While I do like a classic chocolate chip cookie, I find it very hard to say no to a good oatmeal cookie. Oatmeal adds a great flavor and texture to cookies, making them tender and adding a slight nuttiness that goes well with any mix-in you might want to include. I often make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and oatmeal raisin cookies are a family favorite, but I took these Tropical Oatmeal Cookies in a different direction and used pineapple, coconut and macadamia nuts in them for a summery, tropical flavor.
The cookies are buttery and slightly chewy, but not too sweet. This allows the other flavors in the cookie to really shine. I used sweetened, shredded coconut and dried pineapple, which I coarsely chopped into small pieces. Dried pineapple is definitely the way to go in this recipe because fresh pineapple really just has too much moisture and will take these from cookies to small, moist cakes. Macadamia nuts add a nice crunch, and I included some dried tart cherries for a pop of color and a little contrast to the very sweet pineapple (although they’re not exactly tropical fruits).
This flavor combination is addictive and these are sure to be a favorite variation on some of my staple recipes in my house. The pineapple and coconut work well with other fruits and nuts, too. Candied ginger could be used in place of the cherries, and walnuts or cashews could stand in for the macadamia nuts. Even better, you could add a splash of rum extract to take these from a tropical fruit taste to a tropical cocktail taste for a snack that delivers a mini vacation!
Tropical Oatmeal Cookies
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups rolled oats (pref. quick cooking)
2/3 cup shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
1/3 cup dried pineapple, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together, butter and sugar until light. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract. Gradually blend in the flour mixture, then stir in the oatmeal, shredded coconut, dried pineapple, dried cherries and macadamia nuts.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place onto prepared baking sheet.
Bake at 350F for 11-14 minutes, until cookies are very lightly browned and set.
Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 2-4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 3 1/2 dozen.