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Gluten-Free White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Gluten-Free Cranberry White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies that taste just like the classic recipe! Made with a gluten-free flour blend, these soft and chewy white chocolate chip cookies have the perfect crispy edge and buttery center. 

White chocolate macadamia nut cookies sitting on a background, ready to eat.

While I usually make all of my desserts lower in sugar and on the healthier end of the dessert spectrum, these classic white chocolate chip cookies are a delightful exception.

Sometimes you just need a really, really amazing cookie with that perfect gooey center, amazing outer crisp, and an explosion of buttery sweetness, am I right??

Special occasions and holidays inspire me to make real deal cookies, because I know there will be plenty of people (particularly my nieces and nephews) around to enjoy them.

If you follow a grain-free diet or are looking for a lower sugar option, you can make my Paleo White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies, which is made with almond flour, pure maple syrup, and cocoa butter.

I also have an extensive archive of healthier treats, so feel free to peruse. My 5-Ingredient Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies and my 4-Ingredient Banana Oatmeal Bars are two reader favorites.

When I was a kid, white chocolate macadamia nut cookies and cranberry white chocolate chip cookies were always two favorites. So I combined these two nostalgic treats into one for a big burst of nutty, sweet, tangy flavor surrounded by classic cookie goodness. Those chewy centers are everything here!

Cookie broken in half so you can see the inside.

The sweet, creamy white chocolate and the crunchy macadamia nuts pair so marvelously together.

Don’t panic if you aren’t into dried cranberries! You can easily leave them out to make gluten-free white chocolate macadamia cookies.

The gluten-free version of these white chocolate cookies is just as great as the real deal. Sweet white chocolate chips melt in your mouth and the crispy edges make your taste buds go berserk! 

Let’s discuss the simple ingredients for gluten-free white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. All of the ingredients can be found at any grocery store.

Ingredients for Gluten-Free White Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Blend: Taking the place of regular all-purpose flour, we need a gluten-free flour blend. I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour and find it results in the absolute best texture! 

Other brands will work too but do note that the results will vary depending on the blend because each blend has a different level of absorbency which results in varying textures. 

Most gluten-free blends include a combination of rice flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, and xanthan gum which together mimic the texture of wheat flour.

Brown Sugar and Granulated Cane Sugar: To sweeten the cookies, we use both brown sugar and regular white sugar.

I like using primarily dark brown sugar because it gives a deeper, richer flavor and generates gooey cookies. If you only have brown sugar on hand, you can use all brown sugar. 

While coconut sugar works as a replacement for regular cane sugar, it will turn the cookies a deeper brown color. Feel free to proceed with 3/4 cup of coconut sugar if you’re fine with that.

Unsalted Butter: We need two sticks of softened butter to bring that iconic buttery flavor to these cookies. 

Pure Vanilla Extract: A splash of vanilla brings an intoxicating warmth that makes cookies so inviting. Don’t skip it unless absolutely necessary!

Egg: We need one large egg at room temperature to make these cookies. The egg helps the cookies rise and keeps them held together nicely.

I haven’t tested an egg-free version but a flax egg or a chia egg should work. Please drop a comment below if you try an egg replacer!

Dried Cranberries, Macadamia Nuts, and White Chocolate Chips: The goodies that pack these delicious gluten-free cookies with delicious flavors and textures.

Baking Powder and Baking Soda: The leavening agents in these delicious cookies, we use both baking powder and baking soda.

Make sure to check the expiration date on both before using them in the recipe, because expired leavening agents don’t always work.

These ingredients prevent the cookies from spreading out too much during the baking process and keep them held together nicely.

Sea Salt: Don’t forget to add the salt! Salt enhances flavors and makes cookies taste richer, sweeter, and buttery. 

Recipe Adaptations:

  • If you aren’t a fan of dried cranberries, feel free to leave them out. If you do so, consider increasing the amount of white chocolate chips to 1 cup.
  • I haven’t tested this recipe using regular AP flour, but it should work without the need to make changes.
  • For a dairy-free option, use vegan butter (such as Earth Balance) or ¾ cup of softened coconut oil (avoid using melted coconut oil).
  • Use dark chocolate chips or semisweet chocolate chips instead of white chocolate if you’d like. You can also use white chocolate chunks.
Plate of white chocolate chip cookies, ready to eat.

Now that we’ve discussed the basic ingredients for gluten-free macadamia nut cookies, let’s bake them!

How to Make Cranberry White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies:

Transfer the softened butter, brown sugar and white sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and fit it with the paddle attachment. Beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy and well combined.

Butter and sugar in a stand mixer, ready to be mixed

Note: You can also use a large mixing bowl and an electric mixer.

Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and add the egg and vanilla extract. Beat on medium to medium-high speed until the egg is well combined with the creamed butter and sugar mixture (wet ingredients). Scrape the sides of the mixer again with a rubber spatula.

Butter, sugar, and egg mixed together in a mixer.

In a separate bowl, stir together the gluten-free all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt.

Pour the dry ingredients into the mixer with the wet ingredients and beat on medium speed until a thick cookie dough forms.

Add in the dried cranberries, macadamia nuts, and white chocolate chips. Beat just until these ingredients are well-distributed throughout the dough.

Finished white chocolate macadamia nut cookie dough in a stand mixer.

Wrap the bowl of the stand mixer with plastic wrap and refrigerator for 1 hour. Note: you can refrigerate the dough for up to 4 days.

The dough can also be frozen for up to 3 months. If you take this approach, I recommend freezing individual balls of dough so that you can pop them in the oven easily at a moment’s notice.

When you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Drop mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving plenty of space between each ball of dough. The cookies will spread substantially during the baking process.

Balls of dough on a baking sheet.

You can make any size cookies you like or use a small cookie scoop to make small cookies.

Cookie scoop with a scoop of cookie dough.

Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for 11 to 13 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden brown. 9 to 11 minutes results in chewier cookies and 12 to 13 minutes results in crispier cookies.

The exact baking time will depend on the size of your cookie dough balls and the temperature of the cookie dough going into the oven. Small cookies will take less time (about 9 to 10 minutes). Large cookies will require about 11 to 13 minutes. 

Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes before moving them. You can transfer them to a wire rack after the initial 10 minute cooling period if you’d like.

How to Store Cookies:

Store cookies in a large zip lock bag or in an airtight container. They stay fresh at room temperature for up to 4 days. Refrigerate cookies for up to 7 days.

You can also freeze these cookies in a large freezer bag for up to 3 months.

If you’d like to freeze some of the dough so that you can make small batches of cookies, roll the dough into balls and place the dough balls in a freezer safe container or a ziplock bag.

When baking frozen cookie dough, bake for 1 to 1.5 minutes longer than usual (12 to 14 minutes for these cookies). There is no need to thaw frozen cookie dough before baking it.

This recipe makes 24 small to medium sized cookies or 16 large cookies. 

Tips for The Best Gluten-Free Macadamia Cookies:

  • Be sure to use softened butter, not melted butter.
  • Do chill the dough. For the best results, the gluten free cookie dough should be cold before it goes into the preheated oven. 
  • While a regular measuring cup works great to measure the key ingredients for this recipe, you can also use a kitchen scale for the most accurate measurements if you prefer. 
  • Keep the cookie balls far apart on the baking tray if you don’t want them to spread together.
White chocolate macadamia nut cookies on a background, ready to eat.

The next time you’re craving a perfect gluten-free cookie, whip up a batch of these beauties! They are perfect for holiday gifts, cookie exchanges, and celebrating any occasion, including everyday life. 

​A perfect balance of sweet, buttery flavors make this chewy cookie so irresistible. 

If you’re looking for more delicious cookie recipes, also try these out!

Enjoy those gooey centers with those crisp edges!

White chocolate macadamia nut cookies sitting on a background, ready to eat.
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5 from 1 vote

Gluten-Free White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

A gluten-free version of classic white chocolate chip cookies with macadamia nuts and dried cranberries! These cookies have incredible texture with the iconic chewy centers and crispy edges. Leave the cranberries out if you aren't into them!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time11 minutes
Chilling Time1 hour
Course: Cookies, Desserts & Treats
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24 Cookies
Calories: 229kcal
Author: Julia

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Transfer the softened butter, brown sugar and white sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and fit it with the paddle attachment. Note: You can also use a large mixing bowl and an electric mixer. Cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy and well combined.
  • Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and add the egg and vanilla extract. Beat on medium to medium-high speed until the egg is well combined with the creamed butter and sugar mixture (wet ingredients). Scrape the sides of the mixer again with a rubber spatula.
  • In a separate bowl, stir together the gluten-free all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt.
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the mixer with the wet ingredients and beat on medium speed until a thick cookie dough forms.
  • Add in the dried cranberries, macadamia nuts, and white chocolate chips. Beat just until these ingredients are well-distributed throughout the dough.
  • Wrap the bowl of the stand mixer with plastic wrap and refrigerator for 1 hour. Note: you can refrigerate the dough for up to 4 days. The dough can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
  • When you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Drop mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving plenty of space between each ball of dough. The cookies will spread substantially during the baking process. You can make any size cookies you like or use a small cookie scoop to make small cookies.
  • Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for 11 to 13 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden brown. 9 to 11 minutes results in chewier cookies and 12 to 13 minutes results in crispier cookies. The exact baking time will depend on the size of your cookie dough balls and the temperature of the cookie dough going into the oven. Small cookies will take less time (about 9 to 10 minutes). Large cookies will require about 11 to 13 minutes.
  • Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes before moving them. You can transfer them to a wire rack after the initial 10 minute cooling period if you’d like.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Cookie (of 24) | Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 111mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g

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