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Gluten Free White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

September 25, 2020
At a Glance
Recipe

Summary

This recipe for gluten free white chocolate macadamia nut cookies is made easily in one bowl, without creaming the butter first. The result is a rich and buttery, thick and chunky, chewy cookie with just enough crispness on the edges.

Categories

Prep / Cook Time

15 minutes / 10 minutes

Rating

 5/5 (9 votes)
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Gluten Free White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

These thick and chewy gluten free white chocolate macadamia nut cookies are made with buttery nut pieces toasted until just golden brown.

White chocolate macadamia nut cookies on a white cake plate

What makes these cookies special

The buttery goodness of macadamia nuts is paired with the sweet richness of white chocolate in a toothsome thick and chewy cookie. Even if you’re not a lover of white chocolate, this is its highest and best use.

Every time I see a cookie like this, with something chunky mixed in, and the chunks of sweet chips and crunchy nuts are bleeding right out of a too-thin cookie, I cringe. Save the thin & chewy or thin & crispy cookies for the small bits and pieces, please!

With the right balance of ingredients, each at the proper temperature, and prepared with the right method, we are rewarded with the perfect gluten free white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. They’re thick and chewy cookies that are lightly golden brown all over, and only crunchy around the edges.

Macadamia nut pieces toasted on a tray

Let’s talk about macadamia nuts

Macadamia nuts are definitely not cheap, so I buy them infrequently—and always in pieces. I never use them whole, and buying them in pieces means that whoever sells them to me can sell me the already-broken ones, so they cost a bit less.

Like most nuts, you can buy them raw, roasted or unroasted, coated or uncoated, salted or plain. I always buy my nuts raw and plain.

I like to toast the raw nut pieces in a low (300°F/150°C) oven for about 10 minutes total (5 minutes-stir-5 minutes more). It intensifies their natural buttery flavor and gives them a bit of crunch on the outside.

Toasted raw macadamia nuts mimic the overall flavor and texture of a good buttery thick and chewy cookie like this one. The slightly crisp outside gives way to a tender inside. Flavor x flavor = 😍

Overhead image of array of white chocolate macadamia nut cookies

Let’s talk about white chocolate

It’s rare to find someone whose favorite chocolate is white chocolate. Much white chocolate is of poor quality and leads with sweetness.

The richness of cacao butter, which is at the essence of its chocolate flavor, can be overpowered by excessive sugar in sub-par white chocolate. There are quality brands of white chocolate, and when I chop it myself from bars, I like to use Ghirardelli brand.

In white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, though, it’s not essential to use the Very Best White Chocolate, though. Any form of chocolate chip or disk will contain stabilizers that help prevent melting—and we want our white chocolate pieces to hold their shape during baking.

Even if you’re not a lover of white chocolate, in general, it really does belong in white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. It just pairs so well with toasted macadamia nuts and the thick and chewy texture of the cookies.

Raw cookie dough disks on white paper on a tray

The reverse cream method of making thick and chewy cookies

The method described in many baking recipes calls for “creaming” the butter first, before adding the other ingredients like sugar and eggs. Dry ingredients are added last.

That method is essential for certain recipes, like a fluffy gluten free vanilla cake with a nice, open crumb. In my cookie recipes, I rarely call for creaming the butter first, especially when the recipe is for a thick and chewy cookie.

When you cream butter, you introduce quite a bit of air into the dough or batter. That’s why the butter lightens in color once it’s creamed.

I don’t want a lot of air in thick and chewy cookies. I want a crisp outside and chewy inside. So I use what’s called a “reverse cream,” where (usually room temperature) butter is added to the already-combined dry ingredients and everything is mixed in reverse order.

Reverse creaming also has the added benefit of being simpler. It also calls for less equipment and fewer dirty dishes. Those are happy accidents. :)

White chocolate macadamia cookies baked on white paper on tray

Ingredients and substitutions

Dairy

In place of butter, try using vegan butter. I really like Melt and Miyoko’s Kitchen brands. I do not recommend using Earth Balance, since it has too much moisture.

If you can’t find dairy-free white chocolate chips or chunks, you could always make your own vegan white chocolate and chop it into large chunks before using it here. Or you could use a different type of chocolate chip that is reliably dairy-free.

Eggs

There are two eggs in this recipe. You can try using a “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel) for each one.

Nuts

If you can’t have nuts, then you’re probably better off with our standard thick and chewy gluten free chocolate chip cookies. If you’d like something similar to this cookie, try white chocolate chips in place of the regular chips.

 

Stack of 3 white chocolate macadamia nut cookies

White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies closeup image on a plate and raw cookie dough in a metal bowl

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 24 cookies

Ingredients

7 ounces raw macadamia nut pieces

2 1/4 cups (315 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

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 (See Recipe Notes)

2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

7 ounces white chocolate chunks, chips or pieces

Directions

  • First, 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, breaking up any lumps in the brown sugar. Add the butter, eggs, and vanilla, and mix well to combine. The dough will be thick, and is best mixed using the back of a large mixing spoon, and kneading the dough together with clean hands as necessary. Do not add any water. Once the macadamia nuts are cool to the touch, add them and the white chocolate to the cookie 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. In between clean palms, roll each piece of dough into a ball, then press into a disk about 1/2-inch thick. Place 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet, and place it in the center of the preheated oven. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cookies are set in the center, very lightly golden brown all over, and golden brown on the edges. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Originally published on the blog in 2012. Photos, video, and most text new. Recipe clarified but otherwise unchanged.

Love,
Nicole

  • Beverley Mackenzie
    October 3, 2020 at 2:35 AM

    These are lovely! Can they be made with a bit less sugar? If so, can you suggest quantities? Or do you have another lower sugar recipe that can have nuts and chocolate added?

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 3, 2020 at 10:26 AM

      Hi, Beverly, I’m afraid you can’t just reduce sugar in a recipe and have it still turn out. Sugar is not just a sweetener, but also a tenderizer and a bulk-former.

  • Shelley
    September 28, 2020 at 6:52 PM

    I was just looking for a gf white chocolate macadamia but cookie recipe. I’ve been craving “that kind of cookie”!! I ended up making your Double Gluten Free Chocolate Cookies which are SO.GOOD! My husband (who isn’t gluten free) said he ONLY wants those cookies from now on!! I, however, still want my white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. Y’know, for variety! Can’t wait to make these.

    • Nicole Hunn
      September 28, 2020 at 7:53 PM

      I’m always craving every kind of cookie, Shelley, so I totally get it! So glad you and your husband loved the double chocolate cookies. I think you’ll love these too. Variety is the spice of life, right? ;)

  • 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 !!!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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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