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Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies

Inspired by Big Island Candy in Hilo, Hawaii, Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies are easy to make and bring a little taste of the islands home.

Inspired by Big Island Candy in Hilo, Hawaii, Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies are easy to make and bring a little taste of the islands home.

Enjoy slightly crispy cookies with the perfect added crunch when preparing this fun recipe for Macadamia Shortbread Cookies. These addictive baked treats are as satisfying as it gets!

Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies

Are you always up for a challenge when it comes to baking different types of cookies? If you want to try something other than traditional chocolate chip cookies, give this Macadamia Shortbread Cookies recipe a try. 

These slightly crispy, buttery, flavorful cookies taste delicious and have the perfect texture that you can enjoy with every bite. You can make them at home and have them stored in a cookie jar for your loved ones to dig in and enjoy when they want. These cookies are also perfect for storing in wrapped containers and giving out as gifts because they’re undeniably delicious.

What Are Shortbread Cookies?

Shortbread cookies have a light and flavorful taste to them. They consist of sugar and butter, giving them the perfect taste. These cookies are typically slightly crispy with an excellent texture that can easily melt in your mouth. The Hawaii Cookies have that excellent flavor, but they also contain macadamia nuts. The macadamia nuts offer a slightly salty taste that goes with the sweet flavor of the incredible cookies.

Best Reasons to Make the Macadamia Shortbread Cookies

  • The Macadamia Shortbread Cookies are delicious! They have a light, sweet taste with that perfect added crunch.
  • You don’t need to have professional baking skills to prepare these unique cookies that everyone will love.
  • You can make these cookies for family and friends for all different types of special occasions.

If you want to impress loved ones with cookies that they’ll enjoy eating, this is an amazing recipe to try.

Will these taste like Hawaiian shortbread cookies?

Yes! If you’ve ever had cookies from the Honolulu Cookie Company, these Macadamia Shortbread Cookies will taste a lot like the ones they’re famous for preparing.

How long does it take to prep the cookies?

It doesn’t take much time to prep the cookies. You’ll need roughly 10-15 minutes to get these cookies ready for the oven.

How long will the cookies need to bake in the oven?

Be prepared to bake your cookies for about 20 minutes. Check on the cookies to make sure they’re not cooking too quickly. You’ll notice they’re ready to come out of the oven when they are a light golden color.

Do I need to dip the cookies in the chocolate while they’re hot?

No. Wait for the cookies to cool down completely before melting your chocolate. Once you have the cooled cookies and the melted chocolate, you can dip them, place them on the baking sheet with the parchment paper, and add some chopped macadamia nuts on top of the chocolate section.

How many cookies does this recipe make?

This recipe makes a whopping total of 36 Macadamia Shortbread Cookies, providing you with 36 servings. One serving is equivalent to one cookie. Each cookie contains 148 calories.

What type of chocolate do I need?

You’re going to need dark melting chocolate. If you don’t like dark chocolate, you can replace it with milk chocolate or white chocolate to meet your needs. However, make sure you’re buying a brand of chocolate that melts perfectly. You don’t want to deal with any clumps when trying to melt the chocolate in the microwave before dipping your cookies.

How do I chop the macadamia nuts?

Chop your macadamia nuts into small pieces with ease by adding them to a plastic food storage bag, sealing the bag shut, and then rolling a rolling pin back and forth over the bag to smash them into pieces. Once they’re in pieces, you can sprinkle the nuts on top of the chocolate.

What is the best way to store these cookies?

Line a large plastic container with parchment paper and place your cookies on top of the parchment paper. Instead of overlapping the cookies, spread them out. Be sure to store the cookies only after the chocolate sets. Don’t store them while the chocolate is still hot. After you put your cookies in the container, close it with a lid and leave the container on the kitchen table to keep your cookies fresh. They should continue to have a great taste and texture for up to a week.

These cookies taste just like they’re from a Hawaiian cookie company! You’ve got to try them for yourself. 

While on vacation in Hawaii, I did some baking for my family. I decided to make some Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies, Lilikoi (Passion Fruit) Curd, and a Lilikoi Cheesecake for everyone. Let me just tell you how amazing this was!

The Shortbread Cookies were inspired by a local cookie shop – Big Island Candies. We drive over to Hilo and get a few boxes of these to bring back for ourselves and for gifts. They have a lot of yummy cookies and candies and it’s so hard to make up my mind while I’m there.

I decided to make these to be a cookie crust for my cheesecake. It’s a good thing that there were more than enough for the crust and for dipping. Yummy treats all around!

This recipe is part two of a three-part series including Lilikoi Curd and Lilikoi Cheesecake.

Here’s a few more Shortbread recipes:

Inspired from Big Island Candy in Hilo, Hawaii, Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies are easy to make and bring a little taste of the islands home.
Yield: 36

Macadamia Shortbread Cookies

Macadamia Shortbread Cookies

Easy and Delicious Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies - from Hawaii with Aloha!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
  • 8 oz. dark chocolate
  • 1/4 cup macadamia nuts, finely chopped


  1. Beat the butter until smooth and add in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Gradually add flour then mix in the 1 cup of chopped macadamia nuts.
  2. Transfer the batter to a sheet of parchment paper. Lay a second sheet over top and roll to 1/4 inch thickness. Try to shape into a rectangle as much as possible. Place it onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 300°F and remove dough from refrigerator.
  4. Slice the cookie batter into 1x2 inch rectangles. Transfer to a cookie sheet lined with parchment and back for 20 minutes. The edges should be slightly browned but the middle may still be soft.
  5. Cool the cookies completely.
  6. If you are making a crust, set aside at least 2/3 of the finished cookies. Set aside some of the "prettier" cookies for dipping.
  7. Melt your chocolate and dip the cookies or spoon the chocolate over the cookie. Gently remove any excess chocolate, lay it out on a sheet of parchment and sprinkle some finely chopped mac nuts on.
  8. Place into the fridge to set the chocolate and then serve.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 148Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 42mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 1g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

Honolulu Cookies: The Perfect Hawaiian-Inspired Treat – Kauai Hawaii

Wednesday 28th of December 2022

[…] cookies are studded with rich, textured chocolate and filled with caramelized peanut butter. The classic Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies are never out of style. Mrs. Barry’s original peanut butter cookies are given a new twist […]


Friday 12th of August 2022

Don’t waste your ingredients on this recipe. They are not shortbread cookies. I tho got it was weird that powdered sugar was used but tried them anyway. They are so bland and the powdered sugar ruins the flavor and texture of these cookies. Shortbread is made with regular cane sugar, should never ever ever be used with powdered sugar. Taste bland and like a soft cracker. Gross!!!!


Saturday 15th of December 2018

These cookies are amazing. I love the macadamia nut cookies in Hawaii from Big Island Candies and the Honolulu Cookie company. I have a taste of Hawaii at home. These are a new family favorite.

Karyn Granrud

Sunday 16th of December 2018

They sure are delicious. Personally, I prefer the Bog Island Cookies to the Honolulu Cookies. You can also add in some toffee bits to make their toffee ones :)

Debi Balter

Tuesday 13th of November 2018

what does the recipe mean when it says and back for 20 minutes?

Karyn Granrud

Wednesday 14th of November 2018

Sorry, that should be BAKE. Bake the cookies for 20 minutes. It's been corrected int he recipe box.

Donna Crow

Wednesday 3rd of January 2018

I made these and ground the nuts to a fine moist powder. I also substituted 1/3 cup of non gmo cornstarch for 1/3 cup of the flour. Dipped them in melted 60% organic chocolate buttons from local hippie store. Wowzer, they were good! Thanks for a great recipe.

Karyn Granrud

Friday 5th of January 2018

Sounds like some yummy substitutions. Does the cornstarch change the consistency of the cookie? Like make it fluffier when baking?

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