The baked cookies are soft and cake-like (not hard and crispy) and taste somewhat like macaroons but with the additional flavor and texture of pineapple and maraschino cherries.
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup butter (softened by standing at room temperature or microwaving it slightly)
- 1 1/2 oz. regular cream cheese (softened by standing at room temperature)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1.2 cup crushed pineapple packed (measure this amount only after pineapple has been squeezed rigorously through a sieve to remove as much moisture as possible)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup maraschino cherries finely chopped, packed (measure this amount only after the chopped maraschino cherries have been squeezed rigorously through a sieve to remove as much moisture as possible)
- 12 maraschino cherries whole, cut in half (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Microwave a thin layer of coconut on a plate for 15 seconds. Put aside. Drain whole maraschino cherries and finely chop them.
Squeeze chopped maraschino cherries rigorously through a sieve to remove as much moisture as possible. Pack drained, chopped maraschino cherries into a 1/4 cup to measure.
Squeeze crushed pineapple rigorously through a sieve to remove as much moisture as possible. Pack drained crushed pineapple into a 1/2 cup to measure.
Combine flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda and sift together. Put aside. In a very large bowl, stir together softened cream cheese, softened butter, and vanilla vigorously until you achieve a smooth consistency. Add sugar gradually to the cream cheese/butter/vanilla mixture until smooth.
Add the egg and continue to stir until smooth again. Add the dry ingredients slowly, continuing to stir until smooth. Finally, mix into the dough, until evenly distributed, the coconut, cherries, and pineapple.
Place dollops of heaping teaspoons of dough, about 2 inches apart, onto a parchment-lined or greased cookie sheet.
Put a halved maraschino cherry in the center of the top of each dollop with the cut-side down (optional).
Bake for 15 minutes or until the cookies have a light brown color all over.
Allow to cool a few minutes before removing them from the sheets.
Don't stack the cookies until they are at room temperature (or they will stick to each other).
To make mini-cupcakes instead of cookies:
Put dollops of the dough in mini-cupcake cups in a mini-cupcake baking pan, so that the cups are 3/4 full (about a heaping teaspoon). Put a halved maraschino cherry in the center of the top of each with the cut-side down. Bake for the same length of time as for the cookies, 15 minutes or until the tops are very light brown.
A comment about storage:
The cookies don't store well, so it is best to make them fresh. When kept for several days at room temperature in a loosely-closed container, the cookies become much softer and sticky. However, they still taste great! If you make the mini-cupcakes, then storage is not a problem and the cupcakes don't stick to each other with time and won't be sticky to the touch (because of the paper cup).
Now that you have learned how to make hawaiian mood cookies and cupcakes, please be sure to view these other cookies recipes. Also, you will love these Polynesian recipes.
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