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Cocoa Macadamia Nut Sandies

These simple and decadent Cocoa Macadamia Nut Sandies are soft, sweet truffle-shaped treats with rich chocolate flavor and a buttery texture.

plate of powdered sugar-dusted coco macadamia nut cookies

Chocolate-Macadamia Cookies

These soft, buttery chocolate cookies remind me of the sandies my mom used to make. She made hers without cocoa and with pecans instead of macadamia nuts. But I love the rich chocolate flavor in this version. Plus, macadamia nuts add the right amount of crunch.

This is a unique cookie recipe that will surprise and delight guests at your next party. They’re perfect for the holidays, with their richness and powdered sugar dusting.

ingredients for cocoa macadamia nut sandies with butter, sugar, flour and nuts


Here’s what you need to make these simple but delicious cocoa and macadamia nut sandies:

  • Butter: Use unsalted softened butter for your cookies.
  • Granulated sugar: For the sweet, gooey flavor.
  • Cocoa powder: Look for unsweetened cocoa for the richest chocolate flavor.
  • Vanilla extract: To balance the deep chocolate taste with some warming vanilla notes.
  • All-purpose flour: To bind the cookie dough.
  • Macadamia nuts: These are rich, crunchy and mild-tasting to let the cocoa flavor shine in your cookies.
  • Confectioners’ sugar: For dusting the chocolate truffle cookies.
baking sheet of cocoa sandies

How to Make Cocoa Macadamia Nut Sandies

Follow these easy steps to make your buttery cocoa-nut cookies:

Make the cookie dough: In an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cocoa powder, water, and vanilla and mix to combine.

Add the dry ingredients: Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the flour until the dough is just combined. Fold in the macadamia nuts.

mixing bowl with cocoa cookie dough

Chill the dough: Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and place it into the fridge for half an hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Shape the dough: Remove the dough from the fridge and shape it into 1-inch balls on the baking sheet.

Bake the cookies: Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the cookies are set in the center. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 10 minutes. Then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. When the cookies are fully cool, roll them in confectioners’ sugar.

baking sheet of cocoa sandies with powdered sugar

Tips for Success

Use these easy tips to perfect your buttery macadamia nut cookies:

  • Use a kitchen scale to measure by weight if you can.
  • When rolling the dough into balls, work as quickly as possible. The heat from your hands makes the dough a bit gooey if held for too long.
  • Avoid over-mixing the dough after you add the flour, which can make the cookies tough.
  • Make sure you let the cookies cool fully before dusting them in powdered sugar. Otherwise, the sugar will melt.
  • If you like a richer flavor, you can toast the macadamia nuts in the oven or on the stove until they’re lightly golden.


Store these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

plate of coco macadamia nut cookies on a plaid towel

Can I Freeze Leftovers?

Yes! You can freeze these cocoa and macadamia nut cookies for up to three months in an airtight container. Defrost the cookies on the counter for an hour or two before serving.

Cocoa Macadamia Nut Sandies

Yield about 60 cookies
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

These Cocoa Macadamia Nut Sandies are buttery, soft and tender treats with crunchy nuts and rich chocolate flavor.

plate of powdered sugar-dusted coco macadamia nut cookies


  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (21g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (92g) macadamia nuts, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup (82g) confectioners' sugar


  1. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the cocoa powder, water, and vanilla, and mix well.
  3. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add the flour, mixing just until combined. Stir in the macadamia nuts.
  4. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
  6. Shape the dough into small balls, about 1-inch in diameter. Place the cookies on the prepared pans, leaving about an inch between cookies.
  7. Bake, one pan at a time, 18 to 20 minutes. or until the cookies appear set.
  8. Cool the cookies on the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then transfer the cookies from the pans to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Roll the cookies in confectioners' sugar.


Recipe slightly adapted from Land o' Lakes.

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    8 Comments on “Cocoa Macadamia Nut Sandies”

  1. Just arrived at your site…it’s gorgeous the pictures…the recipes…I’m getting hungry!

  2. You have made me just call my hubby and ask him to buy me a mixer when he gets paid. I used to bake when I was a teen and early 20’s but stopped. Got too busy. Now that all of the kids are grown and I am experiencing “empty nest” syndrome, I must find a way to cope. This is it! My hubby will fall deeper in love with me really soon. Great quick and eas recipes because, I have NOOO patience. LOL. Thanks.

  3. I have a friend that would love these. But she can’t eat dairy. Would a non dairy butter work. I thot about margarine but I’m afraid they would be to oily Whst do you think 

    • Hi, Claudia! I don’t have much experience baking with non-dairy butter, so I can’t really make a good recommendation. As a general rule, margarine isn’t great for baking, but it’s likely worth a shot if butter isn’t an option. I would also recommend doing an internet search for non-dairy butter options to get some ideas from bakers with that kind of expertise for what to use and how well it might work. I hope that helps!

      • Thank you for responding I appreciate it I went online and researched and I think my best bet is coconut oil and if it does give a coconut flavor that wouldn’t be bad that goes with chocolate and it goes obviously with macadamia nuts. I think if these come out good my friend will say that she died and went to heaven thank you for a great recipe 

  4. Hello Jennifer 

    I intend to make these and was studying the recipe ahead of baking – you indicate to use unsalted butter but there is no salt in the recipe? Should there be added salt. ? 

    With thanks 
    Nancy Belwood Ontario 

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