Macadamia Shortbreads

Rate this recipe

Preparation info

  • Makes about


    2 inch 5 cm square cookies
    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Modern Baker

The Modern Baker

By Nick Malgieri

Published 2008

  • About

Macadamia nuts may be expensive, but they have a delicate and elusive flavor perfect for these cookies. Everything is just mixed together and pressed into the pan-nothing could be easier.


Cookie Dough

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ounces (50 grams) unsalted macadamia nuts, crushed with the bottom of a pan
  • cups all-purpose flour (spoon flour into a dry-measure cup and level off)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 12 tablespoons ( sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces


  • ¾ cup (about 3 ounces/75 grams) unsalted macadamia nuts, crushed and finely chopped, but not ground
  • cup sugar
  • One 9 × 13 × 2-inch (23 × 33 × 5-cm) pan lined with buttered foil


  1. Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 325°F (160°C).
  2. For the dough, combine the sugar and macadamia nuts in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse to grind finely. Add the flour and baking powder and pulse several times to mix. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is finely mixed in. The mixture should be powdery.
  3. Remove the blade of the food processor and pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Distribute it evenly all over the bottom of the pan and use the palm of one hand to press it in.
  4. Use a brush to sprinkle the top of the dough generously with water. Scatter the chopped nuts and sugar evenly on the dough and use the palm of your hand to press them in.
  5. Bake the cookies until they are golden and firm, about 30 minutes.
  6. As soon as you remove the pan from the oven, grip the opposite ends of the foil and lift the slab of baked dough onto a cutting board. While the dough is still hot, use a long sharp knife to cut the slab into 2-inch (5-cm) squares. Let the cookies cool and they’ll become crisp.
  7. If you find the cookies are not crisp, return them to the pan and a 300°F (150°C) oven and bake them for another 10 to 15 minutes, then cool the pan on a rack.


Keep the cookies between sheets of wax paper in a tin or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid.