These are seriously the BEST white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. Using a few secret ingredients, this recipe is an elevated version of a classic. They’re the perfect balance of salty and sweet with a thick, soft, and chewy texture. Each cookie is LOADED with their signature mix-ins, giving you white chocolate and macadamia nut in every single bite. This recipe is also no-chill, can be mixed by hand, and can be frozen to keep for months on end.
What is the secret to delicious white chocolate macadamia nut cookies?
These cookies taste like they came straight from a bakery, mainly because they’re made up ingredients that bakeries use to make their treats taste SO special. They’re rich, flavorful, and have multiple layers of sweetness and saltiness with the perfect textures in all the right places. So what’s the secret?
Salted European Style Butter
If you’ve never baked with European style butter before, prepare to have your mind blown. European style butter is cultured butter. What does this mean? When making butter, fresh cream is churned to separate the fat solids. Typical butter stops here, but European style butter adds bacterial cultures to the churned cream. Then, it rests for a few days to ferment and develop a rich flavor. The end result is a creamy and flavorful butter that makes any dessert 10x better.
You can also compare it to a fine wine, as aged wine has a much more complex flavor. It’s also the same reason why European style butter is a bit more expensive. That’s why I like to splurge on the butter and save in other areas, like using basic all purpose flour and store-brand white chocolate chips and nuts. You won’t notice a drastic difference in using cheaper alternatives to the other ingredients, but you WILL notice a difference when using a basic butter over European style butter.
The fastest way to cool brown butter
Since white chocolate macadamia nut cookies usually have a pretty basic flavor, I wanted to bump it up a bit by browning the butter. But now that we know European style butter already as so much flavor on its own, it only needed a little bit of extra help. That’s why I only browned half of the butter in this recipe.
Not only does it give you that little boost of added flavor, but it also speeds up the entire browning process. Once half the butter is browned, it’s poured on top of the other half of butter. When the hot brown butter is mixed with the chilled plain butter, it speeds up the cooling process. You never want to make cookies with hot butter as it will dissolve the sugar too rapidly, so you usually have to wait around for about an hour to let it cool. But since we’re combining hot butter with cold butter, it melts and cools down within about 10 minutes.
If you want to learn more about brown butter and why it’s such an amazing flavor enhancer to keep in your baking arsenal, check out my full post on how to brown butter.
Tips for baking perfect white chocolate macadamia nut cookies
- Properly measure the flour – I say this in every post, and for good reason. It’s the number one reason why most recipes fail, especially for cookies. If there’s too much flour, the cookies will turn out dry and they will not spread. If you can, measure the flour with a food scale. Otherwise, to ensure you use the exact amount needed, gently spoon the flour into your measuring cup and level if off with a flat edge. If you scoop directly into the flour container, it packs it down into the cup which could leave you with 1/4 cup or more of added flour.
- Use room temperature eggs – This is very important, although it’s a step that oven goes overlooked. If you mix cold eggs into the melted butter and sugar, it will rapidly chill the butter and create a thick dough. This consistency will prevent the cookies from spreading as they should. To quickly bring your eggs up to the right temperature, place the whole egg (in the shell) into a dish and fill it with hot water (not boiling hot, but hot from the tap). Let it sit for about 15 minutes and then your eggs should be ready to crack in to the dough.
- Don’t over mix – It’s very easy to over mix this dough as there are a ton of chocolate chips and nuts to distribute throughout it. To prevent this from happening, add in the chocolate and nuts just before the flour is fully combined. Then, fold in the mix ins just until they’re well distributed. Over mixing can lead to a tough cookie, so be careful during the last few steps in making this dough.
- Flatten your cookies – Since these cookies are loaded with nuts and chocolate, we want to help them out a bit my flattening them before baking. Simply press the tops down with your palm. This will help the cookie bake all the way through without over-baking the edges.
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies: Frequently Asked Questions
Between the salted butter, the added salt, and the salted nuts, you may think these cookies will turn out way too salty. It’s actually the opposite! White chocolate chips tend to be very overpowering as they’re quite rich and sweet. In order to counteract this, a bit of extra salt helps round out the flavors to create a perfectly balanced white chocolate macadamia nut cookie.
This could be due to a few things, so I recommending reading my baking tips above to help troubleshoot. It could either be that too much flour was used, the eggs were too cold before mixing, or the dough was over mixed.
I highly recommend sticking with the roasted salted macadamia nuts for the reasons listed in the first question above, but if you can’t find them you can use plain macadamia nuts. I would then recommend sprinkling the warm cookies with a bit of flaky sea salt to make up for that loss of extra salt.
Yes, you can freeze any leftover dough and it will keep for up to 3 months. Simply scoop and form your dough balls and place them into a freezer safe storage bag. You have two options for baking, so follow the baking instructions in the notes section in the recipe card below.
Honestly, you can use whatever white chocolate chips you like. I don’t find there to be a drastic variation between different brands of white chocolate chips, or at least not until you get into the REALLY good stuff that you can only order online or buy in specialty shops. Since we’re splurging on the European style butter, you can opt for basic store-brand white chocolate chips. But if you I had to choose one, I prefer Ghirardelli white chocolate chips.
I haven’t tested it, but you can try swapping the flour with the same weight in Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 gluten free baking flour. I say weight because measuring for volume (aka cups) between regular and gluten free flour can be tricky. Gluten free flour is more dense, so it’s very easy to use way too much when measuring with cups. If you don’t have a food scale to weigh out your flour, fluff up the flour and then carefully spoon it into your measuring cup.
For more cookie recipes, check out my:
- BEST EVER Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Lemon Bar Butter Cookies
- Butter Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies
- Salted Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies
Make sure to tag me @butternutbakery on Instagram and comment below if you make these White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies. To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can use the button on the recipe card or on any of the photos above. Happy baking!