White chocolate macadamia nut cookies are nice and chewy with toasted macadamia nuts, white chocolate, and a perfect hint of lemon. These cookies are just the thing for the citrus lovers in your life!
Outside of extra festive varieties like Christmas sugar cookies or red, white, and blue confections, I'm not one to declare cookies as seasonal and designate them for certain times of the year. When you have a craving, you have a craving, you know?
That said, if I had to pick a time of year when these white chocolate macadamia nut cookies would be most appropriate it would have to be the warmer months.
For one, there's a whole lemon's worth of zest in here, which is a super simple way to bring a bright and spring-y flavor. And then there are the toasted macadamia nuts. Their buttery flavor/texture never fails to scream tropical. Hula pie, anyone?
The cookie base here is my go-to that I also use in my homemade break and bake cookies. It holds its shape without being sticky and is c-h-e-w-y. Just how I like my cookies.
This macadamia nut cookie recipe really begins by toasting your macadamia nuts. You may be able to find them in the baking aisle of your local grocery store or in the bulk bin section if your store has those. While you can buy already roasted macadamias, I usually go with raw and roast them myself.
How to toast macadamia nuts
Just like when you're toasting coconut and other nuts, there are two main details to remember and you're good to go:
- Arrange whatever it is you're toasting in a single layer on an ungreased, rimmed baking sheet.
- Don't walk away from the kitchen! Things can go from toasty golden-brown to singed and burnt very, very quickly. Keep a close eye.
Other than that, heat the oven to 350°F and set the timer for 8-10 minutes. Mine usually take around ten, but all ovens are different. Once they're golden and becoming fragrant they're ready.
The method for these lemon white chocolate macadamia nut cookies is pretty straightforward. Now that our ingredients are prepped and the nuts are roasted, the butter, sugars, and wet ingredients are creamed in a bowl until light.
Next, the dry ingredients are mixed in until just combined. Then goodies like the white chocolate and macadamia nuts are folded in.
Now you're ready to scoop! The cookie scoop I use for these has a two-tablespoon capacity. Be sure not to crowd the cookies in on the baking sheet because they'll spread as they bake. Aim to leave at least 1 ½" between them.
Once golden around the edges, remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool for five or so minutes on the tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an air-tight container once cooled.
Using softened butter is important here as it more easily combines with the sugar and other ingredients when they're creamed together, versus butter chilled from the fridge. This helps produce a tender cookie texture.
I always measure flour by the spooning and leveling method. This prevents against excess flour making its way into the recipe, which would lead to drier baked goods. To measure this way, stir the flour up in its bag or canister to fluff it up, then spoon it into your dry measuring cup, letting it just fall in there without packing it down.
Once full, use a straight edge like a knife (or what I usually use, the flat handle of the spoon) to level off the top of the measuring cup. I do this over the flour bag so the excess falls right back in.
Toasting macadamia nuts allows them to develop a deeper flavor that really stands out when you bite into them in one of these cookies. While raw nuts wouldn't be awful or anything, I recommend taking the extra time to toast them. It's worth it!
If you're looking for ways to use up your macadamia nuts, coconut macadamia crusted salmon is one of our family favorites. Plus for this easy weeknight dinner recipe, there's no need to toast them beforehand.
And if you're into the lemon and nut combination, Italian ricotta cookies feature lots of lemon-y flavor combined with almond extract. Mmm.
- Either salted or unsalted macadamia nuts would work -- use salted if you're into a sweet and salty dessert combo.
- Over the years I've baked these cookies using ungreased baking sheets and sheets lined with parchment paper. There's enough fat in here that they won't stick to the ungreased sheets, though I prefer parchment as it makes for easier cleanup.
- I used a two-tablespoon capacity cookie scoop here, but a (more common) one-and-a-half-tablespoon, more medium-sized scoop will absolutely do, too. Just reduce the bake time by a few minutes and keep an eye on them.
Lemon White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ teaspoon lemon zest (from about 1 large lemon)
- 1 ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour spooned and leveled
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup toasted macadamia nuts, chopped
- ½ cup white chocolate chips
To toast the macadamia nuts:
- Heat oven to 350°F. Place macadamia nuts in a single layer on a rimmed and ungreased baking sheet and toast for 8-10 minutes, or until they become fragrant and lightly browned. Immediately remove the toasted nuts from the sheet to a separate plate or bowl. If making the cookies right away, reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
To make the cookies:
- Add softened butter, sugars, egg, vanilla extract, and lemon zest to a bowl and beat using a mixer on medium speed until light and creamy.
- Whisk together the flour and baking powder. Add to the rest of the ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined, taking care not to overmix.
- Chop the toasted macadamia nuts into smaller pieces and add to the batter along with the white chocolate chips. Stir in until evenly dispersed.
- Scoop batter using a 2-tbsp cookie scoop (or a spoon) and place onto parchment-lined baking sheets about 1 ½-2" apart from one another to account for spreading.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Let cookies sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes, and them remove to cool completely on a wire rack.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.Food Safety and Nutrition Disclaimer
Delicious cookies!!! Next time I may add a little more lemon zest but these cookies are still 5 stars as it!
So happy you like them, Shanna!
Could I make the dough and leave it in the freezer for lager use?
That would work for these cookies! I'd scoop them into balls and freeze that way.
What a treat! These cookies are so good, it’s tough to share!
I agree! 🙂
These cookies are seriously yummy! I love macadamias!
I love the bright zing that lemon adds to these cookies! You made one of my favs even better!!!
Hi Alyssa, thanks for a wonderful recipe. I love Macadamia nuts but not chocolate chips, can I just skip chocolate chips from the recipe? Please let me know, TIA
Hi Priya, yes you can! This recipe will work just fine without them. I hope you enjoy! 🙂
Thanks for such a quick response, will let you know how they turn out. 🙂
These cookies look delicious, Alyssa, and I love that you added lemon to the mix! Citrus is always welcome in my eyes, and so are cookies for that matter!
Thanks so much Marcie!
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and definitely Sunday night! Cookie perfection!
That's the kind of logic my sweet tooth likes to hear. 🙂
I always consider macadamia nuts to be fancy, too, and I absolutely loveeee them with white chocolate in cookies. These sound just perfect!! And if you're AC isn't keeping you cool enough, you definitely need extra cookies!
Thanks Sues! 🙂
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
Girl, we have NO A/C in any of our 3 cars :O It's brutal!
Oh man oh man! That is brutal. I don't want to wish the seasons away but I kind of can't wait until fall!
Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says
Cookies are definitely needed, especially on a Wednesday! I love this lemon version, Alyssa! And white chocolate makes everything better, too. Perfect to cure my cookie cravings!
Thanks Gayle! I agree. 🙂