White Chocolate Cranberry Macadamia Cookies

The best way to beat the winter blues is with these soft and chewy white chocolate cranberry macadamia nut cookies. Extra buttery and loaded with salty macadamia nuts and sweet cranberries and white chocolate, you will LOVE these cookies!

Growing up, I’d always choose a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie from the bakery. The salty macadamias with the sweet white chocolate is just perfection.

When baking cookies for the holidays, I was just craving that warm, gooey cookie flavor, and I didn’t feel like cut-out sugar cookies with icing. But, chocolate chip cookies wouldn’t do. I knew it had to be white chocolate macadamia, plus cranberries – because I’m just loving cranberry everything these days! (Hence candied ginger and cranberry scones, Cranberry sage buttermilk biscuits & Christmas morning cranberry mimosa)

Why you’ll love this recipe:

What I love about this cookie recipe is that while it’s super festive and easily adaptable, it’s not just a Christmas Cookie. It’s perfect all season long. In fact, a few days into the new year and I’ve got a batch in the oven right now.


  • All-purpose flour
  • cornstarch
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • unsalted butter, browned
  • dark brown sugar
  • granulated sugar
  • egg
  • pure vanilla extract
  • white chocolate chips
  • macadamia nuts
  • dried cranberries

What makes these cookies so irresistible? Brown butter!

These cookies are extra special because of a secret ingredient: brown butter This extra step only takes an extra minute, and the flavor is amazing and makes all the difference in these cookies. It is optional. Do as you please, busy bees!

Dry roasted and salted macadamia nuts also makes these cookies super addictive and delicious!

How to brown your butter:

Brown butter comes from cooking unsalted butter long enough to turn the milk solids brown while cooking out any water present in the butter.

  1. Cut unsalted butter into small, evenly-sized pieces and place it in a pot or pan. Cutting the butter into pieces helps it melt and cook evenly. Always use a light-colored pot or pan so you can see how dark the butter gets as it cooks.
  2. 2. Turn on the heat to medium and let the butter melt on medium heat. High heat will brown the butter very quickly, it’s safer to use moderate heat to slow things down just a bit so you can keep a careful eye on the process.
  3. 3. Stir or swirl the pan constantly, until the butter becomes a light tan color as the milk solids toast in the hot fat. At this point, you can take the pan off the burner because the butter will continue cooking even after you remove it from the heat. Notice the dramatic change in color: It should be nut-brown and have a toasty aroma. Pour the brown butter into a separate bowl to keep it from cooking further. If the butter gets overcooked, the milk solids will scorch and turn black, and the butter will have a very bitter taste.

Cookie Tips From a Cookie Queen:

The holiday season means it’s a baking frenzie in our homes. Don’t get discouraged by bad cookies, or cookie fails by following these few tips that we food bloggers keep up our sleeves. No cookie gate keeping here my friends.

  1. Measure your ingredients by weight with a kitchen scale! This is how we accurately test and develope recipes that won’t fail if you don’t skip any steps or substitute any ingredients.
  2. Temperatures are extremely importing in baking. Ensuring your oven is the correct temp, by investing an oven thermometer will ensure your cookies come out just right!
  3. Resist the urge to over crowd cookies on your baking sheet. Give them plenty of space to spread and breath. I usually only bake 4-5 cookies at a time on a regular sized baking sheet.
  4. Don’t mix or overbake! Basically, don’t work too hard. Perfectly soft, gooey cookies usually don’t look perfectly done when you first remove them from the oven. They continue to bake on that hot cookie baking sheet for a few minutes. Let them rest and be and continue to firm up on their own time outside of the oven.
  5. Resist temptation to immediately move hot cookies to a chilling rack. Like I mentioned above, let them sit for a few minutes to continue to firm. Move them to a chilling rack when they are ready. I always wait at least a couple of minutes before starting my next batch.
  6. Lastly, once they’ve been out of the oven for a hot minute, give them “the cookie twirl” by putting a glass cup over the top of them and swirling it in circular motions to give them that perfect round shape, raised edge, and height you desire. There are no flat cookies here.

Any other cookie tips you can think of ? Spill the tea, cookie bestie!

How to make these super soft and chewy cookies!

  1. Whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the melted browned butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract together until combined. Pour into dry ingredients and mix everything together with a rubber spatula until completely combined. Fold in the white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts. 
  3. Cover and chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  5. Roll cookie dough into balls, about 1-1.5 Tablespoons of dough per cookie, and arrange 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 12-13 minutes or until lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look soft.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Bakers tip:

For that bakery fresh cookie look, press a few white chocolate chunks or chips into the tops of the warm cookies when they come out of the oven.

Frequently asked questions:

Do I need to chill this cookie dough?

While it’s unnecessary, if you chill the dough, your cookies will come out soft and chewy !

Can I make this cookie dough in advance?

You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Allow to come to room temperature before baking.

Can I freeze the cookie dough?

Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw.

Can I freeze the baked cookies?

Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. 

Can I omit or substitute the macadamia nuts?

You can use any nut you desire, or leave them out completely.

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