Macadamia- Coconut Meltaways

Cover recipe- Woman’s Day, Macadamia- Coconut Meltaways: November 2009

This Woman’s Day cover is from last year.  I kept it around because it had three rather interesting holiday cookie recipes on the cover:  Snow-Capped Chocolate Meringue Kisses, Chocolate Star Mocha Creams and Macadamia-Coconut Meltaways.  The themes of the magazine this month were “127 Ways to Celebrate for Less,”  “8 Great Jobs You Can Do From Home,” and “No Stress holiday Guide.”  None of these themes really has anything to do with cookies.  Anything at all.  The cookie section is simply tucked into the last few pages of the magazine.  I’m pretty sure the editors just wanted to give their readers a jump on holiday baking (since this is a November issue).

It should be noted that there were other delicious-looking desserts that could have graced the cover… more “November-themed” desserts:  things like Mile High Pumpkin Meringue Tart and Dark & Rich Chocolate Cranberry Cake.  That being said, read on to find out what I thought of the Macadamia-Coconut Meltaway cookies.

Print Print Recipe

Macadamia- Coconut Meltaways

Yield: 52 cookies

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 16 min


1 cup macadamia nuts
1 cup confectioner's sugar, plus extra for dusting
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut (about 3 ounces)
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups all-purpose flour


1.  Pulse macadamias and 1/4 cup of the sugar in food processor until nuts are chopped fine (do not overprocess).  Add coconut; continue to pulse until everything is finely ground.
2.  Beat butter, vanilla and salt in a large bowl with mixer on medium speed until creamy.  Add the nut mixture and remaining 3/4 cup sugar; beat until creamy.  Add flour and beat until a soft dough forms.  Chill dough 1 hour.
3.  Heat oven to 325 degrees F.  With lightly floured hands, shape scant tablespoonfuls dough into balls.  Place 1-inch apart on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake 16 minutes, or until tops are dry and set and bottoms are light brown.
4.  Move cookies with spatula to a wire rack and cool completely.  Dust tops with confectioners' sugar before serving.


*I used roasted, unsalted macadamia nuts (found them at Trader Joes).
*You definitely need a food processor for this recipe.  There's no way to really grind those macadamias up as well as you need to otherwise.
*The coconut is ground up finely along with the nuts, so you don't have big shreds to contend with for the non-coconut lovers in your life.  They'll never know there is coconut in these cookies.
*Once the nuts are ground, this dough is a snap to put together.
*I let the dough chill overnight.  It was too firm to use the next day, so I let it sit on the counter at room temp for a bit until it became slightly softer.
*No flour was necessary to do the rolling.  The dough didn't stick to my hands at all.
*Mine took nearly 20-22 minutes to get to the stage where they were set and light brown on edges.
*I'm not sure why, but I was expecting them to turn out more like little snowballs.  They flattened slightly with a rounded top.
*I'm pretty sure these freeze just fine (mine are in the freezer now).

Source:  Woman's Day, November 2009

The results:

I thought these cookies were absolutely delicious.  There is not a prominent flavor of coconut, which is good for those who don’t care for it. I had a couple of neighborhood kids running around the house on the day I made these.  One declared that he didn’t like coconut and would not care for these cookies.  I made him try one anyway (and he came back for seconds).  You should have seen the look on his face when I told him that there were macadamia nuts in there too!  Neither flavor is hugely detectable.  It’s always fun to have kids try things and make them realize that they actually might enjoy foods with ingredients in them that they thought they didn’t like.

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

Yes and no.  Yes, because it’s an excellent cookie and a great one for a holiday platter.  No, because the cookies on the cover don’t have anything to do with the themes in the magazine.  I’m finding that Women’s Day tends to do this… place delicious looking food on their cover to perhaps draw readers in, even though they’re not a food magazine!  Is this a good thing?  What do you think?

Lori is the founder of She's a professional recipe developer and food writer, and she's the author of The Recipe Girl Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: April 2013). Beyond food, Lori enjoys traveling, being outdoors, running, and maybe even singing a little karaoke. The mountains near Lake Tahoe are home for Lori and her husband of 18 years. They have an 12 year-old son who blogs at

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10 Responses to “Molten Chocolate Cakes”

  1. 1

    Jenny — January 25, 2011 @ 7:34 am

    I’ve had molten lava cakes on my list for a long time and keep forgetting to make them. These are so easy. I’m wondering how they would be with the chocolate mint chips I bought at Xmas and haven’t used yet. Love the little candy hearts. Very cute.

  2. 2

    Kelly — January 25, 2011 @ 7:49 am

    Jenny – I think mint chocolate chips would be out of this world delicious! Of course, I LOVE that flavor combo, so I might be biased. Great idea!

  3. 3

    Caroline — January 25, 2011 @ 7:53 am

    I’ve always wanted to make these, but I am so tenative because I feel like the molten center means the eggs haven’t fully cooked. I always buy pasteurized eggs, but I always worry about making people sick with undercooked eggs. I may have to try them though, these look way too tempting to pass up!

  4. 4

    grace — January 27, 2011 @ 1:01 am

    i can’t believe they’re so simple! this qualifies as a fun and delicious project for sure–thanks for the review, i’m sure it was rough to try it out for us. :)

  5. 5

    Heather — January 29, 2011 @ 7:39 am

    Oh my! These look so delicious!! They are def going on my valentines menu for my hubs!!

  6. 6

    Kelly — January 30, 2011 @ 3:56 pm

    Grace – Yeah, it was tough. ;)

    Caroline – I believe the internal temperature is hot enough to fully cook the eggs. You can always do what I did and slightly over bake. They’ll still be molten just not overly so.

    Heather – Enjoy!

  7. 7

    Alissa — February 7, 2011 @ 10:30 am

    Love it!

  8. 8

    Haley Hogan — February 14, 2011 @ 6:58 am

    Amazing recipe! Can’t wait to make it for my boyfriend’s birthday this week.

    Do you think it would effect the end result if I used a hand whisk instead of an electric mixer?

    xo H

  9. 9

    Kelly — February 15, 2011 @ 4:16 am

    Haley – I don’t see why you couldn’t use a whisk, it’s just going to take longer for the mixture to get thick and will give your arm a bit of a workout. :) I think you should be fine. Enjoy!

  10. 10

    Vanessa — January 16, 2012 @ 6:29 pm

    I made these little Molten Cakes last night after having bookmarked them ages ago. They were easy and absolutely delicious! They also looked as though I had been working all afternoon on them and plated beautifully. Thanks for sharing, they are a keeper!

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