Cookie Palooza: Big Island Oatmeal Cookies

If you are dreaming of being somewhere warm during the colder months today’s Cookie Palooza cookie may help transport you there mentally. It’s an oatmeal cookie loaded with coconut, pineapples and macadamia nuts. All standard things you will find growing in Hawaii, hence the name, Big Island Oatmeal Cookies.

On my first attempt at making these cookies I used dried pineapple and I quickly learned that baking with dried pineapple is not like baking with dried cranberries or blueberries. The pineapple pieces dried out so instead of being chewy and adding flavor to the cookie they were a bit hard and had no flavor. On my second attempt I switched these things up and decided to use canned pineapple tidbits in pineapple juice that I drained. I also added in coconut extract to amp up the coconut flavor and opted not to chop the macadamia nuts. Also on my first attempt I chopped the macadamia nuts and they pretty much got decimated since they are so soft. When you bit into the cookie you really weren’t getting the crunch or taste of them.

So, with my tweaks, my cookies were perfectly loaded with pineapples, macadamia nuts and coconut in two forms. And the taste was exactly what I had hoped for. Not too sweet, the perfect amount of coconut flavor, a little crunch from the macadamia nuts and some added sweetness and taste from the pineapples. Also, because of the pineapples the cookies were incredibly moist. One of the reasons why it’s necessary to let them rest on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire to cool completely.

While these cookies may not have any of the standard flavors of the holiday season, they will be a welcome addition to your holiday baking menu. Yes, peppermint, sugar cookies, chocolate, etc. are delicious, but a little something different is good as well.

Big Island Oatmeal Cookies


3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup light brown sugar

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon coconut extract

1 1/2 cups flour

3 cups old-fashioned oats

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup macadamia nuts

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

1 cup pineapple tidbits in juice, drained


Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl cream together the butter and both sugars with a hand mixer on medium speed. Add the eggs, 1 at a time. Add the vanilla and coconut extract and beat until everything is well combine.

With the mixer on low add in the flour mixture.

Fold in the macadamia nuts, shredded coconut and pineapple tidbits.

Use a cookie scoop to drop the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets 2 inches apart. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-14 minutes, until the cookies are set, and the edges begin to brown.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container.

Recipe first appeared on Bead Yarn & Spatula.

Tropical Oatmeal Cookies

I came up with the idea for these cookies a while back and while I am sure there is a recipe somewhere floating around on the internet for them, I decided to take a chance and create my own recipe, albeit with some assistance from a few of my favorite cookie recipes. I really had no idea how they would come out, but, in the end they were delicious and incredibly soft and the add-ins of the white chocolate chips, shredded coconut, crushed pineapple and macadamia nuts complemented one another wonderfully.
To begin I mixed together the dry ingredients – flour, salt and baking soda – and set it aside and then moved on to creaming together butter, sugar and light brown sugar.
I then added in two eggs – one at a time.
And then the vanilla extract.
After adding in the flour mixture – I really did use flour for these cookies even though I don’t have a picture of it – I then added in quick oats.
And finally I folded in my “tropical ingredients:” white chocolate chips, sweetened shredded coconut, crushed pineapple and macadamia nuts.
After folding in all of the add-ins I used a cookie scoop to drop mounds of the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
I baked them in a 325 degrees preheated oven for 11 minutes and then let them cool on the cookie sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.


And while you may think these cookies would be on the sweeter side with the sugars, sweetened coconut and white chocolate chips, the measurements of each of the ingredients produced a cookie that was just the right amount of sweetness to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Tropical Oatmeal Cookies
Makes 36 cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 325 Degrees F.
2. Combine the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda & salt – and set aside
3. Cream together the butter and the sugars on medium speed until creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time and then add in the vanilla extract.
4. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and then the oats.
5. Fold in the white chocolate chips, shredded coconut, pineapple and macadamia nuts.
6. Drop rounded tablespoons (a small cookie scoop) of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 11 minutes.
7. Allow the cookies to cool 5 minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
8. Enjoy!
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