White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies

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These white chocolate macadamia cookies will rival the ones you can find in a bakery. They extra large cookies with chewy centers, crisp edges and a hint of caramel from the brown butter. What happened to white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies? They were the rage in the late 70s and 80s when Mrs Fields had cookie shops in malls all over the US.

white chocolate macadamia nut cookies on a plate.

Somewhere along the line they sort of disappeared. But there’s nothing like these buttery cookies stuffed with chunks of macadamia nuts and white chocolate. This is one delicious cookie!

(This white chocolate macadamia nut cookie recipe is adapted from Cook’s Illustrated magazine, 2009 and originally published May 30, 2012)

vertical macadamia cookie.

What’s different about these white chocolate chip cookies?

The recipe is based on the classic Tollhouse chocolate chip recipe with a couple of differences. The first difference is that you don’t cream butter and sugar together and then add the dry ingredients. Instead of creaming, the butter is melted to a golden brown and then mixed with the sugars. The flour, chips and nuts are all just added by hand. We’ll also ditch the stand mixer for this recipe and mix everything in one large bowl.

White chocolate chip macadamia cookies cookies.

Ingredients for classic white chocolate macadamia nut cookies?

While the majority of the ingredients in this recipe are standard, I’ve made a few notes here. Use the best quality sweet white chocolate chips you can find. I like Guittard or Ghirardelli. Avoid “baking chips” which are fake tasting. The buttery macadamia nuts and white chocolate are the stars of this show.

ingredients for white chocolate chip cookies.
  • Unbleached all-purpose flour
  • baking soda
  • unsalted butter
  • white sugar
  • dark brown sugar. Note: Instead of light brown sugar, use dark brown sugar which gives these cookies a deeper richer flavor.
  • Instead of two eggs, this recipe uses one whole egg and one egg yolk.
  • sea or fine kosher salt
  • vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 8 ounces white chocolate chips* see note
  • 3/4 cup macadamia nuts. Coarsely chop the macadamia nuts since this a big cookie. (I use raw, unsalted, but lightly toasted and lightly salted would add another dimension!)

How to make white chocolate chip macadamia cookies

top shot macadamia nut cookies.

This recipe makes 16 large cookies. It’s best to bake them in two batches rather than putting two trays in the oven.

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat.
  • Divide butter. In a 10″ skillet, heat 10 Tablespoons butter over medium hight heat, swirling the pan until the butter is a deep golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining 4 Tablespoons butter. This will stop the browned butter from getting too dark. Pour butter into a heatproof bowl.
melted butter in bowl.
  • Add dark brown sugar, white sugar and vanilla to butter mixture, and whisk until fully incorporated.
adding sugar to butter.
  • Add egg and egg yolk to sugar and butter mixture and whisk until mixture is smooth and no brown sugar lumps remain.
adding eggs to sugar mixture.
  • Let mixture rest for 2-3 minutes in bowl. Repeat this step twice, whisking and resting, until butter mixture is smooth and shiny. Scrap down sides of the bowl.
mixing butter and sugar.
  • Whisk flour and baking soda together.
  • Stir in flour mixture with a rubber spatula just until combined.
adding flour to sugar mixture.
  • Stir in white chocolate chips and chopped macadamia nuts until combined and there are no air pockets.
adding white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts.

At this point, the cookie dough can be chilled if desired. I like to chill it for 30 minutes or so, but it’s not necessary.

  • Divide the dough into 16 portions. I like to use a food scale, weigh all the dough, and then divide by 16 to get uniform cookies, but you can also use a or eyeball them, and use around 3 Tablespoons dough for each cookie.

At this point you can freeze the cookie dough balls for future baking. Place the cookie dough balls on a sheet pan in a single layer and freeze. Once frozen, place the unbaked cookie balls into an airtight freezer bag.

  • Place cookie dough on a baking sheet, 2 inches apart and bake each tray separately until cookies are golden brown puffy in the middle and edges are set. Centers should still be soft, about 10-14 minutes. For even baking, rotate baking sheet halfway.
dough on cookie sheet.

  • Allow cookies to cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to completely cool.
cookies on cookie sheet.
  • Store cookies at room in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies in tin.

To bake frozen cookie dough, Place dough on prepared baking sheets and allow them to defrost while the oven is preheating.

Closeup cookies.


  • Add 1/4 cup shredded coconut to the batter.
White chocolate macadamia cookies are soft yet crispy cookies, rich and buttery, with toasted coconut throughout. The perfect companion for a cup of coffee or tea!
White Chocolate Chip, Macadamia and Toasted Coconut cookies.
  • Swap out the white chocolate chips for dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips.

white chocolate chip cookies.

White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Cookies

White chocolate chip macadamia cookies. Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated.
5 from 71 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 cookies
Calories 334 kcal


  • 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 7 ounces unsalted butter (14 Tablespoons)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar (5 1/4 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (or kosher)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 8 oz white chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup macadamia nuts chopped


  • Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Place oven rack in the middle position of the oven.
  • Line 2 cookie sheets with silpat or parchment paper.
  • In a bowl whisk flour and baking soda together.
  • In a large skillet, heat 10 Tablespoons butter over medium high heat, swirling pan until butter turns a golden brown and has a nutty aroma. Remove from heat, pour melted butter into a large mixing bowl and add the remaining 4 Tablespoons butter, whisking until butter melts.
  • Whisk in both sugars, vanilla, and salt into bowl, mixing until fully incorporated. Add whole egg and egg yolk to sugar and butter mixture, whisking until smooth and shiny. Let the mixture rest 3 minutes. Repeat this step, whisking and resting twice, until it's smooth, shiny and thick.
  • Add flour mixture and incorporate with a rubber spatula, just until combined.
  • Fold in white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts until everything is combined and no flour pockets remain.
  • Use a cookie scoop, or weigh dough into 16 equal portions. (About 3 Tablespoons)
  • Place dough balls onto prepared cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart, 8 to a cookie sheet.
  • Bake trays one at a time for 10 to 14 minutes rotating trays halfway.
    Cool a few minutes and then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.


Serving: 1cookieCalories: 334kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 3gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 202mgPotassium: 102mgFiber: 1gSugar: 25gVitamin A: 347IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 50mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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