The Polynesian Cultural Center is a must to experience while in Oahu. It was so fun to experience all of the different cultures of Hawaii. The best part was the luau. They served these delicious cookie pineapple dessert bars. I wanted to recreate them but I added a little twist. Cheesecake. I almost titled these Better than Hawaii Dessert bars. All of the delicious flavors of Hawaii in one delicious bite. Pineapple, macadamia nuts, and coconut. These became one of my favorite dessert bars. But lets be honest… nothing is better than Hawaii!
At the luau, they put on an amazing performance! It was so much fun and the food was amazing. Later that night we went to their fire night show. Everything was incredible about our experience at the PCC!
Now let’s talk about how amazing these bars turned out. A shortbread cookie crust layer on the bottom. A delicious and creamy cheesecake combined with macadamia nuts, white chocolate chips, pineapple and coconut. Top it off with some toasted coconut and your mind will be blown. Take a bite, close your eyes, and pretend that you are in Hawaii!
- 1⅓ cups all-purpose bleached flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup crushed pineapple, undrained
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup white chocolate chips, divided
- ½ cup chopped macadamia nuts, divided
- ½ cup coconut flakes
- toasted coconut (optional for garnish)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 with aluminum foil or parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray.
- Combine flour, ¼ cup sugar, and butter until crumbly. Press into the bottom of your prepared 9x13 pan until it is about ⅛ inch thick. Bake the crust for 10-15 minutes or until edges are lightly golden brown.
- Mix cream cheese and 1 cup powdered sugar until frosting consistency. Add egg, ¼ cup sugar, crushed pineapple, coconut, and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly. Fold in ¼ cup white chocolate chips, and ¼ cup macadamia nuts.
- Pour the batter on top of the crust and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until set and edges are lightly brown.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with ¼ cup white chocolate chips and ¼ cup macadamia nuts. Garnish with toasted coconut if desired. Let bars cool for an hour before cutting and store in the refrigerator.
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