Macadamia Nut Cookies

This Macadamia Nut Cookie recipe always steals the show at every gathering with soft-baked, thick and rich chocolate cookies loaded with melty chocolate chips and crunchy, buttery macadamia nuts!

These Macadamia Nut Cookies boast double the chocolate for the chocolate lover! The soft-baked cookies are thick, divinely rich, fudgy with chewy centers and slightly crispy edges, studded with melty chocolate chips and sweet, buttery, crunchy macadamia nuts. They are EASY, ridiculously DELICIOUS and ideal for the holidays or any day! This Macadamia Nut Cookie recipe is also make-ahead friendly, freezer friendly and waiting to become a new family favorite!

Everyone loves soft and chewy cookies! Don’t miss Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, Nutella Cookies, S’mores Cookies, Caramel-Stuffed Brown Sugar Cookies, Pumpkin Snickerdoodles, Chocolate Crinkle Cookies or Turtle Cookies.

How to Make macadamia nut cookies Video

a stack of macadamia nut cookies with a bite taken out of a cookie showing the macadamia nuts and melted chocolate inside
up close top view showing how to make macadamia nut cookies by cooling on a wire rack

recipe Ingredients

This Macadamia Nut Cookie recipe uses pantry friendly ingredients, aside from the macadamia nuts, so, just keep some nuts handy, and you can make this recipe at a moments notice! Let’s take a closer look at what you’ll need (full measurements in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):

  • Macadamia nuts: I use salted, dry-roasted macadamia nuts. You can use unsalted or raw, but salted dry-roasted adds superior flavor. Roughly chop the nuts before adding to the cookie dough.  
  • Chocolate chips: Use semi-sweet chocolate chips or even chopped baking chocolate to provide pockets of melted chocolate. 
  • Cocoa powderThis is the best (and easiest!) way to create deep chocolate flavor. Use unsweetened natural cocoa powder, no fancy Dutch processed.  Cocoa powder is the dried leftover solids from cacao beans after the cocoa butter has been extracted, that have been fermented, roasted, and processed.  
  • Flour: Don’t be concerned that there is only 1 cup of flour in this recipe. Cocoa powder is another dry ingredient that bulks up the dough. Use all-purpose flour or gluten free 1 to 1 baking flour should also work.
  • Baking soda: This is a leavening agent that keeps the cookies soft. 
  • Butter: Use unsalted butter or omit the salt in the recipe. The butter plays a critical role in cookie structure and impacts the shape, spread, and texture so I don’t suggest making any substitutions.
  • Sugars: Use a mixture of brown sugar and granulated sugar to add both sweetness and flavor.  Brown sugar loves to bond to water molecules, so it helps keep the cookies soft and tender.
  • Egg: This helps bind the dough together. Bring the egg to room temperature before adding to the recipe. 
  • Vanilla: This adds a depth of flavor that is the perfect complement to the chocolate. Use quality extract for the best results.
  • Salt: You should always add salt to baked goods. In this recipe, the salt enhances the vanilla flavor of the dough and balances out the sweetness of the chocolate chips. 
macadamia nut cookies with a bite taken out of a cookie showing the macadamia nuts and melted chocolate inside

How to Make Macadamia Nut Cookies 

The Macadamia Nut Cookies come together in a few simple steps. Here’s an overview of the baking process: 

  • Mix the dry ingredients together. Combine the all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl. Mixing the dry ingredients separately ensures that everything is evenly dispersed before combining with the wet ingredients and helps prevent overmixing.
  • Cream the butter and sugar.  Beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together on medium high speed until fluffy, then mix in the egg, milk and vanilla extract.   
  • Combine all the ingredients. Mix in the dry ingredients just until combined, followed by the chopped macadamia nuts and chocolate chips.
  • Chill the cookie dough. The cookie dough is sticky so it needs to be chilled first to make it easier to work with. Chilling will also help create beautifully plump, soft, thicker cookies that won’t spread. Cover the dough tightly with plastic wrap clinging to the surface of the dough and freeze for 45 hour or chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours up to 3 days before rolling.
  • Roll cookie dough into balls. After chilling, use a 1 ½ tablespoon cookie scoop, to roll the cookie dough into balls.  
  • Bake the cookies. Bake until the edges are golden but the centers still appear soft. The cookies won’t spread much, so after 8 minutes, I like to remove the baking sheet, drop it on the counter a few times to help spread, then return the cookies to the oven to finish baking. Works like a charm!
  • Cool completely. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack. 
top view showing how to make macadamia nut cookies by cooling on a wire rack
  • Use a cookie scoop for uniform cookies. Uniform cookies = evenly baked cookies. Plus, a cookie scoop makes rolling the batter quick and easy. I have found a 1 ½ tablespoon capacity cookie scoop works best for this recipe. The cookies are on the thicker side, so the smaller cookie scoop helps them bake more evenly.
  • Larger cookies. If you want to go larger, then use 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie. They will bake in 12-15 minutes
  • Don’t use Dutch processed cocoa powder. The cookies may lose shape and taste dense if you do. Stick with natural unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • Don’t pack the flour. It is important that you measure the flour correctly because too much flour will result in denser, drier cookies. The best way to measure flour is with a kitchen scale. If you don’t have one, then fluff your flour with a spoon, scoop it into the measuring cup and then level; as opposed to scooping the measuring cup into the flour which can cause the flour to compress.  
  • Use room temperature egg. Room temperature ingredients: 1) mix more evenly together creating a uniform texture, 2) whip into a greater volume for softer cookies. Cold eggs, on the other hand, can break the emulsion of the sugar and butter, so the dough loses air cells, resulting in drier, denser cookies.
  • Room temperature eggs hack. Add warm (not hot) tap water to a bowl then add eggs (still in their shells) for at least 20 minutes. 
  • Don’t over-mix the dough. After you add the egg, mix the dough as little as possible, stopping the mixer when a few streaks of flour remain before adding the nuts and chocolate chips. When cookie dough is over-mixed, it tends to bake into dense, tough cookies.  Overbeating eggs can also cause cookies to puff up too much in the oven. 
  • Don’t skip chilling the dough. The dough is sticky and tough to work with if it’s not chilled first. Chilling the dough also ensures thicker cookies with less spreading and a fudgier center. If you’re in a hurry, you can pop the dough in the freezer for 45 minutes to 1 hour then let it sit on the counter to soften for 20 minutes if needed.
  • Add macadamia nuts and chocolate chips to top of dough balls. I reserve some chocolate chips and nuts to push into the dough balls before baking to create the prettiest cookies.
  • Flatten cookies during baking. It’s best to not flatten the tops of the cookie dough balls before baking.  Instead, if after 8 minutes, the cookies are not spreading enough, remove the pan from the oven and drop it on the counter a few times to help the cookies spread.  Works like a charm! 
  • Cook just until the edges are set. The cookies will be break-apart soft and almost pudding-like when they come out of the oven but will firm up to the perfect texture as they cool. Don’t be tempted to cook the cookies longer or they won’t be soft in the center.
  • Feel free to reshape unruly cookies. Even if you roll your dough into perfect balls, you may have a few rogue edges that don’t bake up symmetrical. If this bothers you, you can use the edge of your spatula to push the edges back into a circle when the cookies are still soft fresh out of the oven.

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macadamia nut cookies with a bite taken out of a cookie showing the macadamia nuts and melted chocolate inside
  • Swap the white chocolate chips: Try white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, cinnamon chips or another favorite baking chip.
  • Swap the nuts: Use chopped pecans, walnuts, almonds or cashews instead of macadamia nuts. 
  • Add dried fruit: Add up to ½ cup of chopped dried cherries or cranberries. 
  • Make a caramel center: Stuff the cookies with half of a soft caramel or a Rollo before baking for a molten caramel center.
  • Make a Nutella center: Freeze Nutella by the teaspoons on parchment paper until solid. Stuff the Nutella in the center of the cookies before baking.
  • Make a peanut butter center: Same as above, but with peanut butter! Freeze peanut butter by the teaspoons on parchment paper until solid. Stuff the peanut butter in the center of the cookies before baking.
  • Make it gluten-free: Use a 1:1 all-purpose baking flour instead of regular flour.
  • Peppermint chocolate: Add ½ teaspoon peppermint extract when you add the vanilla extract then roll the dough balls in crushed candy canes before baking. You can also use Andes chocolate mints instead of chocolate chips. 
  • Black Forest: Add one cup of chopped dried cherries or cranberries and swap the chocolate chips for white chocolate chips.

top view of a plate of chocolate macadamia nut cookies with chocolate chips
Why are Macadamia Nut Cookies cookies not flat?

Chilling the dough prevents the cookies from spreading too much while the cookies are baking, creating, thick, soft cookies.  If you want even taller cookies, then: 1) chill the dough balls after rolling either in the fridge or freezer then work quickly when rolling in sugar and 2) bake the cookie dough balls on a chilled baking sheet.

Why are my cookies flat?

Macadamia Nut Cookies can come out flat if the dough wasn’t chilled long enough before rolling or the rolled dough balls sat at room temperature too long after being popped into the oven.  The dough should be chilled at least for 3 hours and the cookies baked as soon as they are rolled.

Why is my dough too sticky or wet?

The dough should be very sticky but will firm up and become easier to work with once it is chilled.  It helps to roll one batch of cookies at a time and pop the dough back in the oven to firm up again before rolling the next batch.

Do I have to chill the dough?

I know chilling dough can be a pain because we want our cookies NOW, but yes, chilling the dough is mandatory for this recipe.  The cookie is very sticky when first mixed and impossible to work with so it needs to be chilled for at least three hours. The chilled dough also makes for fudgier, softer cookies.

How do you know when cookies are done?

You’ll know the cookies are done when they look soft on the top, barely set on the edges start to crisp. Typically, this takes anywhere from 10-12 minutes depending on their size.

Should I Flatten the Cookies Before Baking? 

No, you should not flatten the Macadamia Nut Cookies before baking or they will spread out too much as the butter melts and become flat instead of thick and chewy.

a plate of macadamia nut cookies with a cookie with a bite take out showing the melted chocolate inside

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up close top view showing how to make macadamia nut cookies by cooling on a wire rack

Macadamia Nut Cookies

These Macadamia Nut Cookies boast double the chocolate for the chocolate lover! The soft-baked cookies are thick, divinely rich, fudgy with chewy centers and slightly crispy edges, studded with melty chocolate chips and sweet, buttery, crunchy macadamia nuts. They are EASY, ridiculously DELICIOUS and ideal for the holidays or any day! This Macadamia Nut Cookie recipe is also make-ahead friendly, freezer friendly and waiting to become a new family favorite!
Servings: 22 -24 cookies
Total Time: 3 hrs 35 mins
Prep Time: 35 mins

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 2/3 cup (55g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (8 TBS) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus a few more for optional topping
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped, divided
  • flaky salt

Instructions

  • Preliminary note: This cookie dough requires at least 3 hours of chilling, but you can get by with freezing for 45 minutes. The colder the dough, the thicker the cookies.
  • Dry ingredients: Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • Cream butter and sugar: In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, (may use a large bowl and hand-held mixer) cream the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar together on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Add wet ingredients: Reduce speed to medium and beat in the egg, vanilla and milk just until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add dry ingredients: With the mixer running on low speed, gradually mix in the dry ingredients until a few streaks of flour remain. Increase speed to medium and mix in the chocolate chips and ¾ cup chopped macadamia nuts just until combined (don’t overmix). The dough will be very thick and sticky.
  • Chill: Cover the dough tightly with plastic wrap clinging to the surface of the dough. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours up to 3 days or freeze for 45 minutes before rolling.
  • Preheat oven: When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. If the cookie dough chilled longer than 3 hours, let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  • Scoop: Using a 1 ½ tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop the cookie dough and roll into balls. The dough is sticky, so it can be helpful to wet your hands or spray hands with cooking spray. Place the balls on the baking sheet, leaving about 3 inches in between, 6 balls per half sheet. At this point, push the reserved ¼ cup chopped macadamia nuts onto the top of each ball, strictly for looks (this is optional). I also do the same with some extra chocolate chips.
  • Bake: Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until the edges appear set and the centers still look soft (cooking times will vary based on how chilled your dough is). Tip I use every time: If they aren’t really spreading by minute 8, remove them from the oven and lightly bang the baking sheet on the counter 2-3x. This helps initiate that spread. Return to the oven to continue baking.
  • Cool: Cool cookies for 5 minutes on the baking sheet. During this time, sprinkle with flaky salt if desired. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

Video

Notes

  • Storage: Store cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days. After that, they need to be frozen. If desired, you can reheat individual cookies for about 10 seconds in the microwave – SO good!
  • Make ahead: The cookie dough can be covered and chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Allow it to soften a little (about 20 minutes) before rolling the dough into cookie balls. You can also store cookie dough balls in a single layer on a lined baking sheet, covered, for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: Rolled cookie dough balls and baked cookies freeze well for up to three months.  Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. See full freezing instructions in post.

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