White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies with Sea Salt
These White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies with Sea Salt are soft and chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside. And finished off with a sprinkling of flaky sea salt. So good!
I am not a big white chocolate person. But I do make an allowance or two for this true chocolate wannabe. One such example is the white chocolate macadamia nut cookie. This special cookie totally entrances me and is a favorite bakery item of my husband and oldest daughter. For years, I’ve been meaning to create a recipe for these cookies for my family (and myself!). And now, after several batches of delicious testing of these White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies with Sea Salt, it’s time to share the recipe!
Whenever I’ve been particularly drawn to order a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie at a bakery or coffee shop, its appearance is what first pulls me in. I like to see obvious pieces of macadamia nuts and randomly cut chunks of white chocolate bar. White chocolate chips can be substituted in a pinch in this recipe, but my preference will always be the more irregular look of a chopped bar.
I played around with batches of cookies using all butter, all shortening, and different ratios of butter and shortening. And with different sized choppings and amounts of nuts and white chocolate. And with chilling the dough, and not chilling the dough. Rolling the dough into balls, using a cookie scoop to portion the dough, and dropping the dough by spoonfuls. Baking the cookies on ungreased cookie sheets, greased cookie sheets, and cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Yes, I was just a little bit obsessed with getting this right.
In the end, my favorite white chocolate macadamia nut cookie incorporates a combination of butter and shortening. Butter for rich, creamy, delicious flavor and delightfully crispy cookie edges. And shortening to ensure a cookie that is soft in the middle, without a wide, flat-as-a-pancake appearance.
I also found that chilling the dough for just half an hour helped to maintain the cookie’s shape. Dropped spoonfuls of dough, as irregular on top as possible, were preferred over a perfectly molded ball or cookie scoop of dough. And, finally, the sheet pan method I liked best was ungreased, without the use of parchment paper.
Another aspect that always gets my attention when it comes to sweet baked goods is an obvious contrast of saltiness. To the top of each spoonful of cookie dough you’ll find a beautiful little sprinkling of flaky sea salt. I love the little pops of salt in each bite of these cookies.
I definitely accomplished what I set out to achieve in this recipe for my family. These cookies are buttery and perfectly sweetened. Soft and chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside. Crunchy with rich macadamia nuts, plus white chocolate that plays so well with them. And they’re finished off with awesome flecks of salty goodness. There is absolutely nothing more that I could possibly ask for!
- 2.5 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 c. shortening
- 1 c. brown sugar
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. pure almond extract (add another 1/4 tsp. if you really like almond)
- 8 oz. good white chocolate bar (I used Ghirardelli), chopped into 1/4" to 3/8" pieces, divided
- 7 oz. macadamia nuts, roughly chopped, divided
- flaky sea salt
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and kosher salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, shortening, brown sugar, and sugar until well combined. Add eggs, vanilla extract, and almond extract, and beat on medium high speed until just combined. Add flour mixture and beat on medium speed just until fully incorporated. Fold in 6 ounces of the chopped white chocolate and 6 ounces of the chopped macadamia nuts, taking care to not over mix the dough. Place bowl of dough in refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
- While dough is chilling, preheat oven to 375° F.
- Drop dough by compact spoonful onto baking sheets. Aim for each cookie to be about 1 tablespoon of dough, and do not roll or smooth out dough. Press a few of the reserved 2 ounces of chopped white chocolate and 1 ounce of macadamia nuts into the tops of the cookie dough and then sprinkle sea salt fairly generously over the tops. Bake for about 9 minutes, or until edges and tops are lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cookies rest on pan for 1 minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.