These are not your average Macadamia Nut Cookies! A simple shortbread dough rolled in chopped macadamia nuts, then baked and dolloped with the best cream cheese frosting. Sprinkle some cardamom on top and these are the perfect Christmas cookies! A unique and delicious cookie for you to add to your list this year!

macadamia nut cookies

My dad and my brother have birthdays a week apart in December, so the other night we all got together for presents and cake. (This Cranberry Cake with Warm Vanilla Butter Sauce, in case you were wondering. It’s one of my favorite cakes for the holiday season!)

My kids were being adorable as usual, especially 2-year-old Valentine, who steals everyone’s heart within 1 second of meeting her. My brother Nathan was trying to convince me that my kids are ACTUALLY cuter than other people’s kids, and he can totally be objective about it. I said no way, you are an adoring uncle, you are totally biased. (But I’ll take it anyway. What parent doesn’t believe their kids are cuter than all the rest?)

macadamia cookies

Then my dad, father of 5 children, chimed in,  “Yeah, I thought all our kids were pretty cute when they were little.” Then he paused and with hesitation said, “Well, except when Karen was about 11 or 12. It was pretty bad.”

THANKS A LOT, DAD. We’ll see if I ever make YOU a birthday cake again!!!

macadamia nut cookie recipe

He’s totally justified though, and we were laughing about it. Puberty hit me with a ton of bricks, and my mom did NOT help matters by allowing me to get a bad perm and dye my hair orange (it was supposed to be red, like Anne of Green Gables…) Braces, baby fat, oh my.

Also, my very first memories consist of adults telling me how cute I was (and also, “stop whining Karen”). So if Valentine is extra adorable now, she might have another thing coming in 8 or 9 years or so. Poor kid. I’ll at least save her from the perm.

Macadamia Nut Cookies

I got a email from an old friend of mine a few weeks ago (hi Christina!!) She sent me the recipe for her favorite Christmas cookie that she makes every year, these Macadamia Cookies.

cream cheese frosting recipe

It’s an old forgotten Better Homes and Gardens recipe. At least it seems forgotten, because I’d never heard of it! And Christina, who clipped the recipe from a magazine over 20 years ago, said that she lost it for a while (she lost her whole recipe binder! Tragic! I’m so glad my binder is my blog, so that it’s impossible to lose. Actually sometimes I have nightmares about waking up to my blog being poof-gone and it’s a terrible thought. Hopefully this internet thing isn’t just a fad.)

Anyway, while she was missing her recipe binder, she said she missed this recipe the most, because it’s her favorite Christmas cookie and she made them every year. She tried to recreate the recipe but couldn’t get it right, and couldn’t find the recipe anywhere online. She finally found the recipe binder (hurray!) and the with exact title and ingredients was able to nail down the recipe on the BHG website.

How to make macadamia nut cookies

I’ve made a few minor adjustments to the recipe, but nothing major. It’s a really basic shortbread dough that you roll in chopped macadamia nuts, then bake. After they’ve cooled you spread the top with vanilla cream cheese frosting, and then, here’s the kicker: you sprinkle the top of each frosted cookie with cardamom.

macadamia nut cookies

Cardamom is one of the most underrated spices in America, I swear. I’m a little obsessed with it! (One of my top 10 favorite Christmas cookies are these Crispy Swedish Cardamom Cookies. They are amazing.) The cardamom sprinkled on top of the frosting on this recipe really changes the direction of these cookies and makes them a little more exotic and festive for the holidays. If you prefer, you can mix a bit of cardamom right into the frosting while you’re beating it. I think it looks kind of cool sprinkled on top though.

You can use any kind of nut that you like for this recipe. Pecans would be delicious, or walnuts. I do love macadamia nuts, but they are so pricey sometimes!

macadamia cookies

macadamia nut cookie recipe

I love the way these cookies look when you roll the outside of each cookie in chopped nuts, but if you are feeling lazy, you can add the chopped nuts to the dough. Either way will work! I tested it both ways. If you mix in the nuts, there’s no need to roll the dough in the egg whites.

cream cheese frosting recipe

macadamia nut cookies

I’ve shown what size to make these cookies if you want little mini ones and if you want larger ones. Think of the mini ones like 2-bite-cookies, whereas the bigger ones are more of an indulgence, like eating a big ol frosted sugar cookie. Either way, I always eat way too many!

macadamia cookies

More Christmas cookies you are going to love!

Butter Pecan Cookies << these are one of my FAVORITE Christmas cookies!

Caramel Pecan Thumbprint Cookies << these are similar to today’s recipe because they are rolled in nuts. It’s so good!

Nutella Stuffed Gingerbread Cookies << guys. These are so good.

Ginger Molasses Cookies << Ginger Christmas Cookies are awesome

My Mom’s Fudge << Is this technically a cookies?? No. But maybe kinda it is.

The Softest Sugar Cookies of Your Life << Sugar Cookies are definitely Christmas with the right cookie cutters!

Whipped Shortbread Cookies from Greedy Eats

White Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies from Just So Tasty

Oreo Peppermint Crunch Cookies from Inside BruCrew Life

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Banana Macadamia Cookies

These are not your average Macadamia Nut Cookies! A simple shortbread dough rolled in chopped macadamia nuts, then baked and dolloped with the best cream cheese frosting. Sprinkle some cardamom on top and these are the perfect Christmas cookies! A unique and delicious cookie for you to add to your list this year!


  • 1/2 cup salted roasted macadamia nuts, 2 1/2 oz, chopped
  • 1 & 1/2 cups flour, spooned and leveled
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled a bit
  • 1 & 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 banana, or overripe large banana
  • 1 Coconut Syrup, click for recipe ∞ [url][/url]
  • bananas, more to garnish
  • pineapple, to garnish


  • Chop the macadamia nuts. I used my food processor and pulsed it until there were some fine chunks and some larger ones.
  • Add the macadamias to a large bowl, along with the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together.
  • Melt the butter in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Whisk in the butter.
  • In the bowl that you melted the butter, mash a banana with a fork. It doesn't need to be perfect, some chunks are ok.
  • Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, and add the mashed banana. Stir until JUST barely combined. Embrace the chunk.
  • Heat a large frying pan or griddle over medium heat. Grease well with butter or nonstick spray.
  • Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to form pancakes. Cook for a few minutes, until the top has formed bubbles and they have started to pop.
  • At this point, you can add chopped pineapple to the raw side of the pancake. Make sure you spread it out otherwise the pancake won't cook in the middle.
  • Flip the pancakes and continue to cook until light golden brown.
  • Turn your oven to the warm setting (170 degrees F) and put a cooling rack inside. Keep the pancakes on the rack until ready to serve.
  • Serve with fresh bananas* or fresh pineapple and Coconut Syrup


*If you want you can roast the bananas. Slice them, put them on a greased baking sheet, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar, then broil for a couple minutes. Or torch them, if you have one. Or you could pan fry them in butter and sugar like I did in this post.


Serving: 1 pancake, Calories: 136 kcal, Carbohydrates: 15 g, Protein: 3 g, Fat: 7 g, Saturated Fat: 3 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4 g, Trans Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 33 mg, Sodium: 212 mg, Potassium: 101 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 4 g, Vitamin A: 151 IU, Vitamin C: 1 mg, Calcium: 62 mg, Iron: 1 mg