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 “Candy Cane Chocolate Fudge”

  1. 1

    Robin Sue — November 29, 2010 @ 3:44 pm

    Wonderfully done! You listed some of the treats in this issue and they all sound great, especially the parmesan chickpeas. I could always go for fudge, it’s just that I can’t stop! Lori your blogs are doing so well, you have been all over including Italy, GOOD FOR YOU! I am enjoying watching all of your successes- I am cheering for you, keep it up!!!

  2. 2

    Lori Lange — November 29, 2010 @ 4:15 pm

    Robin- wow, what a sweet, SWEET comment :) Thank you for your kind words. It has been a very fun year indeed!

  3. 3

    Kathy - Panini Happy — November 29, 2010 @ 11:21 pm

    The recipe may be simple but the presentation is so festive! I’m planning to make some fudge next week, you’ve just inspired me to add candy canes. :-)

  4. 4

    marla — November 30, 2010 @ 6:38 am

    This is the perfect treat for the holidays in every way. It does not take long to prepare & looks so elegant for gifts & parties. Leaves us extra time for more baking & time with family :)

  5. 5

    Crustabakes — November 30, 2010 @ 9:12 am

    These are very very pretty. I love the colours on these. It is making me feel so festive! :)

  6. 6

    Randi — December 11, 2010 @ 2:33 pm

    Thanks for the review. I am making these now and pouring the fudge into candy cane shaped cookie cutters to harden. Then, I will wrap them in a clear bag with bows and give the fudge and the cookie cutter as a gift. I saw a simialar idea on Betty Crocker’s website.

  7. 7

    Sheetal Thakkar — December 13, 2010 @ 7:10 am

    I made candy cane fudge out of semi sweet chocolate and I did not put salt in it. The fudge is tasting good but it turned out to be very soft. It is not hardening enough to cut in to peaces. please advice its in my refrigerator since last night.

    • Lori Lange replied: — December 16th, 2010 @ 6:48 pm

      Not sure! If directions were followed and it’s in the fridge, it should be hard enough to cut. Strange!

  8. 8

    Laura — December 19, 2011 @ 4:57 pm

    I made these and they were tasty (even though I did use sea salt) – but I left them in the fridge for a couple of days and the candy canes disappeared! Really – they melted! Any suggestions for preventing this? (And Sheetal – my fudge was pretty soft for the first day, too, but it hardened more after than.)

    • Lori Lange replied: — December 23rd, 2011 @ 10:47 pm

      Disappeared? Oh my! I guess your refrigerator must have some pretty high humidity. That’s all I can think of!

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