Lemon, White Chocolate & Toasted Macadamia Nut Cookies

I live in Portland, Oregon.

For those of you wondering: Portland isn't really like what've seen on Portlandia - it's actually even weirder.

But, it's home. And I love it, with all of it's quirks.

Anyways, I digress... Portland is a truly beautiful place from June to November. It really is! But between December and May, it's raining like 98% of the time.  It's easy to feel little bit down after so many weeks of grey skies and dismal weather. This year, though, I'm fighting the seasonal blues by creating food that reminds me of my favorite season: SUMMER!

These Lemon, White Chocolate & Toasted Macadamia Nut Cookies were born from a desire to eat something cheery and bright. They're so good that they seem to disappear whenever I make them... no matter how many I make! They're the kind of cookie you can't just have one of. 

There's just something special about the soft, chewy center that makes this cookie perfect. Maybe it's in the way the citrusy flavor interacts with the creamy white chocolate, or the subtle crunch of the macadamia nut that makes me swoon!  In any case, these are amazing! So, if you need a little sunshine pick-me-up, I suggest you try them for yourself! Better yet, double the recipe and give some to a friend or neighbor. 

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What You'll Need:

  • 1 cup cold butter or Earth Balance vegan spread, chopped into ¼-inch cubes
  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp pure lemon extract
  • 4 tsp fresh lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
  • ½ tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups flour (to make these gluten-free, I recommend using Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Baking flour – in the blue package)

The Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. Head a small saucepan over low heat for 3-4 minutes. Add in macadamia nuts and turn frequently for 2-3 minutes until they become aromatic, but not burned. Then, remove macadamia nuts from heat and set aside.
  3. Grate two lemons using a zester or the smallest side of a cheese grater to obtain lemon zest. Set aside. Squeeze lemon to get lemon juice, and set aside.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour. (Whisk thoroughly! Baking soda and powder help the cookies rise evenly!)
  5. In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy—if you’re using a handheld mixer, this should take 4-5 minutes. (If you’re using a standing mixer, like a KitchenAid, use the paddle feature. If using a standing mixer, it may take a bit less time.)
  6. Add eggs, lemon extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest to the fluffy butter/sugar mixture.
  7. Pour the dry ingredient flour mixture one cup at a time into the large mixing bowl to combine all ingredients. Mix everything until a dough forms. Once combined, fold in white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts.
  8. Refrigerate dough for 20 minutes, uncovered is totally fine. Then, scoop into 1-inch balls and place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.
  9. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until just barely browned on the bottom. Allow to cool on a cookie sheet for 3-5 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack. Enjoy!!
  10. Store in an airtight container. Share them!