Here’s an easy shortbread recipe that is so, so good! Macadamia nut shortbread cookies have nuts in the batter and on top, plus a drizzle of white chocolate to make them extra scrumptious!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Whenever I’m in Hawaii, I stock up on macadamia nuts for baking. There’s a whole lot of interesting history about these wonderful, buttery nuts that you can read more about here.
In fact, there’s so many good shortbread varieties in Hawaii (I love the Honolulu Cookie Company) it inspired me to make some at home. Luckily, macadamia nuts are easy to find in most grocery stores, and here are few good reasons to make these cookies:
- They’re easy! No dough rolling or kneading is required 🙂
- Every bite of these Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies have the luxurious, buttery taste of macadamia nuts
- To take the cookies up a notch, there’s a drizzle of white chocolate on top and more nuts too
- One batch of these makes a good amount of cookies – two dozen – in fact depending on how you big you slice them (I like a rough 2-inch square)
- Shortbread just begs for a hot beverage to go alongside it! Why not sit and relax a little, maybe with some of this amazing hot chocolate?
- Also, there’s nothing better than cookies and Fresh Tangerine Sorbet!
Ingredients You’ll Need
For the full list of ingredients and instructions, please scroll down to the recipe card below.
- Butter: Essential to shortbread, we’ll use a full cup of the unsalted stuff
- Powdered Sugar: This gives the shortbread a finer crumb texture than regular sugar, be sure to sift it, because it tends to clump
- Vanilla Extract: We’ll use pure vanilla extract for it’s exceptional flavor and mild sweetness you you can’t get with anything else
- Flour: All-purpose (plain) flour is just what we need, be sure to sift it too
- Macadamia Nuts: Chopped fine please, we’d like to have bits in every delicious bite
- White Chocolate: To drizzle on top after baking and cooling
Full list of instructions, ingredients and measurements are below in the recipe card.
- Beat butter that’s been softened for 30 minutes in a medium bowl until it’s creamy and light, about 3 minutes on medium speed with an electric hand mixer.
- Add the sifted powdered sugar and vanilla, continue to mix until combined, about 30 seconds or so.
- Next, add the sifted flour, and beat until combined, another 30 seconds
- Measure one cup of the chopped macadamia nuts, add it to the batter and mix it together (clean hands are fine).
- Lightly shape dough in a rough rectangle, then press it into the pan. Score the portions with a knife or pastry scraper.
- Heat oven
- Bake, drizzle with chocolate and more nuts, cool, serve, eat!
Tips for Prepping the Dough
This dough is super easy to work with, and once it’s ready, all you’ll need to do is lightly press it into the prepared pan.
- Press the dough lightly into the prepared pan (see “tips” section for preparing the pan)
- Use pastry scraper (also known as a bench scraper, shown above) to score the dough on the surface into 2″ square pieces.
- I trimmed off outside edges, shown above. You don’t have to do this, but if you do, you’ll be able to eat those all those little edges by yourself, and trust me, you’ll be secretly happy about this 🙂
- After removing the pan from the oven, use the pastry scraper (or knife) to cut the scored cookies all the way down so they are cut. Let them cool in the pan for about 20 minutes before removing each shortbread and transferring them to a wire rack for cooling and finishing.
Tips for Working With Chocolate
- Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler on the stove – to do this, heat an inch or two of water in a medium-sized saucepan, then set a heat safe mixing bowl inside the saucepan making sure it doesn’t touch the water.
- Set to medium heat and stir occasionally until the chocolate melts.
- Alternatively, you can microwave the chocolate in a small heat-safe bowl for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each microwave until it’s melted.
Variations and Serving Ideas
- Hey, if you don’t like white chocolate, use milk chocolate, or dark chocolate, or a combination of both (my favorite combo, ever).
- Ever think about hosting a cookie party? So fun! Start with a good appetizer, like these cheesy, healthy-ish Crispy Cauliflower Bites (great at room temperature or hot from the oven) and these festive Goat Cheese Toasts are a delicious treat to have on hand too, and don’t forget the hot Lemon Artichoke Dip!
- From there, have a couple of big salads, like this outstanding Lemon Shrimp Salad, or maybe a simple Carrot Salad, or something more substantial like a Chicken Salad served in butter lettuce cups. Cute!
- If you’re a fan of white chocolate, bookmark these White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups to try!
- Then, make these Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies, and maybe a few more, like these Peanut Butter and Jam Cookies, Triple Chocolate Cookies, Mini Blueberry Pies, these classic Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pecans, or this Hawaiian Shortbread Cookies Recipe!
More Tips for Success
- To prepare the baking tray, first spray a little bit of non-stick baking spray on the bottom of the pan, then place some parchment paper top. This will keep the parchment paper in place.
- When trimming the parchment paper to fit the pan, allow for several inches of overlay to hang off of two sides, which makes it easy to lift the shortbread out. Before pressing the raw dough into the pan, spray on top of the parchment paper with a little more baking spray for insurance that your shortbread won’t stick.
- If you don’t have non-stick baking spray, use a little olive oil instead, smearing it with your (clean) fingers.
- Scoring the shortbread before baking will make it easier to cut after baking. Just remove the pan from the oven, let then sit for five minutes, then re-cut where you scored them originally using a pastry scraper or sharp knife while it’s still warm in the pan.
- Let it cool for about 20 minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack for their white chocolate drizzle!
Tips for Storing Shortbread
Shortbread will stay fresh-tasting for about 5 days with these simple tips:
- Use and airtight container with a lid
- Layer the shortbread as flatly as possible, with some wax paper or parchment paper dividing each layer
- Gift these cookies to your friends and co-workers! I love to stack them in cute cellophane bags tied with some ribbon!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Try milk or dark chocolate, or a mixture of both. Either will be delicious!
Sure can. The shortbread will be less sweet, but still simple and delicious.
In an airtight container, with the layers carefully divided by either wax or parchment paper. The shortbread will stay fresh tasting for up to up to 5 days.
Chocolate Dipped Rice Krispy Treats: More white chocolate, and boy are these good!
Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies: A classic, just the perfect all-around cookie!
Sweet and Spicy Almonds: Crunchy and full of flavor, great with cold drinks
Fresh Banana Cake: Moist and so perfect with cream cheese frosting..
White Chocolate Popcorn with Sprinkles: Fun and easy, delicious too!
Summer Fruit Crisp: Simple ingredients, the perfect summer dessert!
Fresh Banana Cake: Nostalgic and delicious with a tangy cream cheese frosting!
If you’ve made Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies or any recipe on Studio Delicious, leave a recipe rating and tell me all about it in the comments below!
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Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup (2 sticks) Butter, unsalted and room temperature
- 3/4 cup Powdered Sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
- 2 cups Flour, all-purpose, sifted
- 1 1/4 cups Macadamia Nuts, chopped fine
- 1/4 pound White Chocolate, melted about 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips or squares
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Prepare a 9 x 13" square baking pan, lined with parchment paper and sprayed with baking spray. See Tips below.
- In a medium bowl, beat the softened butter with an electric mixer until creamy and light, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally with a rubber spatula.
- Add the sifted powdered sugar, then mix on medium low to combine the sugar and butter. Add the 2 teaspoons of vanilla, and mix for 30 seconds or so to combine.
- Add the sifted 2 cups of flour, and beat on medium speed just until its combined, about 30 seconds more.
- Add one cup of the chopped macadamia nuts to the dough, reserving the 1/4 cup for the tops of the cookies. Mix together to combine completely (clean hands are okay to do this part). Press the dough lightly into the 9x 13" pan, just enough to help all the crumbly bits hold together as one. Score the portions by using a pastry scraper or sharp knife to make 24 squares. Just lightly press the top of the dough to mark (score) the squares into 2" pieces. You can trim the edges if needed (see my photo in the step-by-step instructions) Note: The little end trims are a nice snack/taste test for you, or skip this step and just portion the whole tray in the size you'd like. 🙂
- Bake the shortbread on the lower middle rack of the oven for 40 minutes. Remove from oven, wait 5 minutes, then cut into your scored marks again with the pastry scraper or knife, but this time cutting down to the bottom of the pan. Let the shortbread cool in the pan for about 20 more minutes. Don't skip this step, because if you didn't score the shortbread pre-bake, you won't get as clean of a cut once the shortbread has cooled. Transfer the cut shortbread pieces to a wire rack that's sitting on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Melt the white chocolate on a double boiler on the stove (heat an inch or two of water in a saucepan, then set a heat safe mixing bowl inside the saucepan making sure it doesn't touch the water. Use medium heat and stir occassionally until the chocolate melts). Alternatively, you can microwave the chocolate in a small heat-safe bowl for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each microwave until it's melted. Place the melted chocolate in a plastic freezer storage bag, snip off the very end corner and drizzle a little swirl on each cookie. Follow-up with the remaining 1/4 cup of chopped macadamia nuts, sprinkling just a teaspoon or so over the top of each shortbread before the chocolate sets. Let them cool until completely, about 30 minutes.
- Super important to read the whole recipe before you begin
- Pay attention to the ingredient list and photos for the recipe
- If possible, prep your ingredients a little before you start
- Always use a sharp knife for safety
- Use the size of pan called for in the recipe
- For savory recipes, taste and season as you go
- Buy fresh, organic ingredients, locally sourced whenever possible