Delicious macadamia nut shortbread cookies dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with coconut. Free of gluten, eggs, and refined sugar!
Every state has something that truly makes it unique and we’re celebrating that diversity in cookie form!
50 bloggers from all 50 states are partnering together to bring you 50 different cookies, with one mission — to celebrate our wonderful nation!
These tender gluten-free macadamia nut shortbread cookies dipped in white chocolate are inspired by some of my favorite tropical ingredients from my home state of Hawaii!
I came across the cutest pineapple cutter at a local baking supply store and it reminded me of these shortbread cookies I used to eat in Hawaii. I thought it would be fun to recreate these shortbread cookies to give out to family and friends so they could have a taste of the tropics this holiday season!
I took my standard shortbread recipe and made it a little healthier by reducing the amount of butter and substituting pure maple syrup for the refined sugar. I also swapped out regular all-purpose flour with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking flour, my go-to flour that I’ve been using for years. It’s my absolute favorite gluten-free flour blend for a few reasons:
- It is perfectly formulated for baked goods with terrific taste and texture – no additional specialty ingredients or custom recipes required.
- This flour combines finely ground brown rice flour, sweet white rice flour, whole grain sorghum flour, potato starch, and tapioca flour with a touch of xanthan gum—just enough xanthan gum to create chewy cookies and springy muffins.
- The protein in the sorghum flour helps give baked goods an almost wheat-like texture and aids in browning, for those times you need a perfectly golden brown chocolate chip cookie. You can use this blend for cookies, cakes, and brownies!
To the shortbread dough, I added chunks of roasted macadamia nuts, which give a deliciously nutty crunch to the cookie. Macadamia nuts, are actually native to Australia, but were introduced to Hawaii in the late 1800’s, where it thrived. Wherever you go in Hawaii, you’re bound to see boxes of the popular chocolate covered macadamia nuts or cans of dry roasted macadamia nuts for sale. Hawaii is now the single largest producer in the world of the nut (which is technically not a nut at all, it’s a seed!)
Speaking of nuts, I dipped the baked cookies in white chocolate and sprinkled them with shredded coconut, another popular Hawaiian flavor! Coconuts, like macadamia nuts, were introduced to the islands hundreds of years ago by the Polynesians, and interestingly, can be classified as a nut, seed, or fruit!
I hope you get a chance to try these delicious cookies! They’re perfect for gift giving and can be made into any shape you wish, although I did find some similar pineapple cutters online, which I linked in the recipe below. Be sure to visit The United States of Cookies page periodically to see the cookies being added from all 50 states! There’s even a coupon to use towards your Bob’s Red Mill flour, so you can get your bake on and save some money too!
Did you find your home state in the list? What special flavors or ingredients would you use if you were creating a cookie from your state or country? Let me know in the comments below!
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened (vegan butter or coconut oil can also be use, but cookies may spread a little more)
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour + extra for dusting
- 1 cup finely chopped macadamia nuts
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 oz. quality white chocolate, chopped
- 1 tablespoon palm shortening or 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- ¼ – ½ cup shredded coconut, cacao nibs, sprinkles, etc. for sprinkling
- In a large mixing bowl, combine softened butter and maple syrup. Mix until well blended. Add 2 cups of flour and salt. Blend until well incorporated, about 1-2 minutes, and then mix in vanilla extract and macadamia nuts. Dough should be similar in consistency to the photo above. If your dough is too dry for some reason, you can add a splash of water to bring it together; too loose add flour a tablespoon at a time until it forms a soft dough.
- Roll dough between to large pieces of parchment paper. Dust with a little flour if it gets sticky. Use any cookie cutter to cut out shapes and place 2-inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. I found similar pineapple shaped ones here (double the size, perfect if you want them larger. My cutter is 2-3 inches tall) and here (small like mine).
- Place pans in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to chill the dough. This helps the cookies hold their shape.
- Ten minutes before baking, preheat oven to 350F. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned and center is set. The cookies will be pretty light in color. Allow to cool slightly on the pan and then transfer cookies to a rack to cool thoroughly. They can be crumbly if handled when they're hot.
- While cookies are cooling, begin to melt your chocolate. Place chocolate and oil in a heat-safe bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir constantly until chocolate and oil are melted and mixture is smooth.
- Dip cooled cookies halfway into the melted chocolate and place on parchment paper or a wire rack. Sprinkle immediately with shredded coconut or other topping of choice before chocolate hardens.
- Stack finished cookies in an airtight container between pieces of parchment or wax paper. Makes about 2½ to 3 dozen cookies, depending on the cutter you use.
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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.