Thursday, April 16, 2009

Aloha Chip Cookies!

A few nights ago my long-time friend Terra knocked on the door. Since she lives in frigid North Dakota I was pretty surprised to see her. And, I was even MORE surprised with the treats she was delivering: a perfectly ripe Dole pineapple (YUM!) and chocolate covered macadamia nuts. In North Dakota???

No, you see a few days earlier Terra and her Air Force pilot husband caught a plane to Hawaii and, on the way home, got dropped of at the base nearest to our town. Her delivery was coming straight from the Islands. I did hold back my covetous feelings about being on a beach in Hawaii, but it wasn't easy. It was really fun visiting with her AND the treats were an added bonus.

I started thinking that Nate and I probably wouldn't (um, and shouldn't) eat all of those chocolate covered macadamia nuts. So, when I was making chocolate chip cookies the next evening with a recipe I don't use all that often, but I really SHOULD, (it's a good one!) I decided to get a little creative with the help of Terra's Hawaiian treats.

And, so, instead of plain old chocolate chip cookies, here's a great recipe for Aloha Chip Cookies. (But if you're not in the 'Aloha spirit' or just don't have your own box of Mauna Loa's laying around, leave out the coconut and replace the nuts/chocolate combination with chocolate chips!)

2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
¾ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
1 (3.4 oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup angel flake coconut
1 cup chocolate covered macadamia nuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt, set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the coconut and chopped nuts and chocolate. Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 12-14 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown.