Honolulu Cookie Company Copycat Recipe


The Honolulu Cookie Company has been baking macadamia nut shortbread cookies in the shape of pineapples since 1998. I’ve been baking macadamia nut shortbread cookies in the shape of pineapples since, um, this week.This macadamia nut shortbread cookie tastes just like the pineapple shaped version made famous by the Honolulu Cookie Company!

I stockpile recipe and decorating ideas for whisk + wander [ALL. THE. TIME.] The trouble is, I don’t do it in a very organized fashion. I have a cute notebook on my desk that I use when I get inspired while working, I jot notes on my phone when I’m out-n-about, I rip pages from magazines and put ’em, oh jeez, where did I put those? [shrug] Let’s just say I have lots of ideas around here [and in my brain], and that means that sometimes a gem gets forgotten. This Honolulu Cookie Company copycat recipe is one that I swore I’d try the minute I returned from Maui [almost 2 years ago]. Whoops.

This macadamia nut shortbread cookie tastes just like the pineapple shaped version made famous by the Honolulu Cookie Company!

This macadamia nut shortbread cookie tastes just like the pineapple shaped version made famous by the Honolulu Cookie Company!

You don’t usually see egg and vanilla in a shortbread recipe, but I think it may be the vanilla that makes these cookies special. And the egg helps to bind a very VERY dry crumbly dough. They may not be perfect, but these cookies taste just like I remember. Made with 100% Hawaiian grown Macadamia nuts, organic butter and dipped in Guittard White Chocolate [the same chocolate Honolulu Cookie Co. uses, of course] these little pineapples are chock full of island flavor. In lieu of fruit bits, coffee beans or coconut I finished mine with a sprinkle of gold edible glitter. The color of pineapples in the sunshine!

This macadamia nut shortbread cookie tastes just like the pineapple shaped version made famous by the Honolulu Cookie Company!

This macadamia nut shortbread cookie tastes just like the pineapple shaped version made famous by the Honolulu Cookie Company!

Now that I have a solid recipe for these famous cutouts, I’ll try adding the fruit and coffee beans. And dip a few in milk chocolate. And top some with coconut shavings… I’d better jot these ideas down somewhere {reaching for my notebook} *wink*

Tag your Honolulu Cookie Company cookie photos with #whiskwander on Instagram!


1 vote


Macademia Nut Shortbread Cookies

Makes 3-4 dozen small cookies


  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted macadamia nuts, chopped fine
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut in pieces
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Blend flour, sugar and salt in food processor. Add butter and process until coarse meal forms.
  2. Add egg and vanilla and process until just blended. Transfer to bowl. Gently mix in nuts. Mixture will look dry and crumbly (typical of shortbread dough). Divide in 1/2 and press together into solid discs. Wrap each disc in cling wrap.
  3. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 325°
  5. Let dough soften 10 minutes. Roll between parchment paper 1/4-inch thick. Cut using pineapple cookie cutter and transfer to parchment lined baking sheets. Chill cookies for a bit before baking. Bake until edges begin to turn golden brown, about 18 minutes.
  6. Let cool on baking sheet for a minute or two then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
  7. When completely cool, dip bottom of pineapples in white chocolate candy coating or chocolate. Drag back of cookie lightly on edge of bowl to eliminate extra coating. Lay to dry on waxed paper.


OPTIONAL: Sprinkle with a few decorations (edible gold glitter, toasted coconut etc.)

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  1. lokness @ The Missing Lokness 2016-07-19 at 3:22 pm

    My goodness! I love Honolulu Cookie Company! Once I saw your pics on foodgawker, i have to check these cookies out immediately. although i have never been to hawaii, i tried their cookies in their vegas store. They were so amazing that i crave them all the time! unfortunately, they don’t really have stores in Los Angeles and their online shipping is pretty pricey. I am so thrilled to find your recipe. I can’t wait to try them out. Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

    1. Jes Lahay 2016-07-19 at 5:59 pm

      Lokness, I love that this recipe caught your eye! If (when) you try these let me know what you think. I was working from memory when I put these together but my family assured me that they have the taste and texture of the originals. I can’t wait to hear how yours turn out! Keep me posted.

  2. charles 2016-09-24 at 1:08 am

    these look amazing! just as good,if not, better than the real thing

    1. Jes Lahay 2016-10-08 at 11:17 pm

      Thanks Charles!

  3. Patricia Hammond 2016-10-27 at 4:18 pm

    HELP!! I just made the recipe for the Macademia Nut Shortbread Cookies. Something has gone wrong. I think I was confused about the amount of butter. It calls for 1 cup chilled butter, cut in pieces. Okay, do you mean 2 sticks of butter or an actual 1 cup measuring cup. My dough is awfully greasy.. HELP ASAP!!!!! THANKS

    1. Jes Lahay 2016-10-29 at 8:24 pm

      Hi Patricia, 2 sticks of butter equals 1 cup. So, it shouldn’t matter if you use 2 sticks or take the time to measure the butter using a measuring cup. Typically shortbread is a 2:1 ratio of flour to butter. This recipe uses a bit more flour to compensate for the oil in the Macadamia nuts, but it will still be very buttery. My advice would be to work with the dough quickly so the butter doesn’t have time to melt. If it gets warm it might feel greasy. And don’t forget to chill the dough for at least 2 hours before rolling and cutting. You can also put the rolled dough back in the fridge if it starts to soften. Keeping the dough chilled will keep the butter firm. I hope this helps. Let me know if you’re still having trouble and I’ll re-test the recipe to see if I can add more hints for success.

  4. June Gibbons 2016-12-16 at 8:01 pm

    I can’t wait to try these cookies out! They’re adorable!

    1. Jes Lahay 2016-12-16 at 11:44 pm

      Thanks June! I hope you love them as much as I do. 🙂

  5. Barb 2017-02-10 at 2:59 pm

    Has anyone tackled the double chocolate HBC cookies?

    1. Jes Lahay 2017-02-15 at 10:24 pm

      Hi Barb, I haven’t yet, but you’ve inspired me to give it a try! I’d like to try the Kona coffee one, too.

  6. Sue fields 2017-02-15 at 6:56 pm

    When dipping shortbread cookies in melted chocolate, do you add anything to the chocolate?

    1. Jes Lahay 2017-02-15 at 10:21 pm

      Hi Sue, I don’t. I typically use Ghirardelli premium baking chips. I melt them on low heat in a glass measuring cup by using the defrost feature on the microwave. As a rule, chocolate chips are not pure chocolate. Because they already include other ingredients they do not need to be tempered and can simply be melted. If your chocolate starts to set while dipping, just pop it in the microwave for a bit and give it a stir. Good quality chocolate chips are pretty durable. You should be able to re-melt a few times without worry. 🙂

  7. Jenna 2017-03-22 at 6:57 pm

    Running low on my 3 month supply gift of these my husband got me for Christmas. Now that I can’t live without them I can’t wait to try this recipe!!

    1. Jes Lahay 2017-03-22 at 9:05 pm

      Wow. Awesome gift! #jealous My family loved these, but I’d definitely like to know what you think. It sounds like you’re the expert! Keep me posted Jenna.

  8. Karen 2017-04-14 at 11:23 am

    This recipe looks amazing. Question – did you use roasted or unroased nuts? Thanks!

    1. Jes Lahay 2017-04-14 at 11:41 am

      Hi Karen, I use roasted (lightly salted or unsalted if I can find ’em) Great catch. I’ll update the recipe!

  9. Karen 2017-04-14 at 1:02 pm

    Thanks! Sorry one last question – I don’t have a food processor. I do have an electric hand mixer and a vitamix. Do you think I should mix the dough with the hand mixer, vitamix or by hand?
    My family just came back from Hawaii and we were obsessed with these cookies! Thanks so much.

    1. Jes Lahay 2017-04-14 at 7:55 pm

      No worries Karen. Do you have a pastry blender like this? http://amzn.to/2p44cUg I would whisk together the dry ingredients and then use the pastry blender and your fingers to “cut in” the butter much like you would when making a pie crust. I worry that a hand mixer would just push the butter around and the Vitamix might get “gunked” up around the blades. My family is obsessed with these cookies too! I think it might be time for me to make another batch OR go back to Maui. 😉


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