March 23, 2009

island in the sun

This lingering 30-degree weather makes me wish I lived in a tropical climate. Such warmth. Year-round warmth.


I say that now, but as someone who's known me for 25 years, I'm fairly certain that I'd find something to gripe about. That's just how I roll.

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Oh! Nuts, a fabulous company offering everything from nuts (duh) to dried fruit to coffee and more. They were kind enough to send me some of their goods to sample and evaluate. I received some cherry rock candy and ice cream sundae malted milk balls, both of which made fantastic noshes. They also sent some cinnamon almonds (they know me without even knowing me!), dried apple slices (more on these items later), and macadamia nuts.


The macadamias are spectacular. First of all, they're massive. Gigantic. Gargantuan. Further, they're already shelled, salted, and roasted, so the work has already been done--all you have to do is chew!

I wanted to use a few of them in a dessert and, feeling a bit despondent about this weather, I had as close to an epiphany as I ever come--a tropical version of Hello Dollies. Instead of walnuts or pecans, I used the macadamias, and instead of chocolate chips, I went with white chocolate (I'm not sure what's island-like about white chocolate, but let's just go with it, okey-dokey?). I kept the coconut and tossed in some dried banana too, just to carry on with the tropical theme.


Unsurprisingly, they're delightful bars. Crunchy, salty, sweet, chocolate-ridden--could one ask for more?

Yes, one could. One could ask for a little warmth.

Aloha Dollies
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 cup dried banana pieces
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Combine the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs and place in a 8x8" baking dish, patting the mixture down evenly with your hands. Sprinkle on the white chocolate chips, coconut, macadamia nuts, and banana pieces on top of the crumb mixture. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the entire mixture.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is light brown. Let cool completely before slicing.

88 comments:

Robin Sue said...

Ooh these sound like majic cookie bars but so much more Aloha! Love the banana bits in there. Something to really go bananas for. Ba-dum-bump!

Mary said...

Oh these sound delicious! The banana bits sound like a fantastic addition. (And I love macadamia nuts!)

kat said...

Sounds like you got some good stuff in that package!

lisaiscooking said...

What a great combination, and it does sound very islandy. Those macadamias look incredible!

Amy said...

Mmmm, yum!The dried apples, I would be interested in those! I make dried Schnitz pies and am going to try fried pies next week...

LilSis said...

Those look awesome! I adore macadamia nuts, but don't indulge too often. I could eat an entire jar in one sitting.

Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer said...

These look incredible!! Anything with macadamia nuts is a winner!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

What a fabulous way to put some sunshine into your day. Those nuts look wonderful and the bars are a perfect way to showcase them. Yum!

Lynda said...

Those look so decadent and addictive!I so want one, right now!
Great idea to use the macadamia nuts.
Hope you get that warm weather soon!

Dawn said...

Yes! Tropical! Love love love these. Perfect for my ever-lasting coconut kick.

Jessica said...

I'm dying for a little bit of tropical weather too! The name is so cute and I bet that they taste fantastic. Coconut and white chocolate is such a great combination and I bet that the saltiness of the macadamia nuts is delicious with all of that sweetness.

Culinary Wannabe said...

I wish I was somewhere tropical too - but I'm pretty sure I would complain about not getting to eat beauties like this all the time because I had to actually get in my bathing suit everyday! :)

Bunny said...

I don't know why but i think white chocolate is very tropical along with the nuts (wow) and the othe obviously aloha ingredients. These are perfect Grace!

Jeena said...

That is just the kind of freebie I would love to get! This looks lovely Grace....there is something so tasty about using macadamia nuts in sweets mmmmmmmmmmmm.

foodhoe said...

yes even us californians wish it were warmer like the tropics... looks delicious I love all of the ingredients!

Half Baked said...

Yes this time of year I'm very happy to live in Alabama, not so much in Aug. however;-P Anyway what an awesome giveaway! Your bars look fantastic! great flavor combo!

eatme_delicious said...

YUM!! Excellent modification of the hello dolly bars!!

LyB said...

Don't you worry, the warm weather is coming, and then we'll have to "Beat the Heat"... Couldn't help it. :) Fantastic looking bars.

Deborah said...

Well, we were near 80 here on Saturday, only to get snow today!! But I could go for one of these bars - I love macadamias!

Helene said...

I wish I lived all year long in warm weather. Great treat, looks so good.

Marjie said...

I keep telling myself that spring is coming. I'm also telling myself that I'd like one of your island bars about now.

Laura said...

As usual, you make me wish I liked bananas. :)

My husband has been out of town--I am dying to get caught up on Dollhouse ever since you left that comment at my site!

tamilyn said...

It is cool and rainy here today-we need the rain for the farmers, but kind of depressing. Those bars would make the rain not bother me, well, not as much. Look delish!

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

Love the name and they look so very good too. Great idea.

Sara said...

My husband loves traditional hello dolly bars, I bet he'd love these too. They sound fabulous!

The Blonde Duck said...

Sweet wounded wuffles. All I have to do is swap out the chocolate for reg grapham crackers (allergic!) and add some caramel...and I'm in heaven!

Sophie said...

MMMMM...those look so delicious!! Yum Yum!!

Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

What a fabulous combination! I want one right now. I just finished my dinner and there is no dessert in the house! Wanna run a few over??? LOL

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

Fantastic! I'm feeling tropical already. OK perhaps it might be because it's still warm here but these do look delicious!

Bridgett said...

Oh my, did you say salty and sweet? My favorite combo. These look decadent!

Katie said...

What white chocolate is tropical, atleast it goes in most tropical baked goods so same thing right! Anyway these look fantastic and perfect for the warm weather that needs to come now!

Sophie said...

I looove macadamias, they always remind me of Hawaii! My father in law loves macadamias, I'm going to make these for him for father's day :).

Maryann said...

Macadamias are one of my favorites :)

Shelly said...

Macadamia nuts...yum! These look awesome!

Char said...

You had me at Aloha!

Love, love, love Coconut and macadamia nuts...must try!

Kathryn said...

Grace.... As I am just down the road a bit from you, I SO second your opinion about this blasted weather! I think that these bars are the perfect answer though! Here's hoping that we get some nice weather to stick around for awhile!

unconfidentialcook said...

I'm going to make some Dollies immediately with Chocolate Grahams--why didn't I think of that? Brilliant, and thank you!

MaryBeth said...

Oh good so it is not just me who has simply had enough of the freaking cold weather...

noble pig said...

Macs are my favorite. So, so nice gracie.

Elyse said...

What a fabulous way to will the weather to get warmer! I love a good tropical recipe. These bars look totally fantastic. A perfect way to use those macadamia nuts!

Hornsfan said...

These look so terrific! They'd definitely make me feel like a tropical island visit :)

Amanda said...

You and me both, sistah. Even with the sunshine, it's just. so. cold. Ugh.

And I'm with you--it's time to start eating stuff that puts one in the mind of warmer weather until it finally arrives. I'm so sick of root vegetables. Forget local, I'm getting imported lettuce and zucchini, baby!

Macadamias are a real pleasure snack in my world... sooooo delicious! This recipe looks like a great use of them, too. Yummy!

Ricardo said...

beautiful cookie bars. really nice to see. :D

Shirley said...

Wow...these have everything that's good to eat. Please stop by. I've left you a little award.

Maria said...

The bars look amazing. I am really craving a sweet treat now!

dessertobsessed said...

these bars are awesome! and those ice-cream malts sound pretty good too!

giz said...

You made good use of your goodies and the bars - out of control. I'm getting fatter just looking at them.

Lori said...

Indeed, lets just go with that white chocolatey yumminess. Since were pretending to be tropical and all, why not?

If you lived on that tropical island, you would probably complaining about those damn hurricanes! Good Gats! Yes I , too have had enough of this NY cold. So wanting Spring!

Heather said...

ohhh, those sound so good. you crack me up ;) i'd probably find something to gripe about with perfect weather, too ;)

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

Love the tropical ingredients!

Kendra said...

How fabulous!

Jescel said...

those are gorgeous macadamias! how funny that my latest post is with macadamia too (more classic though, less imaginative than yours :o)... come to Florida, then you'll be hot the whole year round - in more ways than one *wink* :oD

Susan said...

I may have to stop reading your blog because everyday it's something else that I love and absolutely have to make...and consume immediately. I'm working on polishing off a batch of pecan pie muffins. These will be next!

inadobo said...

I swear... I'll eat anything with macadamia in it and these look just... wow.

Donna said...

These look tremendously delicious!! Love the tropical flavors.. Would love one with a pina colada or two.

Jeanne said...

Macadamias? Chocolate? A tropical island? You're playing my song!!

ovenhaven said...

Oh my, that's a tropical love right there! Bananas and chocolate and coconut? You're after my heart.

kellypea said...

Oh jeez. Sort of like -- I dunno. Heaven on Earth? I could sink my teeth into a piece about now. Oh Nuts sent me several of their products during the holidays and I've still got smidgens left...

Fresh Mommy said...

Oh Grace, this sounds like tropical heaven!! Macadamia, coconut and white chocolate!! Wow, I'm slobbering all over my keypad!!

:)
~Tabitha~

freshmommyblog.com

Vandana Rajesh said...

This looks so good. So rich and nice. A comfort food must say

OhioMom said...

Tropical magic cookie bars, whats not to like :)

Albany Jane said...

Take me to the tropics, darling. Mention macadamias and I'm already there!

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

I love macadamia nuts! So unfortunate how fatty they are....I could eat a giant pile.

Ingrid said...

Oh, I think I'd like your aloha dollies much better than the original!

I love that saying, "that's how I roll"! When my children ask me why, that's what I tell 'em. LOL! Of course that gets the eyes rollin'!
~ingrid

Jenna (KaTom) said...

Very creative and looks delish! It's raining in Tennessee. Makes me sleepy. Too bad I can't nap at my desk. Hmmm.

Sandie said...

Hmmm...macadamia nuts, Aloha Dollies or warmth? I'm going to be a hog and ask for all 3! The good news is, I'm willing to share :)

Mrs. L said...

Who needs a warm climate? I'd rather be cuddled up on the couch with a fire in the fireplace eating these!

jesse said...

Hahahah, I HAAAATE warm climates! I'm loving the cold weather here in Oxford. Aaanyways, those bars... oh man, they're beautiful and they're calling out to me!!!

Olivia said...

The banana pieces looks really tastey!

Lisa said...

You are so clever! Aren't macadamia nuts great? I've been cooking with them and thinking of warm sunshine myself this past week...

Cee Tindall said...

Sending warm thoughts from the desert south west!

beverlyz said...

Oh, I can just feel my teeth sinking into this awesome dessert! Add a cup of coffee and enjoy heaven!

Joycee said...

Gald I found your blog, I spent the afternoon copying recipes! You have some great ones. Come visit GrannyMountain!

Nazarina A said...

Grace,
I know all about that whole weather thing!
On the other hand these macadamia dollies will just make everything right! Just looking at them, makes me warm all over!

Mermaid Sweets said...

Great blog - and these look great. Just hosted a caribbean themed dinner party, if only I had found these. Next time!

Nurit "1 family. friendly. food." said...

This looks great.

Donna-FFW said...

Grace- You won my giveaway, please contact me with your mailing info so I can get it out to you..

KJ said...

Ooooh macadamias, they're Australian just like me. Delicious!!

burpandslurp said...

WOW! all my favorite stuff in one bar! this is AMZING!send me to the tropics already!

Sophie said...

Wow, this looks so yummie :)!!! MMMMMM....

Selba said...

Looks so wonderful!!!

Emily said...

Yum! These look killer!

Krysta said...

yes please!

Peabody said...

Aloha is right...that is what my mouth is saying. These look yummy.

Karen Brown Letarte said...

Yum, yum!!! Aloha, here I come!

Kevin said...

Those look so good!

Jaime said...

i've seen similar bars before..but never w/dried banana bits! interesting :)

Justin Schwartz said...

holy cow, that looks amazing...