Coconut Macadamia Nut Bars

Summertime memory: Our 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…

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!

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


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 oz butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup chopped roasted macadamia nuts


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • Prepare a 9″ x 13″ glass pan by buttering it or spraying well with non-stick spray.
  • Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • In an electric mixer on medium speed, combine the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
  • Slow down the mixer and add the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla.
  • Gradually add the flour mixture to the batter just until combined.
  • Spread half of the batter into the pan.
  • Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the top of the batter layer.
  • Stir the coconut and macadamia nuts into the remaining batter, then spread it over the chocolate chips.
  • 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.
  • Allow the bars to cool completely, then cut into rectangles and serve.
Course: Dessert
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