“Hawaiian Vacation” Coconut Macadamia Nut Bars


This summer we took our vacation in Hawaii. Our wonderful friends, Herb and Heidi, invited us to join their family for a week of fun on the North shore of Kauaii, in Princeville, just south of Hanalai Bay.

I am a huge George Clooney fan, so it was fun to stay right next to Hanalai Bay, where many of the scenes in The Descendants were filmed. I could almost picture George going for his morning run along the beach…

Hanalai Bay, Kauai

The entire island of Kauai is filled with natural wonders. We drove a jeep deep into the forest to see remote waterfalls, hiked on the Napali coast, snorkeled, boogie-boarded, and spent an entire day swimming at Lumaha’i, the beach made famous in the movie, South Pacific. Possibly the coolest thing we did on this trip was to take a one-hour, open-door helicopter ride over the entire island. What a great way to see the natural beauty of Hawaii’s garden island!

An amazing trip around the island with Jack Harter Helicopter Tours.

Just before we hopped into the helicopter, Marvin and I split a Tropical Mac-Nut Bar from Dizzy Lizzy’s – a local baking company on Kauai. It was AMAZING. That night I went back to the house and did my best to recreate the bar based on the ingredients listed on the back of the package. My first attempt was good – the bars were gone in about 10 minutes – but after making these again with a few adjustments at home, I believe I have perfected my Hawaiian Coconut Macadamia Nut Bars. Not exactly like the Dizzy Lizzy’s bar – mine has more chocolate, of course – but they are just as scrumptious in their own way.

So what I would suggest is to bake a batch, and enjoy a few bars while sipping a Mai Tai and watching The Descendants. George Clooney, coconut, macadamia nuts and chocolate –  it’s almost like a vacation. 🙂 Aloha!

Coconut Macadamia Nut Bars
Recipe Type: Dessert, Bar Cookie
Author: A Passionate Plate
Serves: 1 – 9″ x 13″ pan of bar cookies
Aloha! I created these rich and delicious bar cookies after tasting something similar while on vacation in Kauai. These rich, chocolatey, coconut, macadamia nut bars will transport you to the tropics… it’s almost like being on vacation! If macadamia nuts are not available or are too expensive, substitute almonds in this recipe.
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter (12 Tbsp.)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 2 cups sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup chopped roasted macadamia nuts
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Prepare a 9″ x 13″ glass pan by buttering it or spraying well with non-stick spray.
  3. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. In an electric mixer on medium speed, combine the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
  5. Slow down the mixer and add the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla.
  6. Gradually add the flour mixture to the batter just until combined.
  7. Spread half of the batter into the pan.
  8. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the top of the batter layer.
  9. Stir the coconut and macadamia nuts into the remaining batter, then spread it over the chocolate chips.
  10. Bake for 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown. The bars may still be slightly soft in the center, but they will set up as they cool.
  11. Allow the bars to cool completely, then cut into rectangles and serve.


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  3. hawaiiman says:

    OMG those bars are awesome! Thanks so much for sharing that recipe 🙂

  4. I always come home with so many of those choc-covered nuts, not to mention all that I eat there. It never dawned on me to bake with them and make them taste like the candies we buy there. This is awesome and now I miss Hawaii!

    • MaryMiller says:

      Cathy, I know what you mean! There is something about those cheap boxes of chocolate covered macadamia nuts from the ABC store that I just can’t resist. We ate them on the plane coming home!

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