I’m incredibly lucky in many areas of my life, and one of those areas is most definitely my in-laws.  I feel awful for friends and coworkers who tell me hideous stories of the drama, nasty remarks, and more that they deal with, and I thank my lucky stars that I have zero ability to relate to this scenario.  From day one, my in-laws have been nothing but welcoming and loving towards me.  In the past year and a few months since Dad passed away, they have been especially helpful and extra supportive – helping with the kids whenever we need it and just generally being there for us.  Really, lucky doesn’t begin to cover it.

In just one more expression of their ongoing awesomeness, they recently returned from a trip to Hawaii with souvenirs for us.  No, mine wasn’t a shell necklace a la Chandler in Friends.  It was a package of Kona coffee (yummmm) and a package of macadamia nuts for baking (double yummmm).  I can’t think of anything I would have liked more!  While I definitely have a few other uses in mind for the remainder, I couldn’t resist whipping up a batch of white chocolate chunk macadamia nut cookies.  I mean, really.  A tender, buttery cookie with chunks of sweet white chocolate and rich macadamia nuts?  I had no choice, you see.

  • Yield about 2 dozen cookies


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. coarse salt
1¼ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 cup (16 tbsp.) unsalted butter, cold and cut into large chunks
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. coconut extract (optional)
12 oz. white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1½ cups coarsely chopped macadamia nuts


  • 01

    In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.  Whisk to blend.

  • 02

    In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cold butter and the sugars.  Beat on medium-high speed until smooth and just combined, 1-2 minutes.  Blend in the eggs one at a time just until incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed.   Blend in the vanilla and coconut extracts.  With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Fold in the white chocolate and macadamia nuts with a spatula.  Cover and refrigerate the dough for about 30-60 minutes.

  • 03

    Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Roll a scant half-cup of dough into a ball. Holding dough ball in fingertips of both hands, pull apart into two equal halves.  Rotate halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, place formed dough onto cookie sheet, leaving ample room between each ball.  (I know this shaping stuff may seem like shenanigans but I promise, it gives the cookies a nicer appearance after they are baked.)

  • 04

    Bake the cookies, rotating halfway through, until light golden and just set, about 14-16 minutes total.  Let cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.