Say hello to your new favorite chocolate chunk companions! Fudgy Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies are the perfect answer to all your chocolate cravings. These easy, one-bowl wonders boast chewy textures, decadent dark chocolate, and the delightful crunch of toasted macadamia nuts.
Oh, and did we mention they're completely gluten-free with vegan options? If you are ready to satisfy your sweet tooth in one delightful bite, let’s get baking.
Let the holiday baking commence! These rich chocolate cookies with macadamia nuts and rocky road bars are a must try for any chocolate lover. You might even need a personal moment with a few - yep they are that good.
- Wet Ingredients and Substitutions
- Dry Ingredients and Substitutions
- How to Make Macadamia Nut Cookies?
- Recipe Tips and Cookie Baking Hacks:
- Recipe Variations:
- What to Drink with Cookies?
- What to serve with Cookies?
- Frequent Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
- Let the Holiday Baking Commence!
- Fudgy Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
Wet Ingredients and Substitutions
Butter or Vegan Butter Substitute
For optimal results, ensure your butter or vegan butter substitute is at room temperature and unsalted. If you're seeking a dairy-free, lactose-free, or vegan option, our top choice for baking is Earth Balance. This alternative mimics regular butter, imparting a soft-baked and chewy texture to the chocolate cookies and our Italian orange cookies.
In our homemade cookie recipe, we utilized “light” brown sugar. Feel free to substitute with “dark” brown sugar for a deeper flavor profile. Please note that we haven't experimented with sugar alternatives in this macadamia nut cookie recipe. It's crucial to recognize that the type and quantity of sugar incorporated into the cookie dough plays a pivotal role in determining the final texture of the cookie.
For the perfect texture, use large eggs at room temperature. To transform these fudgy chocolate cookies into a vegan delight, replace each egg with a mixture of 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed and 3 tablespoons of water. Keep in mind that opting for flaxseed and water as an egg replacement may result in slightly denser-textured cookies.
It provides a delightful extra flavor boost and balances the flavors. This addition elevates the overall taste profile of our Fudgy Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies.
Dry Ingredients and Substitutions
Gluten-Free Flour Blend (that includes xanthan gum)
Our go-to choose for creating a gluten-free cookie recipe is the King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour. Essentially, you can exchange this blend, containing xanthan gum, in a ratio of 1:1 instead of regular flour, rendering the switch virtually undetectable.
Keep in mind, though, that various gluten-free flour blends may have different starch content. This may potentially necessitate adjustments to the wet-to-dry ratio. If you don't have Celiac disease or gluten/wheat sensitivities, feel free to opt for regular all-purpose flour for a straightforward and delicious alternative.
Also known as bicarb soda or bicarbonate soda, baking soda is a key player in our cookie-making process. Just make sure it's not expired. Now, let's delve into a bit of scientific nerdiness. Baking soda, with its high pH (alkaline – Base), reacts when mixed with the acidic (low pH – Acid) unsweetened cocoa powder.
This chemical interaction is the secret behind the rise in your dark chocolate cookies. It's worth noting that baking soda, when used on its own, requires an acidic element to unleash its leavening magic.
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
Our brand of choice is gluten-free unsweetened Hershey’s cocoa powder. It adds a rich chocolatey flavor to the macadamia nut cookies and chocolate pudding. Here's a tip: avoid using Dutch-processed cocoa powder. Why? Well, unsweetened cocoa powder is naturally acidic, and it's this acidity that works the magic with baking soda to make our cookies rise.
Dutch-processed cocoa, however, goes through a process that removes this acidity, making it neutral. Unfortunately, this means it won't react with the baking soda needed for our delightful cookies to reach their full potential. Stick with the naturally unsweetened version for the perfect result.
The secret weapon for achieving that perfect chewiness in our cookies is cornstarch! Like its role in our black sesame cookies, cornstarch works wonders by binding the liquids in the cookie dough without making it too stiff. This results in cookies that spread just right.
We recommend the gluten-free Clabber Girl brand. In case you find yourself without cornstarch, fear not – simply add an extra tablespoon of flour for an equally delightful outcome.
This unsung hero plays a vital role in balancing out the flavors. For an extra pop of flavor, consider sprinkling sea salt flakes on the freshly baked cookies as they emerge from the oven. These flakes add an addictive sweet and salty combination that elevates our gluten-free chocolate macadamia nut cookies from decadent to over the top. It's a game-changer.
However, if you're watching your sodium intake or simply prefer to skip the sweet and salty combo, feel free to omit it – it's completely optional.
Straight from Hawaii, these macadamia nuts are naturally sweet, buttery and have an irresistible crunch. When working with these gems, you have a choice – toast them in a dry pan for an extra layer of flavor or use them straight from the bag.
Whichever route you take, make sure to give the nuts a rough chop before folding them into the cookie dough. And if, by some miracle, you have leftovers, consider giving our popular Hawaiian Luau Rice a try.
Our chocolate chips of choice are the vegan rice milk chocolate baking morsels from Enjoy Life. Not only are they dairy-free, catering to those with lactose intolerance or following a vegan diet, but they're also gluten-free.
If dairy is not a concern for you, feel free to opt for regular chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate chips. The sweet chocolate morsels create a delightful contrast to the rich dark chocolate of the cookies.
How to Make Macadamia Nut Cookies?
- Combine Wet Ingredients: Cream together unsalted butter (or vegan butter) and brown sugar until light and creamy with a mixer. Add in eggs (or ground flax seeds and water) and vanilla until well combined.
- Sift Dry ingredients into Wet Ingredients: Add gluten-free flour blend or all-purpose flour, cornstarch, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Mix just until combined.
- Stir In Add Ins: Using a spatula, fold in chopped macadamia nuts and chocolate chips into the cookie dough.
- Refrigerate: Cover the cookie dough and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. In a time pinch refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Form into Balls: Shape cookie dough into approximately 1.5 tablespoon balls. Place them on a lined baking tray about 3 inches apart.
- Bake: Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and bake in the middle rack for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Cool: Allow the cookies to sit on the hot cookie tray for 5 minutes. If desired, sprinkle sea salt flakes while they are still warm. Transfer the chocolate cookies with macadamia nuts to a cooling rack to cool completely before indulging in a taste test.
Recipe Tips and Cookie Baking Hacks:
- Proper Flour Measurement: Scoop flour into measuring cups one spoonful at a time, then level it off with a knife for accurate measurement.
- Room Temperature Ingredients: Use room temperature eggs and butter to ensure smooth mixing of ingredients.
- Chill the Cookie Dough: Refrigerate the cookie dough for at least 30 minutes, preferably overnight, to prevent excessive spreading during baking.
- Line the Trays: To prevent sticking, line cookie trays with parchment paper or use a silicone baking liner (mat).
- Decorative Touch: Reserve a few macadamia nuts and chocolate chips to press into the tops of the cookies for added style.
- Controlled Spreading: If you have refrigerated the cookie dough overnight, they will not spread as much when baking. Take cookies out of the oven around the 7-minute mark, give the tray a quick bang on the counter. This keeps the cookies chunky but not overly fat, promoting even baking.
- Avoid Over-Baking: Cookies may appear dark brown due to cocoa powder, so rely on the edges feeling firm to the touch without leaving an indentation. The center may still be slightly sticky. They'll continue to cook on the hot tray for 5 minutes after coming out of the oven. Don't over-bake!
- Sweet and Salty Combo: If you love the sweet and salty combo, add a sprinkle of flaky sea salt right after taking the cookies out of the oven.
- Sugar Substitutions: We don't recommend substituting brown sugar with granulated sugar or other alternatives. It hasn't been tested and could alter the fudgy texture and consistency of the chocolate macadamia nut cookies.
- Customize Add-Ins: Get creative with your add-ins! Consider mixing two kinds of chocolate chips, such as white chocolate and dark chocolate. Alternatively, skip the chocolate chips altogether and amp up the macadamia nuts. You can also experiment with dried fruits like cranberries or chopped apricots. Aim for a total of 1.5 cups of add-ins.
- Nuts Galore: No macadamia nuts? No problem. Try other nuts like walnuts, pistachios, pecans, pine nuts, cashews, almonds, or even peanuts if there are no allergies in play.
What to Drink with Cookies?
The classic pairing for fudgy chocolate cookies is a good ol' dunk into milk or a non-dairy alternative. For those seeking a caffeinated companion, we highly recommend a cup of coffee, espresso, or even a bumblebee coffee. Tea enthusiasts can elevate the experience with bold choices like matcha, Earl Grey, chai, or Pu-erh tea—each robust enough to complement the deep, dark chocolate.
Want something a little stronger? Consider sipping on a sherry, masala, or dessert wine for a delightful grown-up twist.
What to serve with Cookies?
Double the delight by serving cookies with MORE cookies! Stack up that cookie tray with apple oatmeal date cookies, rocky road bars or some mint Oreo balls. Pair dark fudgy chocolate cookies with fresh fruit like tart raspberries, sweet strawberries, cherries, bananas, or pears. Want to take it over the top? Try serving cookies along with a small bowl of ice cream or matcha nice cream.
These chocolate macadamia nut cookies store well and are perfect for gift giving during the holidays.
Refrigerator: First, allow the cookies to come to room temperature after baking. Then, place in a sealed airtight container or baggie and place in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Throw in a slice of bread in the sealed cookie container and they will stay fresh and chewy longer.
Freezer: Alternatively, they can be frozen for up to 2 months in a freezer safe container or baggie. If freezing, we like to first place the cookies in a single layer on a baking sheet in the freezer. Then, we place the cookies in a sealed container or baggie. This prevents them from sticking together.
If you do not have the time or space, make sure you place parchment or waxed paper between the layers of cookies before storing them in the refrigerator or freezer.
Frequent Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Absolutely! Freezing cookie dough is a convenient way to have freshly baked cookies whenever you crave them. Here are a couple of methods:
1. Whole Batch: Wrap the entire cookie dough batch in plastic wrap. Then, place it in a freezer-safe baggie or sealable container.
2. Dough Balls: Form the cookie dough into balls, ready for baking. Place the dough balls on a lined baking sheet and freeze for about 4 hours or until solid. Once frozen, transfer the dough balls to a single layer, wrap them in plastic wrap. Place the raw frozen cookie dough balls in a freezer-safe baggie or container for up to 3 months.
If you have frozen cookie dough balls, there's no need to thaw them before baking. Follow these steps for deliciously convenient cookies:
1. Preheat the Oven: Set the oven to approximately 20 degrees lower than the original baking instructions. For instance, if the standard baking temperature is 350°F (176°C), set the oven to 330°F (156°C).
2. Baking Considerations: Lowering the temperature helps prevent overcooking on the edges while ensuring the middle is not still frozen or undercooked. Be prepared to add a few extra minutes to the cooking time for the perfect balance of a chewy cookie.
Baking at higher elevations comes with unique challenges due to lower air pressure and drier conditions. Consider the following adjustments when baking cookies at high elevations:
Leavening Agents: Decrease baking soda or baking powder by ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon per teaspoon in the recipe.
Adjust Moisture Content: Add a bit more milk or non-dairy if the air is dry. This helps compensate for the reduced moisture at higher elevations.
Enhance Moisture Retention: Increase the amount of brown sugar by a couple of tablespoons to enhance moisture retention in baked goods.
Flour Quantity: Reduce the amount of flour by 1 to 2 tablespoons per cup of flour to account for the drier conditions.
Temperature Adjustment: Increase the baking temperature by 15°F (8°C). This adjustment helps set the structure of baked goods more quickly at higher altitudes.
Monitor Baking Time: Keep an eye on the cookies before the set cooking time, as baked goods tend to cook faster at higher elevations.
Let the Holiday Baking Commence!
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Fudgy Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
- mixer or strong muscles and a whisk/ spatula
- cookie trays
- parchment paper baking paper or silicon baking mat
- ½ cup butter
unsalted at room temperature or vegan dairy free plant-based butter
- ¾ cup brown sugar packed (we used light brown sugar but you can also use dark brown sugar)
- 2 large eggs (to keep vegan add 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds in 6 tablespoons of water and let stand 5 mins)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1.5 cups gluten free flour blend with xanthan gum - spooned and leveled. (We used King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour) or use regular all purpose flour if no gluten sensitivities.
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch gluten-free
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cups chocolate chips We used vegan and gluten free rice milk chocolate chips. (reserve ¼ for top of cookie before baking)
- ¾ cups macadamia nuts roughly chopped (reserve ¼ for top of cookie before baking)
- Flaky Sea Salt Add a little sprinkle of flaky sea salt on cookies just as they come out of the oven. If you enjoy the sweet and salty combo, its a delicious addition.
- Combine Wet Ingredients: Cream together unsalted butter (or vegan plant based butter) and brown sugar until light and creamy with a mixer or with whisk and strong muscles. Add in eggs (or ground flax seeds and water to keep vegan) and vanilla until well combined. (If using the vegan ground flax seed and water combination, allow the flax seed mixture to sit for 5 minutes. It should thicken up to the consistency of applesauce.)
- Mix the Dry ingredients: In a separate bowl mix gluten-free flour blend WITH xanthan gum (or all-purpose flour if no gluten sensitivities) cornstarch, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with the mixer on low speed just until combined.
- Stir In Add Ins: Using a spatula, fold in chopped macadamia nuts and chocolate chips into the cookie dough. Reserve ¼ cup of chopped macadamia nuts and chocolate chips to decorate each cookie balls before it bakes. (This is not required - but you get extra style points for pretty cookies.
- Refrigerate: Cover the cookie dough and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Refrigeration prevents the cookies from spreading!
- Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C)
- Form into Balls: Shape cookie dough into approximately 1.5 tablespoon balls. Place them on a lined baking tray about 3 inches apart. Stud the cookies with the remaining chocolate chips and macadamia nuts before baking. (Refrigerated dough will be quite firm - but is softens in just a few minutes once you start to working with the cookie dough.)
- Bake cookies in the middle rack for 8 to10 minutes. At the 7 minute mark, pull the cookie tray out of the oven and give it one good whack on the countertop. This will confirm that the cookies are perfect thickness so they cook more evenly. Immediately, return the cookies back into the oven to finish baking.
- Cookies are perfectly baked when the edges are firm and do not leave dents when you touch them with your finger. The middle and top will still be soft. Do not overbake! 9 minutes was the perfect time for our oven but each oven varies a little.
- Allow the cookies to cool for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then carefully use a spatula and move them to a wire rack to cool. While the cookies are still hot, sprinkle on a little flaky sea salt if you like the sweet and salty combo.
- Enjoy! You can freeze these cookies so you can enjoy them through the holidays, if they last that long!