Macadamia Walnut Cookies

by Sarah

in cholesterol free, Cookies, Dairy-Free, Desserts, Egg-Free, vegan

macadamia walnut cookiesIn many ways, I feel my dad is one of my best friends. After my family moved to the United States, I had some serious issues speaking English (didn’t speak any at first). Because I couldn’t communicate with my classmates in elementary school, it was really hard to play with them even though I wanted to and I’m sure they wanted to too. Since the only word I could say was “No” conversations went like this:

“What’s your name?”


“That’s an interesting name, where are you from”


“Never heard of that. Want to play in the jungle gym together?”


It was puzzling for everyone involved. And as a result I had very few friends in early elementary school. But where I lacked friends at school, my dad filled in as my very best friend. Every day after school, I’d go home and play around the neighborhood with my dad. We biked every trail near my family’s apartment, went to every beach in town, and looked into every hole in the tide pools at the beach. I knew the towns we lived in inside out, and when I close my eyes, I have a mental map of San Diego labeled with all the fun places I went with my Dad. Not only was my dad my best friend, he was also instrumental in helping me learn English. Every morning at breakfast, my dad would read to me from an English story book while I ate breakfast. Each third grade essay I wrote for class, he would read it with me to make sure I was learning how to put together nouns and verbs correctly. During summers, my dad gave me “reading assignments” that he’d made up so I could practiced reading. Between my third grade and fourth grade summer, I noticed a huge improvement in my ability to read and for the first time I could check out books to read at the school library! I was beyond excited.

As I grew older, I continue to have my weekend adventures with my dad. My family moved to an area with a lot of nature. Hidden in the valleys were lakes and ponds to be explored, and with my dad we set out to scope out all the trails in our new neighborhood. From when I was little till right up to when I went to college, every weekend was a new adventure with my dad. He was my best friend growing up, and I never for a minute wished I played with kids my own age. These days I live at school most of the year, but every time there is a long break my parents and I pick a new place to visit and we explore it together. Whether it’s the corners of San Diego or a completely new city in a new country, I always look forward to these adventures. Some people say they like traveling with their friends. But I know I love traveling with my parents. Close or far, there’s a never a dull moment on an adventure with my dad. Every Father’s Day I am reminded of how fortunate I am to have a dad like mine.

macadamia walnut cookies

macadamia walnut cookies

These cookies are my father’s day gift to my dad (the other gift was a sign for dogs to not poop on our lawn…but that is a story for another time). He is the biggest fan of macadamia nuts I know. These come with pops of crunch throughout, highly recommended if you enjoy different textures in cookies. Since macadamia nuts are very buttery nuts, it gives these cookies a very luxurious taste after the nut oil seeps into the cookie in the baking process.

As for mailing, these cookies held up really well in the mail. I put them into a to-go food container, and then placed that container in a cardboard box with some stuffing paper (newspaper or old advertisement paper work great too!) to make sure the cookie box does not slide too much. None of the cookies cracked, so I’d say they had a good trip.

macadamia walnut cookies

Hope you had a wonderful weekend and Father’s day too! What’s your favorite memory with your dad? Let me know in the comments below!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Macadamia Walnut cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 25 cookies
  • 2.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup vegan margarine, room temperature (temperature is important!)
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk dry ingredients together.
  3. In a large bowl, beat margarine with a hand/stand mixer until smooth. Add in sugars and cream until smooth. Add the water and vanilla, and mix till smooth.
  4. Slowly add flour mixture to the margarine and sugar mixture, beating as you go.
  5. Add in mixed nuts, and stir till well incorporated.
  6. Make balls of cookie dough with a cookie scoop or measuring spoon. I made cookie dough balls about a heaping 1.5 tablespoon in size. Leave 2 inches around each cookie (they spread!).
  7. Place dough balls on parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake for 12-14 minutes (12 for very soft, 14 for crunchier cookies). The edges should be golden brown and the cookies will spread a little.
  8. Let cool for 5 minutes outside the oven, then transfer to cookie racks to cool completely.

For more macadamia cookies…

Oatmeal Macadamia Cookies

oatmeal macadamia cookies

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Beeta @ Mon Petit Four June 22, 2015 at 10:57 pm

What a beautiful post, Sarah! My cousin moved to the States in 1st grade and I remember how hard it was for her to get acclimated to school and speaking English, so I feel for your younger self! That’s so wonderful that you have such an amazing dad who spent all that time with you and really made sure you weren’t left feeling alone; what a super dad! Like you, I love taking trips with my parents because they’ve always been more of a best friend to me rather than the stereotypical adults we avoid or keep secrets from. My dad is always my number one confidant when it comes to any life decision, and he’s just overall the type of guy who would do and give anything for you without expecting a thing in return. My dad and I would also take little trips around town when I was younger; a lot of them revolved around boating and ice cream at the harbor since we both love that.

These cookies look so perfect with the crunchy macadamia nuts. I can imagine these to have that buttery, luxurious feel that you described because of the nut oil. That’s so nice of you to mail these to your dad; he must have been so happy! :)


2 Sarah June 23, 2015 at 12:43 pm

Hi Beeta! Your trips to the harbor and for ice cream with your dad sound like so fun! And it’s so nice to be able to discuss important life decisions with your dad. I also call up my parents whenever something big needs to be discussed. So happy you like the cookies!


3 Cali @ Cali's Cuisine June 24, 2015 at 6:16 am

Your dad sounds amazing! He must have loved the home baked cookies for Father’s Day.

Love the substitution of walnuts for macs. Eating too many macs is a bit like how I would imagine eating balls of shortening would be. I will have to give these a try. Thanks for sharing!


4 Sarah June 24, 2015 at 8:20 am

I’m glad you like it Cali! :)


5 Oriana Romero June 24, 2015 at 12:25 pm

No eggs… woohoo!! My kids are going to love this recipe. As your dad I’m a big fan of macadamia too. Pinning.


6 Sarah June 28, 2015 at 11:43 am

Thanks Oriana!


7 Maryanne @ the little epicurean June 24, 2015 at 9:01 pm

Beautiful post! You and your father have such a great relationship!

Even though I was born in the States, I went to elementary school not knowing any English. My parents “experimented” by not teaching me, in hopes that I’d learn at school. Pre-school was TERRIBLE. I didn’t know to communicate with the other kids. Finally my parents caved in and started teaching me English at home. When my little brother was born, I made sure he learned English before going to school :)


8 Sarah June 28, 2015 at 11:45 am

Hi Maryanne! I had a classmate whose parents did something similar! She ended up being really good at both languages, I’m sure you are too!


9 Lynn | The Road to Honey June 26, 2015 at 4:54 pm

My hubby moved to the U.S. at about the same age as you and he has similar stories to tell. It must have been really difficult to try to acclimate into a world where you did not speak the language. You are so lucky to have such a special dad. He sounds like an amazing man and I love that he put forth such an effort to make every day special for you. I bet he was thrilled to receive such an indulgent cookie in the mail. While Macadamia nuts are not amongst my favorite nut, I love them in cookies. These look especially tasty and I am thinking I am long overdo for cookies.


10 Sarah June 28, 2015 at 11:46 am

Thanks Lynn! You are right, I am very lucky to have a dad like mine! I also prefer macadamia nuts in cookies compared to eating them without. Hope you like these!


11 Connie @ Sprig and Flours June 28, 2015 at 6:49 pm

Oh my goodness, Sarah! This post made me laugh and cry!! So funny and so so soo sweet. LOL at the dog poop sign :p Your dad sounds like a terrific guy. I am not surprised because his daughter is so sweet, beautiful and smart! My family and I spent a lot of time in San Francisco on the weekends to visit my grandparents. My dad and I use to explore San Francisco’s Chinatown together on Sundays, and we’d start the day by getting some delicious dim sum! Thanks for prompting me think about those fun times <3 These cookies look absolutely amazing. I bet he loved them!!


12 Sarah July 8, 2015 at 10:07 am

Aww thanks Connie! He really enjoyed the cookies. Your weekend trips to San Francisco visiting your grandparents, and exploring Chinatown with your dad sounds like a lot of fun! The dim sum there is amazing!


13 amanda July 3, 2015 at 8:53 pm

These cookies look delicious!!!


14 Sarah July 8, 2015 at 10:07 am

Thanks Amanda!


15 Sonali- The Foodie Physician July 5, 2015 at 11:35 am

Such a beautiful post Sarah, your dad sounds awesome! I know my dad would love these cookies too, thanks for sharing such a great recipe :)


16 Sarah July 8, 2015 at 10:08 am

Thanks Sonali!


17 Natalie @ Obsessive Cooking July 10, 2015 at 2:58 pm

What a cute story! Conversely, I was horrid at Chinese school and felt “stupid” and like an outcast because I could’t talk to anyone either, only saying the same words.

Great recipe!


18 Sarah July 11, 2015 at 9:54 am

Glad you like it Natalie! I remember the days of Chinese school, though at mine all the kids spoke to each other in English and only spoke Chinese in class for assignments lol!


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