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Macadamia Shortbread

Stacked macadamia shortbread on a white plate.

Macadamia nut shortbread cookies are sweet and nutty cookie bars! It could not be easier to make this tasty macadamia dessert.

Macadamia nut shortbread cookies in a stack.

The brilliance of shortbread is its simplicity. Mix together some butter, flour, sugar, and you’ve got a lovely, tasty cookie. I like that kind of thinking, as you can see in recipes like this one.

This particular recipe for shortbread comes from a fabulous baking book, The Modern Baker. Macadamia nuts seem to be too often relegated to ho-hum cookies with white chocolate. Not my favorite. But, here in these shortbread, those same macadamias get the chance to be the star.

The fact that these can be mixed up in short order using your food processor is even more of a plus for me. You can very quickly have these mixed and baking in just a few minutes. Honestly, it took me longer to chop all the nuts than to put it all together.

In the looks department, I love the mixture of macadamias and sugar on top of the shortbread. It gives them a little sparkle as well as a little flavor boost. The original recipe uses unsalted macadamias. Always a fan of sweet and salty, I opted to use lightly salted nuts and was very pleased with the outcome.

Be sure to follow the directions well for how to handle the cookies once they come out of the oven. They are far easier to cut when they’re warm. Then, after they cool, you’ll have crispy, delicate, delicious, pretty-close-to-perfect shortbread!

More Shortbread Cookies

If you loved these macadamia nut shortbread cookies, check out these other shortbread recipes!

Macadamia Shortbread

Yield 24
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Macadamia Shortbread are quick, sweet, and nutty cookie bars! Mix together some butter, flour, and sugar, and you've got a tasty macadamia cookie.

Stacked macadamia shortbread on a white plate.


  • 1/2 cup (100g) + 1/3 (67g) cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 & 1/2 ounces (42g) unsalted or lightly salted macadamia nuts, chopped
  • 2 & 1/4 cups (270g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 12 tablespoons (170g) cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
  • 3/4 cup (111g) unsalted or lightly salted macadamia nuts, finely chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a 9″x 13″x 2″ baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving a couple of inches hanging over each short side. Butter the lining.
  2. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1 & 1/2 ounces macadamias in food processor. Pulse until finely ground. Add the flour and baking powder. Pulse until mixed. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is combined and powdery.
  3. Press the dough firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top of the dough with water. Sprinkle the finely chopped macadamias and 1/3 cup sugar on top of dough. Press firmly into the dough.
  4. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cookies are golden and firm.
  5. While the cookies are still warm, use the overhanging lining to remove the cookies from the pan onto a cutting board. Cut into squares, using a sharp knife.
  6. Let the cookies cool completely. They should become crisp as they cool. If they aren’t crisp after cooling, place them back in the pan and bake for 10-15 minutes at 300°F.


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    8 Comments on “Macadamia Shortbread”

  1. I found your site on and thought I would stop by to check it out. I just subscribed to your blog feed and can’t wait to see what your next post will be!

  2. This recipe looks delicious! I adore the combination of sweet and salty, too, so I’m sure I will fall in love with this recipe. Thank you for sharing!

  3. This looks delicious and I’m sure it is too. My kids are going to love this. Thanks for sharing!

  4. can you dust with powdered sugar instead ??

    • Instead of the granulated sugar that’s sprinkled on top? It will likely melt into the bars as they bake, which takes away the aesthetic purpose of the granulated sugar. If you want to use confectioners’ sugar, you might wait until they’re baked and cooled to add it to the top.

  5. What can I use in place of a food processor?

    • Hi, Linda. The macadamias need to be finely ground. You could possibly achieve that with a blender or a spice grinder. Lacking either of those, you could try placing them in a zip-top bag and using a rolling pin. They likely won’t be as finely ground, but it might work well enough.

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