With crisp edges, soft and chewy centers, and plenty of texture throughout, these white chocolate macadamia nut cookies are destined to land in your forever file. A twist on a classic, this version calls for brown butter, comes together in one bowl, and bakes in just about 10 minutes. Heaven!

Just-baked white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.

From Yossy Arefi’s latest book, Snacking Bakes, this recipe, at first glance, looks like a classic. But upon closer inspection, you’ll quickly see it’s so much more.

For one, it starts with two words that make my heart sing: brown butter. In addition to the lovely nuttiness brown butter lends to baked goods, it also assures me I’ll neither have to lug out my stand mixer nor soften any butter. And how nice?!

Second, it calls for salted macadamia nuts, which not only provide a texturally pleasing buttery crunch, but also so nicely balance the sweet white chocolate chips.

Third, the dough comes together in one bowl. Yes, one bowl! What’s more, the formed cookie dough balls do not require chilling before baking (though you can if you wish) and after about 10 minutes in the oven, they’re done.

Friends, with crispy edges and soft and chewy centers punctuated by chopped nuts and chocolate throughout, to me these cookies are heaven, evoking, as Yossy writes in the headnotes of the recipe, the vanilla-scented Mrs. Fields classics beckoning mall shoppers of the 1990s everywhere. Memories!

I am still putting together my 2023 gift guide, but if you are looking to get a jump start on the shopping, Snacking Bakes would be a great one to gift to the baker in your life. It’s filled with simple recipes, most of which can be made in less than 1 hour in one bowl.

I have made only one recipe, but I have many others flagged — malted sugar cookies, chocolate ricotta cake, coconut cookie bark — and I’m looking forward to the many low-lift, big-flavor treats in my near future.

PS: Brown Butter Fans: here are a few more favorite sweet treats that call for it: these snickerdoodles, these blondies, and these stamped Christmas cookies.

Yossy Arefi’s Snacking Bakes:

Snacking Bakes, a cookbook, on a countertop.

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies, Step by Step

First, gather your ingredients:

Ingredients to make white chocolate-macadamia nut cookies.

Measure everything, then…

Measured ingredients to make white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.

… place 8 tablespoons of butter in a skillet and melt it over medium heat until…

Butter melting on the stovetop in a skillet.

… it turns brown (which is hard to see from the photo but if you stir constantly while the butter melts, you’ll be able to see), at which point…

Brown butter in a skillet on the stovetop with a spatula.

… you’ll pour it into a bowl with brown sugar and two more tablespoons of butter.

A bowl of brown sugar, brown butter and butter.
A bowl of brown sugar, brown butter, and butter.

Stir to combine.

Whisked together brown sugar, brown butter, and butter.

Add vanilla, salt, and 1 egg.

Adding the egg, vanilla, and salt to the cookie batter.

Whisk to combine.

White chocolate and macadamia nut cookie dough in the making.

Add baking powder and baking soda.

A bowl of white chocolate-madacamia nut cookie batter in the making with a whisk on top.

Stir again to combine.

Whisking together the white chocolate and macadamia nut cookie dough.

Add the flour and stir with a spatula to incorporate.

A bowl of white chocolate-madacamia nut cookie batter in the making.

When the flour is just about incorporated…

A bowl of cookie batter and a spatula.

… add the chopped macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips.

Adding the white chocolate and macadamia nuts to the cookie batter.

Stir to combine.

Mixed together white chocolate and macadamia nut cookie batter.

Portion the dough into 21 to 22 balls.

Portioned cookie dough balls on a small tray.

Place on a sheet pan and flatten lightly (if you’ve refrigerated the dough balls). Sprinkle with flaky sea salt if you wish.

Portioned cookie dough balls on a sheet pan.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes. Let cool completely on the sheet pan.

Just-baked white chocolate macadamia nut cookies on a sheet pan.
Just-baked white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.

Transfer cookies to a rack or a storage vessel while you continue baking the remaining dough balls.

Just-baked white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.
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Just-baked white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

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5 from 7 reviews

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From Yossy Arefi’s latest book, Snacking Bakes


  • Salted Macadamia nuts might be hard to find — I found them at Whole Foods. 
  • For best results, please use a scale to measure. 


  • 10 tablespoons (142 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 1 cup (200 g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, cold from the fridge
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt or 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt (3 g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/3 cups (170 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (100g) chopped salted macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup (85 g) white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate
  • Flaky sea salt (optional), for sprinkling


  1. Position an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a small skillet or saucepan with a light-colored interior, melt 8 tablespoons (113 g) of the butter over medium heat. Once melted, cook the butter, stirring constantly, until the milk solids are deep golden brown, about 3 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the brown butter, the remaining 2 tablespoons (29 g) cold butter, and the brown sugar. Whisk until combined and the butter melts, about 1 minutes. The mixture will be a bit grainy and separated.
  4. Add the egg, vanilla, and salt and whisk until smooth, thick, and glossy, about 30 seconds.
  5. Whisk in the baking powder and soda. Fold in the flour with a spatula and when a few streaks of flour remain, add the nuts and chocolate. Mix until no streaks of flour remain and the chocolate and nuts are evenly distributed in the dough.
  6. Use a 1.5-tablespoon cookie scoop or heaping tablespoon to portion the dough into 22 cookies. Alternatively, portion the dough into 35-gram balls. At this point you can refrigerate the cookie dough balls until you are ready to bake or you can proceed: I find I can bake 8 cookies at a time on my half sheet pan. I like to flatten my portioned dough balls slightly after I transfer them to the sheet pan. Sprinkle lightly with flaky sea salt, if using.
  7. Bake the cookies until just set with a few cracks on top, 9 to 11 minutes. Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cookie dough balls. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Amerian