My Hawaiian roots: Aloha cookies


I fought against wearing shoes. I really did.

Quite a long time ago, maybe in April, I made a whole bunch of cookies and forgot to post about them. Time passed quickly, and I even forgot what cookies I made (I thought I had lost all the photos). Last night I found them and can at last share the lost baking session.

I was born in Hawaii and left when I was very young. (Here is a picture of my grandfather and me in the yard in Hawaii and one of my dad and me on a Hawaiian beach.)

Later in life, I had to take Polynesian dance lessons. I did not take it seriously at the time, being a young child and all. I thought it was "lame" and wished I could join "regular" dance classes like the rest of my friends. As often happens, I regret this now that I am an adult. Hawaiian (and Polynesian) dance culture is a rich means of storytelling that goes far beyond the cheesy images we associate with scantily-clad hula girls greeting luau guests and honeymooners at an overcrowded beach resort on Oahu.

Today, despite my hatred for hot weather, I still love Hawaii. There is something enchanting about it that occasionally pulls at me and makes me want to return. I cannot resist a land of fresh pineapple (my favorite food), Kona coffee, a banana tree in my backyard and the unusual multiculturalism that characterizes the islands in present day.

I made some cookies, dubiously called "Aloha cookies" — which have pretty much nothing to do with Hawaii but evoke some sort of "tropical" feeling (they are in fact quite different from the normal cookies I make).

Aloha Cookies
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 ounces canned crushed pineapple (drained)
1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 cup chopped dried figs

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoon milk
Flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350F. In large bowl, beat butter, sugar and egg until fluffy. Combine flour, soda and salt; beat into butter-sugar mixture alternately with pineapple. Stir in nuts and figs. Drop by teaspoon on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350F. for 10 to 12 minutes.
Mix together glaze ingredients (powdered sugar and milk).
While warm, dip cookies into glaze then in coconut.

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