Category Archives: macadamia nuts

Island Dream Bars

These bars are plain looking and maybe with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and an orchid on the plate to dress them up they might look a little more tempting but one bite of the buttery cookie crust with a gooey rich topping full of macadamia nuts and coconut will convince you that these are heavenly island dream bars just the thing to bake at home after a memorable trip to Hawaii.

While driving to Punalu’u Black Sand beach to see the green sea turtles we passed acres of macadamia nut trees, ML Macadamia Orchards, I think it’s interesting that macadamia nuts were introduced to Hawaii from Australia in 1882. I just assumed macadamia nuts were always in Hawaii. I love the sign we saw in one of the orchards that said, Macnuts, I wonder if MacDonald’s knows about that! Anyway I love macnuts and I like to buy them raw and unsalted. They contain palmitoleic acid, which may aid in fat metabolism and possibly reduce stored body fat. I hope that bit of info makes you feel better about trying this recipe. This time I’m going to give you the recipe first and show you the turtle later.

Ingredients and Directions for Island Dream Bars
adapted from King Arthur Flour ‘ All-Purpose Baking Cookbook’

Cookie Layer

1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt


2 cups dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs, well beaten
1 cup medium shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 lime, zested

Preheat the oven to 300°F

To make the cookie layer

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the flour and salt, the mixture will be crumbly. Pat the crumbs into a foil lined and greased 9×13 pan. Bake the cookie layer for 10 minutes, while you prepare the topping. Turn the oven up to 325°F.

To make the topping

In a medium size bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, and baking powder. Stir in the eggs, mixing until smooth, then add the coconut, macadamia nuts and lime zest, mix until well combined. Transfer the topping mixture to the cookie crust in the pan and spread it out as evenly as possible. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if you like mix confectioners’ sugar with coconut flakes before sprinkling.
Cool and remove from pan, using aluminum foil, before cutting into bars.

Makes 2 dozen 2 & 1/2″ bars

I just have to include the green sea turtle because he is so cute!


Tropical Scones with Honey Butter Glaze

Welcome to a tropical paradise set in a rain forest in the little village of Volcano on the big island of Hawaii, please make yourself at home and enjoy some of my scones made with dried pineapple, papaya, macadamia nuts, coconut and a honey butter glaze.

Your room is just steps away from the reception but completely private and the only noises you’ll hear are from the birds!

Stroll through the garden, notice the giant fern leaves and the wild tropical plants. This is truly a unique lodge, a serene retreat and a wonderful place to wake up in the morning.

The room is so comfortable, what a pleasure to be here!

Please help yourself to a fresh papaya.

One morning I went to the farmer’s market in Hilo where I saw the most beautiful anthurium flowers, something we rarely see at home. I love the way they were displayed in old cans.

This flower arrangement was outside our room, we felt surrounded by beauty.

Of course I’ll give you the recipe for the scones, it will be my pleasure, they really are quite simple to make.

Ingredients and Directions for Tropical Scones
Adapted from ‘Simply Scones’ by Leslie Weiner and Barbara Albright

2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut unto small pieces
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 cup dried papaya, chopped in small pieces
1/2 cup dried pineapple, chopped in small pieces
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped in small pieces
1/2 cup shredded medium flake unsweetened coconut
3 ounces white chocolate, chopped in small pieces

I had to show you this bowl that I found at the farmer’s market in Hilo, Isn’t it beautiful?

Preheat the oven to 375°F

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or by hand. In a small bowl, stir together the milk, egg, vanilla and coconut extracts. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the papaya, pineapple, macadamia nuts, coconut and white chocolate until evenly distributed.

Remove the dough from the bowl, place on the counter and with lightly floured hands pat into a 8X8 square. With a serrated knife cut into 2″ squares and then triangles, to get the mini scones.

I use these fabric cutting mats for easy accuracy when cutting dough or cake or whatever you like. They come in small and large sizes.

Bake the scones for 14-16 minutes or until the bottom looks brown. They don’t really brown very much on top. Remove from the oven and brush or drizzle with glaze. Cool on the baking sheet on a rack. Serve warm or cool completely and store in an airtight container. These scones freeze well.

Ingredients and Directions for Honey Butter Glaze
adapted from Martha Stewart ‘Living’

2/3 cup honey
1/3 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bring honey and butter to a boil in a small saucepan, take off the heat, stir and add the vanilla extract. Let cool for 1 minute. Brush or drizzle the scones with the glaze as they come out of the oven. If you brush the scones, wait 15 minutes and brush on more glaze. I brushed and drizzled! This recipe makes more glaze than you will need for this recipe, store the rest in the refrigerator and use for toast.

Makes 32 mini scones

Links: Volcano Village Lodge and Hilo Farmers Market

Macadamia Butter Cookies with Dried Cranberries

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The month of December is flying by and I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t made any Christmas cookies. Last night I discovered macadamia nuts in the pantry and the rest is history. The first few times I made these cookies I followed the exact recipe which is on the Cooking Light website. Then I started thinking, wouldn’t these cookies be better with a tad more macadamia nut butter and some chopped macadamia nuts. Now they are richer and more delicious but probably borderline medium-low fat at best. These make great cookie gifts for the holidays and you can tell your friends they came from Cooking Light(wink!)

2 cups macadamia nuts for the nut butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup sweetened dried cranberries

1 cup chopped macadamia nuts

2 tablespoons granulated sugar, to sprinkle on top

1. Place nuts in a food processor and process until smooth, a couple of minutes and be sure to scrape down sides of bowl a few times. Combine macadamia nut butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in bowl of standing mixer and beat at medium speed until smooth. Add vanilla and egg; beat well.

2. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt and nutmeg, stir with a whisk.Add flour mixture to sugar mixture and beat until combined. Stir in chopped nuts and cranberries. Chill for 10 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 375°. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpats.

4. Use small ice cream scoop to scoop out small balls of dough and place evenly on cookie sheets. Sprinkle sugar on top of balls and gently press the top of each cookie with a fork. Dip the fork in water and press top of cookie again to form a crisscross pattern.

5. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. I can fit 2 cookie sheets on one rack in my oven but baking 1 sheet at a time in the center of the oven is preferable to having to rotate cookie sheets from top to bottom of oven for even browning. Cool a few minutes, remove cookies from pan and continue cooling on wire rack. Repeat procedure with remaining cookies. Yields 42 large cookies.