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White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies (with toasted nuts!)

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies (with toasted nuts!)

Sometimes, a blog is frustrating! You know that feeling when you’re a kid and you put on your jacket from last year, thinking that you are still pretty-much-last-year’s-size, & boy are you surprised when it feels like you imagine a straight jacket would feel? You’ve grown, without even knowing it. And your jacket hasn’t had the good common sense to grow with you. Still with me? So, the blog sometimes feels like, no matter what I do, it’s last year’s jacket. The cookies keep coming (good!), & the blog keeps growing (yay!) but a blog is not a cookbook (boo). I think that’s why I love writing Gluten-Free on a Shoestring cookbooks so much. With a cookbook, you know where everything is. All the ideas, all the recipes, all the tips and talking, all in one place. All in an order that makes sense. So I’m working on making you a clickable recipe collage once a week or so. So I can show you how the recipes and the tips and the tricks knit together. 

*Yesterday I asked my son (that’s his 8-year-old hand) to pick up a cookie from that stack of cookies, let me snap a few pictures, and then put it back. No cookies until after dinner. He’s still reeling.*

Can you blame him? These are not just any white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. For two reasons. #1 They have lightly toasted macadamia nut pieces (buy raw pieces – they’re cheaper and these nuts are way $$). #2 They are thick & chewy. Every time I see a chunky cookie like this, and the chunks of sweet chips and crunchy nuts are bleeding right out of a too-thin cookie, I want to make that person a real cookie. Save the thin & chewy or thin & crispy cookies for the small bits and pieces. Practice safe baking.

So even though these cookies are lightly golden brown all over, they’re not crunchy, except for a tiny bit around the edges. Enough to know that you’re alive. I’m alive!

These are gifting cookies. Box ’em up. Tie ’em with a ribbon. And I’ll work on fitting into my tight jacket. Meet you right back here.

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 24 cookies


7 ounces raw macadamia nut pieces

2 1/4 cups (315 g) high-quality all-purpose gluten-free flour

1 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar

3/4 cup (164 g) packed light brown sugar

8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 extra-large eggs (120 g) at room temperature, beaten

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

7 ounces white chocolate chips, tossed with 1 teaspoon cornstarch in a medium-size bowl



  • Toast the Nuts. Preheat your oven to 300°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper, and place the macadamia nut pieces on it in an even layer. If your macadamia nuts are whole, roughly chop them first. Place the baking sheet in the center of the oven and toast the nuts for 5 minutes, shake the pan to redistribute the nuts, and then toast them again for another 5 minutes or just until they begin to become lightly golden brown and are fragrant. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and set the nuts aside to cool. Raise the oven temperature to 325°F.

  • Make the dough. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, salt, baking soda, granulated sugar and light brown sugar, and whisk to combine well, working out any lumps in the brown sugar. Add the butter, eggs and vanilla, mixing to combine after each addition. The dough will be thick. Once the macadamia nuts are cool to the touch, add them to the bowl of chips and toss to coat the nuts in the cornstarch. Add the contents of the small bowl to the large bowl of dough, and mix until the pieces are evenly distributed throughout.

  • Shape & bake the cookies. Line a new rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper, and drop 2-teaspoonsful pieces of dough on the baking sheet. With wet hands, shape each piece of dough into a ball, and then press into a disk. Place 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet, and place the baking sheet in the freezer until firm (about 5 minutes). Remove the baking sheet from the freezer and place it in the center of the 325°F oven. Bake for about 10 minutes, rotating once during baking, or until the cookies are lightly golden brown all over. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.



P.S. If you haven’t already, please buy both of the Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Cookbooks! They’re all you need to feed your whole family great gluten-free food on a budget – and I need your support to keep the blog going!

If you liked this recipe, you'll love my new book!

Gluten-Free on a Shoestring [Second Edition]:

125 Easy Recipes for Eating Well on the Cheap

Amazon.com Barnes & Noble IndieBound.com

Comments are closed.

  • Tangentgirlnat
    December 8, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    Just finished making these… They are DELISH! My non-celiac housemates loved them too! I made a double batch and froze a bunch of dough for lazy days when I want cookies, but don’t want to fuss about it. 

    Just a question on your measurements… Do you use metric or imperial measurements when there is no weight to go by, like the tsp of vanilla? Is it possible that in the future you will add ml/fl. oz measurements? Particularly for larger amounts of liquid? (I’m an Australian, in Canada no less, and made your brown butter cornbread from the Anatomy of a GF recipe today, and had to use a great deal more buttermilk to get the recipe pourable and probably needed more baking powder/soda as it was quite dense, though tasty!)

    Thanks for all your hard work!

  • Carole
    December 8, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    Finally found the candy cane Hershey Kisses. They also  had some cherry cordial ones that looked interesting.
    These thumbprint cookies are going in my cookie boxes we give out. This will be the first year for gluten free.It’s amazing how far I’ve come thanks to you. In the beginning I thought this isn’t going to work.The store bought stuff wasn’t very good and everything tasted stale. Now everything has changed and I no longer have to apoligize for serving gluten free food. Thank you and have a Merry Christmas.

  • Susan
    December 7, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    Hey Nicole!

    I just have to talk to you!  So I wanted to try your Royal Icing for the mini-chocolate cutout cookies?  I was at the store and had me a lemon in my basket!  The self-check-out thingy was going to charge me over $26 for the thing!  Then I looked and the self-check-out thingy said I had 40 lemons, not 1!  Finally got that straightened out. Then I found the Meringue powder, didn’t see any little boxes, so had to buy a big box, that was expensive!  Then I couldn’t really find INSTRUCTIONS on how much powder you use for 2 egg whites.  Why do they have to be pasteurized anyhow?  Because it would be EGGS in a NON-COOKED icing?
    I finally used the instructions on the powder package, and that worked pretty well.  I had me a #1 icing tip. (Like you said!) (Another trip to Michaels!)  I had read, for years, that  you can make you own icing bags, out of baggies, well, that failed 2-3 times, the icing was leaking hither and yon with any pressure.  So my little mini-chocolate cutouts look pretty pathetic, and maybe I’ll need to sell oldest child to invest in more gear!!  Just wanted to share what a dang-good time I had with your recipe!!  The cookies were easy, and taste great, the icing, not so much!  Maybe I’ll just make a powdered sugar/cream cheese icing, then figure out a way to pipe it on!
    Oh, I sent you a question a few days back about your coffee cake recipe, and when to add the sour cream?? Waiting for your answer.

    Have fun reading my pathetic little story above!

    Merry Christmas!!


    • gfshoestring
      December 7, 2012 at 7:16 PM

      I’m not sure I followed the whole story, Susan, but I give instructions on how much meringue powder to use in this post. Hopefully that will help next time!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Amy Letzkus
    December 7, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Wow!! I love these cookies!! that are fabulous!! Thank you once again for all the hard work you do to bring all our favorites to us stress free! I love all your recipes and my very loving husband just surprised me with BOTH of your cook books !! I am so glad to have found your blog to help me with my very new way of thinking and eating! Thank you again !!!

  • Kris Angelo
    December 6, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Hi Nicole, will they turn out just as good if I use large size eggs?


    • gfshoestring
      December 7, 2012 at 8:28 AM

      Hi, Kris,
      If you have a scale, I would beat 3 large eggs and then measure out 120 grams and use that. If not, just wing it. ;)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Carole
    December 6, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    Was going to make the chocolate thumbprint cookies today  and went to town but no one had peppermint hershey kisses.Back to drawing board and Quick and Easy.Turned to page211 and made chocolate chip cookies except instead of chocolate chips added 2/3 C. craisins, 2/3 C. chopped pecans and 2/3 C. trader joe’s vanilla chips.
    To say they went over big is an understatement.Thank you for the original recipe !!!!!

  • Jeri
    December 6, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    My heart skipped a beat.  These will be made this week.

  • Nancy Lundy
    December 6, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    This is my husband’s absolute favorite cookie!  I think I’ll surprise him with a batch.  Thanks so much!

  • Addy
    December 6, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    Oh yay! The hubby will be happy that I can add these to the Holiday Cookie Baskets! Thank you!!!!

  • Jean
    December 6, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    I’m so excited to try these!  I have both of your cookbooks and everything has turned out great for me.  I don’t have the time to experiment with GF recipes, so I appreciate that you get every recipe fine-tuned for us!  Looking forward to cllokbook #3!

  • Pamela Gordon
    December 6, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    OMG……you know….Scott and Molly already love you for your cookies…now I’m totally smitten! These are my all-time favorites! Thank you!!!!

  • December 6, 2012 at 9:00 AM

    These are my FAVORITE kind of cookie!  Thanks for another excellent recipe!  Must put macadamia nuts on my grocery list and make these stat.

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