very different outcomes when baking. I’ve found Gold Medal all-purpose unbleached flour to be the best option for many of my recipes; I use it in all the baked goods that don’t use yeast.
To Freeze Cookie Dough:
Cookie dough can also be formed into balls and frozen for up to 2 weeks. Freeze them on a sheet pan without them touching, then move into a freezer bag. When you’re ready to bake, set the cookies sit out at room temperature until the oven preheats. The cookies will need an extra minute if baked frozen.
More White Chocolate Recipes:
- Half-and-Half White Chocolate Raspberry Cookies
- White Cake with Cranberries and White Chocolate Buttercream
- Lemon White Chocolate Scones
Perfect White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
- 2 cups [284 g] all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 9 tablespoons [126 g] unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup [200 g] brown sugar
- 1/2 cup [100 g] granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 oz [85 g] white chocolate, chopped fine
- 3 oz [85 g] macadamia nuts, chopped fine (I use salted)
- Flaky salt, for sprinkling
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400F [200C]. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the granulated and brown sugars and salt and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg, yolk, and vanilla, and mix until smooth. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Add the chopped white chocolate and macadamia nuts and and mix into the batter on low speed. Use a rubber spatula to give the dough a final mix and make sure it is completely combined.
- Form the dough into balls, about 2 tablespoons each [50 g], and place 8 cookies on each sheet pan. Sprinkle each cookie with a little flaky salt, if desired.
- Bake one pan at a time, rotating halfway through baking. Bake the cookies until the tops are golden and the cookies are slightly puffed and starting to crinkle, 10 to 11 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and use the back of a spoon to gently press the center of each cookie in to flatten it. Let the cookies rest on the sheet pan for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling. Cookies are best eaten slightly warm but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.
- *Cookies will soften the longer they sit. Cookie dough can be formed and refrigerated overnight, then baked the next day; the cookies may need an extra minute if chilled. Cookie dough can also be formed into balls and frozen for up to 2 weeks; let the cookies sit out at room temperature until the oven preheats. The cookies will need an extra minute if baked frozen.