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Big Island Cookies

These Big Island Cookies are thick, chewy and packed full of delicious flavors. Think of them as kitchen sink cookies Hawaiian style, filled to the brim with macadamia nut, chocolate, coconut, rolled oats, and coffee.

A stack of Big Island Cookies on a plateIf you have been following along for a bit, you know I love Hawaii. Ryan and I were lucky to vacation there a few times, and I worked on Oahu for a few months as well. During one of our many trips, we brought home a bag of delicious cookies filled with chocolate chips, macadamia nut, coffee, coconut, and oats. I’ve been meaning to recreate those cookies ever since.

Two Big Island Cookies on a grey table top, with two more stacked on a plate in the background next to a glass of milkThese Big Island Cookies are like kitchen sink cookies Hawaiian style. They have all the important flavors one would associate with Hawaii like macadamia nut, coffee and coconut. These cookies are thick and chewy, hearty and delicious. And you don’t have to travel all the way to Hawaii to enjoy them. I’m all about bringing paradise home!

Big Island Cookie dough balls lined up on a baking sheet

How to Make Big Island Cookies

I built the base of these cookies from my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies with a few alterations. A healthy dose of coffee is added to the flour mixture.The dry ingredients for Big Island Cookies in a small mixing bowl

What type of coffee can I use in cookie dough? I tested this recipe using one Nespresso pod, and one tablespoon of regular ground coffee. I did not test instant espresso powder but you will need to increase the quantity to get the same flavor intensity if using instant espresso powder. My favorite is espresso ground from the Nespresso pod, the ground is so fine that it blends into the cookie dough pretty much completely; it will also make the dough darker. With the regular ground coffee, you can see and taste the granules in the cookies; the cookies are still good though.

Macadamia nut, chocolate chips, coconut and rolled oats in a mixing bowlThe cookie filling of macadamia nut, chocolate chip, rolled oats and coconut is mixed together in a small mixing bowl. I used roasted unsalted macadamia nuts. You can use raw macadamia nuts as well if that is the only one available. But make sure to roast them in a skillet until toasty and fragrant for better flavor.

Brown sugar and melted butter beaten together in a stand mixer bowlEgg and vanilla are added to the butter sugar mixture and beaten in a stand mixer bowlBrown sugar is mixed with melted butter until light in color. Then eggs and vanilla are added and beaten until fluffy.

What makes these cookies chewy? Using all brown sugar gives the cookies their chewiness. If you want less chewy cookies, you can substitute some of the brown sugar with granulated sugar.

Flour is added to the liquid ingredients in a stand mixer bowlThe flour mixture is then stirred into the liquid mixture to form a cookie dough. Then the filling is added and stirred until everything is evenly distributed. You want to get all the delicious flavors in each bite of cookie.

The cookie filling is added to the cookie doughThese Big Island Cookies bake up very thick and chewy. Sometimes they don’t spread evenly in the oven, especially if yours have hot spots and cold spots like mine do. Although you don’t absolutely have to, but IF you want to make sure they spread evenly, use the pan banging method half way through baking and while rotating the baking sheet.

More Chewy & Hearty Cookies

A stack of Big Island Cookies on a plateIf you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it and don’t forget to tag me @wildwildwhisk on Instagram. I’d love to see what’s cooking up in your kitchen. Cheers!

A stack of Big Island Cookies on a plate

Big Island Cookies

These Big Island Cookies are thick, chewy and packed full of delicious flavors. Think of them as kitchen sink cookies Hawaiian style, filled to the brim with macadamia nut, chocolate, coconut, rolled oats, and coffee.
5 from 2 votes
Print Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Hawaiian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 17 cookies
Calories: 382kcal
Author: Trang


  • 8 ounce unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground coffee or espresso ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup roasted unsalted macadamia nut (coarsely chopped)
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chip
  • 1/2 cup coconut flake
  • 1/2 cup rolled oat


  • Melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat, set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.
  • In the mean time, combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and coffee in a medium mixing bowl, whisk to distribute evenly, set aside.
  • In a small mixing bowl, add macadamia nut, chocolate chip, coconut flake and rolled oat, mix evenly and set aside.
  • In a stand mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, combined cooled butter with sugar, stir together and gradually increase speed to medium, beat for 1 - 2 minutes until light in color. Add egg, and vanilla extract, beat for another minute until combined and fluffy.
  • Slowly add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture and stir until incorporated. Stop the mixer to scrape down the side of the bowl. Add the nut and chocolate chip mixture, stir until evenly distributed.
  • Divide the dough using a large ice cream scoop and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Place pre-portioned cookie dough on a parchment paper line baking sheet, 2" apart. Bake for 14-15 minutes. Half way through baking, open the oven door and bang the baking sheet against the oven rack a few times, rotate the baking sheet and bang against the oven rack a few more times. Place the baking sheet back into the oven and continue baking until finished.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


  • These cookies will bake up very thick and chewy. Banging the baking sheet will help the cookies spread evenly, but won’t flatten them too much.
  • If using raw macadamia nuts, toast them in a skillet over medium heat until fragrant and lightly brown.
  • The finer the coffee ground, the less you’ll be able to feel the granules between your teeth. But regular ground coffee can be used if espresso ground is not available.


Serving: 79g | Calories: 382kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @WildWildWhisk or tag #WildWildWhisk!

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  1. A
    September 23, 2019 /

    Does this really call for 2 sticks of butter? This is not light in color and looks like too much butter.

    • Trang
      September 23, 2019 /

      Yes, 8 oz is two sticks. You can see from the process shots what it should look like when you beat it long enough, pretty fluffy and a much lighter brown compared to what you start with. They are fairly big cookies if you are worried that 2 sticks of butter might be more than usual for a batch of 17 cookies. Everyone loved these and not a complaint of them being too buttery 😉 I hope you try them!

  2. Queene
    April 8, 2019 /

    5 stars
    Specifically ran out to buy all the ingredients that weren’t in my pantry just to bake these bad boys. Was NOT disappointed! A million thanks for sharing your wonderful recipe and one that will stay in my repertoire forever! Thanks again!

    • Trang
      April 8, 2019 /

      Yay! I’m so glad you liked them. Thank you for leaving your feedback. 🙂

  3. March 8, 2019 /

    These cookies look amazing!! Gotta try!!

  4. March 7, 2019 /

    5 stars
    I do love a chunky, chewy cookie and I love the mix of ingredients in these. A little piece of Hawaii at home

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