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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.

Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies

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.

While on the Big Island, I’ve gone to the beach, the pool, the forest, the desert, and the Jacuzzi. It’s a tough life, but hey – it’s my life. I am blessed to have parents who live here and siblings who fly over from Oahu to spend time with us. There was a total of 11 of us in the house and we all fit comfortably. At least the adults did; the kids slept on a few futons on the floor. They seemed very comfortable.

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.

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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?


Monday 15th of December 2014

Whenever I visit my family in Hilo I always have to visit Big Island Candy for the macnut shortbread cookies. I can't wait to make these!

Karyn Granrud

Wednesday 17th of December 2014

Me too! My family is in Kona and we make a drive over to Hilo for Big Island Candy and Two Sisters Mochi! Yum!!

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Sunday 14th of December 2014

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