Make the best, ultra soft and chewy gluten-free white chocolate macadamia nut cookies with this easy recipe! Learn about gluten free white chocolate, how to prevent gritty GF cookies, and many bonus gluten free baking tips!
Best Gluten-Free White Chocolate Macadamia nut Cookies
Once gluten-free chocolate chip cookies recipe was perfected, I began to dream of all the amazing possibilities for this cookie dough. The best gluten free white chocolate cookies were born!
Don’t be mistaken that an all purpose gluten-free flour blend was simply substituted in a traditional recipe! These macadamia nut cookies use tried and true techniques from my gluten-free cookbook, along with many expert gluten-free baking tips, to make gloriously soft, chewy, and indistinguishably GF cookies!
Like gluten free peanut butter cookies, only simple pantry-staple ingredients are required with the exception of gluten free white chocolate and flour.
- Unsalted butter – Soften to room temperature. For dairy-free cookies, substitute vegan butter sticks, such as Earth Balance.
- Sugar – A combination of light brown sugar and granulated sugar gives a caramel chewiness and structure.
- All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour- This recipe was developed using a gluten-free flour blend and substituting other flours is not recommended. When measuring GF flour, spoon it into the measuring cup and level with a knife.
- Baking soda – Preferable over baking powder for cookies to make them soft and chewy, rather than cakey.
- White Chocolate Chips – Use vegan white chocolate chips, such as Enjoy Life or DeeBest for a dairy-free recipe. See below for suggested gluten-free white chocolate chip tips.
- Macadamia Nuts – This type of nut tends to be more expensive, so I suggest getting them from Aldi’s, Trader Joes, or Costco. Grocery stores generally carry smaller amounts so you can purchase exactly what is needed.
Is White Chocolate gluten-free?
Does white chocolate have gluten in it? White chocolate is gluten-free, as well as white chocolate chips. They generally contain sugar, cocoa butter, milk powder, whey, and an emulsifier.
White chocolate, or almond bark used for melting, will not be gluten-free if other ingredients are mixed with it, such as pretzels or cookie crumbs. On it’s own, or mixed with other gluten-free ingredients, is safe to consume on a gluten-free diet.
how to make gluten free white chocolate macadamia nut cookies
(Below shows step-by-step photos and modified instructions. For the complete recipe, along with ingredient amounts, scroll down to the recipe card.)
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine the butter, brown sugar, sugar, egg, and vanilla extract.
- Add the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix on low speed, or stir, until just combined.
- Stir in white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts or mix in on low speed. The dough will be slightly sticky and soft.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. This softens the gluten-free starches, prevent a gritty texture.
- Use a medium cookie scoop to drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake in a 325°F oven for 12-14 minutes, rotating pans halfway.
Tips to prevent gritty gluten free cookies
The best gluten-free cookies have slightly crisp edges, soft, chewy middles, and smooth, sweet flavor. Unfortunately many recipes suffer from being overly greasy, excessive spreading or a gritty, ricey texture.
I’ve discovered three simple tricks to avoid these issues ever again!
- Quality gluten-free flour – While all purpose GF flours make it easy to convert recipes, there is quite a difference in how they perform. For cookies in particular, I recommend Cup4Cup brand for best texture and flavor.
- Chill – GF starches don’t absorb moisture or fat as readily as wheat flour. Therefore, chilling the dough before baking gives the starches time to relax and soften.
- Lower oven temperature – I’ve been experimenting with baking cookies in a 325°F oven rather than 350°F. This seems to greatly improve texture with a softer chew, rather than dense and sticky.
Add-ins and modifications
Easily morph these gluten free white chocolate macadamia nut cookies into many different versions!
- Add dried cranberries for white chocolate cranberry cookies, with or without macadamia nuts.
- Omit the macadamia nuts and add crushed candy canes for white chocolate peppermint cookies.
- Stir in 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- Instead of baking chips, chop white chocolate bars for chunky chocolate cookies.
storing and freezing tips
Gluten-free chocolate chip cookies have a shorter shelf than traditional cookies because they dry out and lose the soft texture after a couple days.
Therefore, if you don’t plan on eating these treats within a day or two, wrap stacks of 2-3 cookies in plastic wrap, transfer to a ziplock freezer bag, and freeze up to 3 months.
For storing at room temperature, make sure the cookies have cooled completely first before stacking and storing in an airtight container.
freezing Unbaked cookies
Drop portioned cookie balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid. Once the cookies are hard, transfer to a ziplock freezer bag and freeze up to 3 months.
When ready to bake, place on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake from frozen, adding an additional 1-2 minutes baking time.
If you are looking for a dairy-free gluten-free cookie recipe, use Enjoy Life brand white chocolate chips. Substitute vegan butter sticks or melted coconut oil for the butter, but reduce the salt by half.
The recommended gluten-free flour, Cup4Cup, does contain milk powder in the blend. Use King Arthur Measure-for-Measure gluten free flour as an allergen-free alternative.
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Soft and Chewy Gluten-Free White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
- In a large bowl or stand mixer beat together the melted butter, brown sugar, sugar, egg, and vanilla until well combined.8 tablespoons melted unsalted butter,¾ cup light brown sugar,⅓ cup granulated sugar,1 egg,1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix on low speed until combined and no flour pockets remain. Stir in white chocolate and macadamias or mix in on low speed. The dough will be slightly sticky and soft.1 ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons gluten free all purpose flour,1 teaspoon baking soda,½ teaspoon salt,1 cup white chocolate chips,⅔ cup macadamia nuts
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Tip: The cookies can go on ungreased baking sheets as well, but they release better from parchment or silicone)
- Use a medium cookie scoop to drop dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. If you don't have a cookie scoop use 2 spoons to scrape the dough onto cookie sheet.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes, rotating pans halfway. Edges should be set, but middle is still soft. Cool on cookie sheets for 10 minutes before transporting to a wire rack.
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storing / freezingIf you don’t plan on eating within a day or two, wrap stacks of 2-3 cookies in plastic wrap, transfer to a ziplock freezer bag, and freeze up to 3 months. For storing at room temperature, make sure the cookies have cooled completely first before stacking and storing in an airtight container. To freeze unbaked cookies, drop portioned cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid. Once the cookies are hard, transfer to a ziplock freezer bag and freeze up to 3 months. When ready to bake, place on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake from frozen, adding an additional 1-2 minutes baking time.
Dairy Free adaptationsUse dairy-free white chocolate chips, such as Enjoy Life brand. Substitute vegan butter sticks or melted coconut oil for the butter, but reduce the salt by half. The recommended gluten-free flour, Cup4Cup, does contain milk powder in the blend. Use King Arthur Measure-for-Measure gluten free flour as an allergen-free alternative. Recipe adapted from Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
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