White Chocolate Cranberry Macadamia Nut Cookies | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

White Chocolate Cranberry Macadamia Nut Cookies

White Chocolate Cranberry Macadamia Nut Cookies are filled with all the good stuff. They’re buttery and crisp and full of texture. Crunchy nuts, tart cranberries and sweet white chocolate make a practically perfect cookie.

White Chocolate Cranberry Macadamia Nut Cookies | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’ve been writing this blog off an on for over six years. I’ve shared hundreds of easy, approachable, affordable recipes completely for free. Delicious recipes that are totally achievable even by inexperienced cooks and bakers. And yet people still want me to bake things for them. I don’t get it.

Freshly baked homemade cookies are better than anything you can get from those ubiquitous shopping mall cookie places. They require minimal effort and skill. Okay, they do take a bit of time to make at home because, especially if your oven sucks as much as mine, you can only bake 8 cookies at a time. But you can just chill out rewatching Friends on Netflix for the hundredth time. I’m starting to think I need to set up an online cookie shop.

White Chocolate Cranberry Macadamia Nut Cookies | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

These White Chocolate Cranberry Macadamia Nut Cookies would definitely be a big seller in my imaginary cookie shop. They got tons of compliments from my co-workers, even from people who said they don’t normally like cranberry or had never eaten macadamia nuts. These cookies are all about texture and contrast. Buttery crispy edges and a chewy center. Crunchy nuts and sticky fruit. Sweet white chocolate chips and tart cranberries. These cookies have it all.

The only slight twist to the cookie-making process here is that the cranberries need to be soaked in hot water while you’re mixing up the rest of your dough just to soften them a bit. Everything else is pretty standard. Cream together butter and sugar, add egg, mix in dry ingredients, then toss in your add-ins. Bake. Done. Simple. Awesome.

White Chocolate Cranberry Macadamia Nut Cookies | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Hopefully, you’re up for making your own cookies this holiday season. White Chocolate Cranberry Macadamia Nut Cookies are an awesome place to start.

This recipe originally appeared on How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day in September, 2013.

Don’t forget to share your photos on Instagram. Tag me and use #awesomeon20 so I can see your creations.

Banana Macadamia Nut Muffins | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Banana Macadamia Nut Muffins

Banana Macadamia Nut Muffins | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

These muffins represent my complete and utter failure to change. One of my goals for this year was to eat more fruits and vegetables. One of each every day. I lasted about two weeks, then the vegetables faded away.

I made an effort to carry on with fruits for a while, trying new things, most of them disgusting. But now I’ve basically given up choking down melons and force feeding myself half a banana while trying not to retch. You’re probably saying, don’t be so dramatic. It’s just a fruit. Fruits are delicious, you say. Just try them.

I’ve tried. You might as well be feeding me bugs. Drinking my fruits and vegetables is about the best I can do. Although even that is sometimes a miss. I tried a Waste Not orange, beetroot, and apple juice the other day, and it tasted exactly like dirt. Not only did they use the ugly fruits and vegetables, but it tasted like they didn’t bother to wash them first. Look, I’m just gonna be dead soon. I have t learn to accept it.

Banana Macadamia Nut Muffins | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

These Banana Macadamia Nut Muffins are the answer to those languishing bananas you bought when you thought you were going to thought you were going to be healthy but ended up eating pizza instead. They’re easy to make, and they have legit banana flavor, along with some crunch from buttery macadamia nuts.

By the way, to make oat flour, I just whizzed up some porridge oats in the food processor until they were relatively fine. It saved me having to run to the store.

Banana Macadamia Nut Muffins | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I am who I am, and I’m not ready to change. At least something delicious could come from my failures. I hope you enjoy them.

Banana Macadamia nut muffins


12 Muffins

Prep time

20 minutes

Cooking time

30 minutes




  • 12 ounces (about 3) overripe bananas
  • 210 grams sugar
  • 220 grams plain flour
  • 35 grams oat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 113 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup chopped macadamia nuts


  • Preheat your oven to 350F (175C) and line your muffin tin with paper cups if its prone to sticking.
  • Add your bananas and sugar to a mixing bowl, and mash them together with a potato masher or a fork until smooth.
  • Add the flour, oat flour, baking soda, and salt to a large mixing bowl, and whisk gently to combine.
  • In another bowl or a measuring jug, whisk together the melted butter, eggs, and almond extract. Once that’s well combined, add it to the banana mixture and whisk all that together.
  • Now add your wet ingredients to your dry ingredients and gently mix it all together with a rubber spatula until just mixed. Finally, fold in your chopped nuts.
  • Divide your batter between your twelve muffin cups, and bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
  • Remove the muffins to a wire right right away to cool a bit. Serve warm.

Recipe from I’m Just Here for More Food by Alton Brown

Hawaiian Bread Pudding | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Hawaiian Bread Pudding

Hawaiian Bread Pudding | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

The rain is back. Summer might be over in Glasgow. It’s by far been the longest summer we’ve had since moving here, so I’m not complaining.

My favorite thing abut Scottish summer is that it never really gets that hot, so you can actually go outside and enjoy the sunshine instead of hiding away in the air conditioning like some sort of weird vampire. I also love the abundance wildflowers. Life cannot be held back in this city. Pretty little blooms are everywhere, brightening up even the grimmest of side streets and alleyways. 

Hawaiian Bread Pudding | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Now that we can turn the oven back on, we can get back to baking. But it’s still July, so maybe we don’t want to give up on summer flavors just yet. Enter Hawaiian Bread Pudding. Custard soaked bread is piled high with pineapple and macadamia nuts then drizzled with a coconut rum creme anglaise for a truly tropical flavor.

Bread pudding is a great dessert for beginning bakers. It’s pretty hard to screw up, and it’s very versatile. You can change up the flavors and add ins without much concern because there’s no leavening to worry about. It’s also a great way to use up leftover bread. Stale bread, eggs, and milk doesn’t sound that delicious, but the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts. 

Hawaiian Bread Pudding | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Hawaiian Bread Pudding might not be much of a stunner on the plate, but it’s certainly delicious, and as far as I’m concerned that’s all that matters.  

Hawaiian Bread Pudding
Serves 6
Hawaiian Bread Pudding is a simple dessert with a distinctly tropical feel.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
40 min
For the bread pudding
  1. 250 grams stale Hawaiian bread or brioche, cut into cubes
  2. 1 small can pineapple chunks
  3. 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
  4. 3 eggs
  5. 40 grams (1/4 cup) brown sugar
  6. 2 tablespoons coconut rum
  7. 125 ml (1/2 cup) heavy cream
  8. 500 ml (1 cup) whole milk
For the coconut rum creme anglaise
  1. 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  2. 2 egg yolks
  3. 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  4. 1/4 cup coconut rum
For the bread pudding
  1. Preheat oven to 350F or 175C. Lightly butter a 2 quart casserole or a nine inch pie pan.
  2. Add your dry bread to the pan. If it's not quite stale, you can leave it out on a wire rack for a while.
  3. Add the pineapple and macadamia nuts. Try and evenly disperse them around the pan. No need to stir, just let everything settle.
  4. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, rum, cream and milk. Pour this over your bread mixture and press the bread down into it to make sure everything is good and squidgy.
  5. Let the bread soak for 20 minutes before putting it in the oven.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes or until everything is puffy, lightly brown, and set.
  7. Let rest until it is just warm.
For the coconut rum creme anglaise
  1. While your bread pudding is soaking or baking, make your creme anglaise.
  2. Add the cream, egg yolks, and powdered sugar to a small sauce pan over medium heat.
  3. Stir constantly for about 8-10 minutes until the sauce thickens. It will coat the back of a wooden spoon when it's ready. Do not boil.
  4. Stir in the rum until everything is smooth.
  5. Pour it through a sieve into a container, then chill in the fridge until ready to use.
  6. Drizzle your cold sauce over your warm bread pudding and enjoy.
Adapted from How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/

Maple Macadamia Nut Malasada Bread Pudding | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Maple Macadamia Nut Malasada Bread Pudding

Disclosure: I received free samples from LorAnn oils in exchange for writing this post. All opinions are awesomely my own.

Maple Macadamia Nut Malasada Bread Pudding | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I bought you malasadas last week, and this week, you’re going to love me even more because I saved them, let them go stale, and made them into something extra awesome. I made you Maple Macadamia Nut Malasada Bread Pudding.

See, malasadas are completely awesome when fresh, but they don’t hold up for very long. Eating a day old malasada is just a little sad. Then I thought, if Paula Dean can make bread pudding out of Krispy Kremes, why can’t I make bread pudding with malasadas? And then when LorAnn Oils sent me a free sample of their maple flavoring oil, everything came together in my mind and then in my oven to create one outrageous dessert.

Maple Macadamia Nut Malasada Bread Pudding | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Stale malasadas get soaked in a creamy, maple custard, topped with macadamia nuts, baked in the oven until puffy, and then topped with a maple cream glaze that tastes exactly like the frosting on a maple bar. I recommend eating it warm. It’s part soft and squishy, part crunchy and chewy, creamy, sweet, and completely awesome.

And here’s the super awesome thing about that maple oil. The flavoring is intense, so you only have to use a tiny bit to flavor the whole dessert. That means one bottle will last forever, which means you don’t have to spend a ton of money. I also have some more flavors to try out, which means I get to create more craziness for you, and that’s basically my favorite thing.

Maple Macadamia Nut Malasada Bread Pudding | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

You know wasting food and wasting money are basically the same thing. If there’s a way to save it, and turn it into something just as good or better, you’ve got to go for it.  Maple Macadamia Nut Malasada Bread Bread Pudding is rad!

Maple Macadamia Nut Malasada Bread Pudding
Serves 8
Stale malasadas get transformed with a creamy, maple custard and a sweet maple glaze
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
  1. 5 leftover malasadas or plain doughnuts
  2. 1/4 cup honey roasted macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
  3. 3 eggs
  4. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  5. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  6. 2 cups whole milk
  7. 1/4 teaspoon maple flavoring oil
For the glaze
  1. 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  2. 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  3. 2 drops maple flavoring oil
  1. Chop your malasadas into bite size pieces and spread them out a 9-inch pie pan. Scatter your chopped macadamia nuts over the top.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, brown sugar, cream, milk, and maple oil. Whisk until combined.
  3. Pour your egg and milk mixture over your malasadas. Press the malasadas down into the custard to make sure everything gets good and soaked. Let it sit for about 20 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 350. After the soaking time is up, bake for 40 minutes until puffy and ever so slightly wobbly. Let it cool off for about 10 minutes. Serve warm with the maple glaze below.
For the glaze
  1. In a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar, cream, and maple oil. You want a relatively thick glaze. It should plop off your spoon, not pour.
Adapted from Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/
 Be sure to check out all my blogger pals who tested out their LorAnn oils and made you something awesome!

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Coffee Donuts from the First Year Blog

Pumpkin Spice Brownie Cookies from Flippin’ Delicious

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cake from The Frugal Foodie Mama

Sink Freshening Tabs in a Snap from Christina, Plain and Simple

Marshmallow Cookies with Princess Cake Frosting from Mom’s Busy Helper

White Chocolate Key Lime Shortbread from It Bakes Me Happy

Toasted Coconut Hot Chocolate from Delightful E Made

Pumpkin Spice Protein Smoothie from Nel’s Nook

Cinnamon Spice Cake with Caramel Frosting from Hezzi-D’s Book and Cooks

Almond Cake Cookies with Cinnamon Spice Glaze from Mom’s Test Kitchen

Soft Pumpkin Spice Cookies from Love Bakes Good Cakes

Princess Sand Tarts from Diary of a Recipe Collector

Baked Pumpkin Donuts with Cinnamon Glaze from Deliciously Sprinkled

Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse from Confessions of a Cooking Diva

Purple People Eater Popcorn Balls from Seven Alive

Green Apple High Hat Cupcakes from Pint Sized Baker

Pumpkin Pie Pudding Parfait from Fearlessly Creative Mamas

Mango Butter Cake from Clark’s Condensed

‎Pistachio Lemon cake from Self Proclaimed Foodie

Apple Crumb Coffee Cake from Healthy Delicious

Chocolate Chip Horchata Zucchini Bread from Plate to Gate

Key Lime Cookies from Cooking with Curls

Key Lime Margarita Cookies from Lori’s Culinary Adventures

Chocolate Irish Cream Bundt Cake from Lynsey Lou’s

Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies from Never Skip Dessert

‎Maple Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Salted Maple Caramel Sauce from the Paisley Barn

Pumpkin Cinnamon Cream Puffs from That’s my Home

Citrus Body Scrub from Melissa’s Cuisine

Pumpkin Spiced Tres Leches Cake from Flavor Mosaic

Salted Caramel Meringue Cookies from The Bitter Side of Sweet

Pumpkin Toffee from Eazy Peazy Meals

Movie Theater Chocolate from KC Bakes

Lactose Free Bacarian Cream Pudding from Travel Parent

Red Velvet Muffins from I Love my Disorganized Life

Maple Bacon Fruit Dip from Renee’s Kitchen Adventures

Maple Macadamia Nut Bread Pudding from Awesome on $20 a Day

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn Snacks from Grumpy’s Honey Bunch

Cranberry Cheesecake Bites from Lady Behind the Curtain

Pumpkin French Macarons from Sweet and Savory by Shinee

Caramelized Apple Spice Cake from The Freshman Cook

Goat Cheese Crostini with Macadamia Nuts & Honey | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Goat Cheese Crostini with Macadamia Nuts and Honey

Goat Cheese Crostini with Macadamia Nuts & Honey | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

When I looked at my trusty blog calendar and saw that tomorrow is National Macadamia Nut Day, I knew I had to do something to help you all celebrate yet another completely obscure, inconsequential food “holiday.” The last thing you want in life is to run out of reasons to celebrate.

Goat Cheese Crostini with Macadamia Nuts & Honey | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Mac nuts are kind of a big deal here, and I love them. There are a million different chocolate covered varieties and some savoury mac nut snack options as well. They pretty much have their own section in groceries stores, and I have distinct memories of getting free chocolate covered mac nuts whenever we flew Hawaiian Air when I would visit as a kid. They’re my go to nut, and I often swap them out for other, less awesome nuts in recipes. We’ve put them in all sorts of things including brie, bread pudding, and cookies.

This time, we’re making a simple yet elegant little appetizer. This is more construction than cooking, which means you can definitely make these while drinking a glass of wine. It’s a crispy crostini, topped with creamy herbed goat cheese, crunchy Maui Onion and Garlic Macadamia Nuts, and a drizzle of honey for a hint of sweetness. If you live somewhere where you can get your hands on macadamia nut honey, like a Hawaiian farmer’s market, I highly recommend it. It’s got just the slightest hint of bitterness which will really compliment this whole affair.

Goat Cheese Crostini with Macadamia Nuts & Honey | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Crispy, creamy, crunchy, sweet. What could be better? Get more macadamia nuts in your life. It’s gonna be awesome!

Goat Cheese Crostini with Macadamia Nuts and Honey
Serves 8
Crispy, creamy, crunchy, and sweet, Goat Cheese Crostini with Macadamia Nuts and Honey is a great party appetizer or fancy snack to make you feel all sophisticated and grown up.
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
  1. 1 bag crostini from your grocery store bakery
  2. 4 ounces herbed goat cheese
  3. 1 small bag maui onion and garlic macadamia nuts
  4. Honey
  1. Let's not overthink this. Start by lightly crushing your macadamia nuts with a rolling pin. Just leave them in the bag, and give them a good whack and press to make the pieces sightly smaller. Or chop them if you're feeling really ambitious.
  2. Spread some goat cheese onto each crostini. Sprinkle the mac nuts over the goat cheese. You may want to give them a gentle press to be sure they don't fall off. Drizzle slightly with honey.
  3. Serve to your friends who will think your brilliant. You don't have to tell them how easy it was.
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/

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