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’
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!