A classic cookie with a decadent flair — these White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies are made with browned butter, toasted macadamia nuts, premium white chocolate chips, and are topped off with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. Recipe includes a how-to video!
Soft, Chewy, White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies
White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies. That name is a mouthful.
But… a good mouthful. Decadently buttery and enriched with toasty, nutty, toffee-like flavors. Punctuated with crunchy macadamia nuts and punches of sweet white chocolate. Complete with slightly crisp, golden-brown edges, thick, soft centers, and a sprinkle of sea salt.
Are you ready to make these yet?
These are one of my favorite cookies to make when I’m “appreciation baking”, I made a batch of these to gift to our realtor to thank her for helping us buy our new home and (finally!) sell our old one. Nothing says thank you like a plate full of perfect white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. Right?
Key Ingredients (& What Makes These Cookies so Special)
Most of the ingredients used for these cookies are pretty standard: flour, sugars, butter, baking powder, etc. But we have a few important ingredients that elevate this cookie dough from classic to pretty dang irresistible:
The first step in making these white chocolate macadamia nut cookies is browning your butter. If you’ve never done this before, don’t worry I walk you through the steps in the recipe and you even can watch me do it in the video (just below the recipe). I also recently published a step-by-step guide on how to brown butter.
Browning the butter gives these cookies a much deeper flavor, this browned butter base enriches the flavor of the cookies, adds a subtle nutty/toffee-like flavor. It’s our secret ingredient here.
This is a favorite in so many of my cookie recipes, especially ones that begin with melted butter. This ingredient helps to keep the cookies soft and keep them from spreading too much without drying them out and making them crumbly (which adding more flour would do). Cornstarch is one of my favorite “secret” ingredients in the kitchen.
White Chocolate Chips
We use just enough chips here to punctuate these cookies with a punch of sweetness without making them overly sweet. There are a lot of ingredients that I buy generic without issue, but white chocolate chips are not one of them (FYI, neither is baking powder or soda). I’ve had bad luck with plastic-y tasting generic chips and recommend splurging on a quality brand. Ghirardelli is my current favorite. You can instead chop up a white chocolate bar instead of using chips.
If they aren’t already chopped when you buy them, be sure to break/chop them into chocolate-chip-sized pieces before stirring these into your cookie dough.
- Make sure your browned butter is no longer warm to the touch before adding anything else to it. Warm or hot butter will melt your sugars, leaving you with a soupy, greasy cookie dough that will yield ultra-flat cookies.
- For extra rich flavor, try using European butter.
- Eggs (and all ingredients) should ideally be at room temperature. To quickly bring eggs to room temperature, place them in a bowl of warm (not hot) water for 15 minutes.
- Substitute white chocolate chips for a chopped white chocolate bar for an especially decadent treat.
- For neat, round cookies, roll the scoops of cookie dough briefly between your palms before baking.
I shared a how-to video below the recipe, showing you exactly how I make these cookies in my own kitchen (I was so pregnant when I filmed this video and my feet were killing me. The very memory of making these white chocolate macadamia nut cookies now makes my feet hurt just thinking about it😂).
More Cookie Recipes to Try:
Let’s bake together! Head on over to my YouTube channel where I’ve already uploaded over 200 recipe videos that you can watch for free!
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter (226g)
- 1 cup brown sugar (200g)
- ⅔ cup white sugar (135g)
- 2 large eggs room temperature preferred
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour (340g)
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch cornflour in UK
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 cups premium white chocolate chips (170g)
- 1 cup Macadamia nut pieces (110g)
- sea salt for sprinkling optional
Begin by Browning your Butter:
- Preheat oven to 375F (190C) and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Place butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Once butter has melted, increase heat to just above medium heat. Stir the butter and scrape the sides and bottom of the pan frequently with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula - the butter will begin to bubble and pop. Once the bubbling/popping slows, the butter will begin to turn brown (see image). Once it begins to brown, remove from heat and pour into a large heat-proof bowl.
- Allow butter to cool to room temperature before proceeding with the recipe.
- Add sugars into cooled browned butter and stir well.
- Add eggs and vanilla extract and stir until well-combined.
- In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, stirring until ingredients are nearly completely combined.
- Add white chocolate chips and macadamia nut pieces and stir until ingredients are well-incorporated.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill cookie dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before proceeding.
- 15 minutes before you are ready to bake cookies, preheat oven to 375F (190C) and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Once oven is preheated and cookie dough has chilled, drop dough by heaping, rounded 1 ½-Tbsp-sized scoops onto prepared cookie sheets, placing at least 2" apart.
- Bake on 375F (190C) for 9-11 minutes or until edges are just beginning to turn golden brown (cookies should still be quite soft when you remove them from the oven, and may even appear slightly underbaked in center).
- Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
- Allow cookies to cool completely on baking sheet.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
This recipe was originally published 03/08/2017. Photos updated, helpful notes added, and a video is now included as of 01/22/2020. One of the original photos is below:
Can the cookies bake at 350 degrees or does it have to be 375?
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Hi Sarah! We would recommend sticking with the recipe for best results. We hope you love the cookies 😊
i made then the other day, and they where (what people said) DEVINE! 😄👍
but please tell me, why they are not spreading like you “worst chocolate chip cookies”??
the macadamia cookies are much higher and doesn’t look as good as the worst.
i weight all my ingredients. 🤷🏻♀️
Hi Sarah! Are they still in a ball? These cookies are supposed to be a bit thicker than the worst chocolate chip cookies.
Sam, you are a GODDESS in the kitchen. THANK YOU for the BEST recipes!!!!!
They are heavenly and decadent. The directions for browning the butter were perfect and took all the guess work out of the task. The cookies went to together easily and baked up perfectly.
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
So glad you enjoyed them, Gale! 🥰
Off the hook; soo simple and classic Macadamia White Chip taste.
I’m a fan.
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
We’re so glad you like them, Paul! Thanks for your review 😊
I followed your recipe exactly, but it came out more flour than anything after the chill. The cookies didn’t want to stay together even when I compacted them. Super sad because your recipes usually work for me and are my go to.
I’m so sorry this happened, Anjelica! Did you weigh your flour? It sounds like there may have been a little too much added, accidentally. 🙁
She wrote 2 3/4 cup flour on her recipe, but I’m pretty sure she meant to put 2 1/4 cup flour. I did 2 1/4 cup because I knew 2 3/4 cup would be wayyyy too much, and mine turned out perfect!
Hi Angie! It is supposed to be 2 3/4c, but I’m glad yours turned out. 🙂
Mine also came out ridiculously dry! I followed the recipe exactly! I’m going to try and make them anyway – hate to waste the expensive ingredients and time I have in this already. UGH Will not be using this one again, darn it.
can u tell what is egg substitute
Hi Vaishali! Unfortunately I am not familiar with an egg substitute that would work well here, but perhaps someone else who has tried it can chime in!
This recipe is always delicious! Unfortunately I got on the wrong recipe somehow ugh and I couldn’t figure out what happened? Well no wonder my cookies were soft lol ,64 years and still goofing up lol
I’m making these cookies now and also am adding a small amount of mini chocolate chips to them
Hello- I plan to make these as 0art of my Christmas cookies. Do they freeze well? Would you suggest freezing dough or baked cookie if so? Thanks in advance! 🙃
Hi Kelsey! Personally I think a freshly baked cookie is best. I would scoop out the dough, Wrap each dough ball individually and store in a freezer bag. They may need an extra minute or two when baked from frozen. 🙂
These came out amazingly delicious! This is the recipe I’ve been looking for! I have a question, though, They seemed to get harder sooner than many of your cookies. They were stored in an air tight container but lost their chewiness after only two days. Any idea why? I think next time I will put a piece of bread in with them to keep them moister longer. Thank you for a great recipe!
Hi Pamela! I’m so glad you enjoyed them so much! I think if you bake them for a minute or two less, so that the centers seem slightly underbaked, and let them finish cooling completely on the pan they should stay soft a little bit longer. 🙂
So yummy! My family loves them!
Hi! So my cookies went rock hard. I’m trying to figure out what went wrong?:( They tasted good but were rock hard.
O no! I’m so sorry that happened! There are 2 things that could have caused this. The cookies may have needed slightly less time in the oven or you may have accidentally over-measured your flour. 🙁