Mango Coconut Macadamia Nut Cookies

Tropical Cookies

These tropical cookies are stuffed full of dried mango, coconut, and macadamia nuts! If you love tropical flavors but think that you can’t enjoy them during the winter months, think again!

Mango Coconut Macadamia Nut Tropical Cookies
Mango, Coconut and Macadamia Nut Cookies

I absolutely LOVE tropical flavors and mango is at the top of my list of favorites. I lived in Hawaii for a couple of years and enjoyed fresh mangos year-round. When it is always available, you don’t realize how scarce it can be for other people who live in, let’s say…the Midwest, where I am now!

Dried fruit is perfect in winter!

Dried fruit, however, is always available at most grocery stores but it’s just not the same. It is usually more like fruit leather – tough and chewy and not as flavorful!

That’s why I was so happy when I received a BEAUTIFUL tray of top quality, super fresh dried fruit and nuts from my Aunt and Uncle.

Dried Fruit from Vacaville Fruit
A beautiful tray of dried fruit and nuts! Let the recipe development begin!

This tray has such an array of fruits! White peaches, yellow peaches, plums, apricots, prunes, pears and of course my favorite – MANGO!

You should check out their website at . Their selection and quality are incredible!

The fruits in this tray are dried but not dry, if that makes sense. Normally, if I am going to use dried fruit in a recipe, I will soak it in alcohol or juice or even just hot water to rehydrate it a bit. This stuff doesn’t need it! It would soak up the flavor if it had the chance but it is so soft and delicious that It doesn’t need it for these cookies.

I will be working up several recipes over the next week or two using these top-of-the-line dried jewels but I went for the mango first.

But you knew that already, I’m sure.

Developing the recipe for these Tropical Cookies

First, I ate a few pieces. Then a few more. Then I decided that I better get them into a recipe before I ate them all!

Mango goes so well with so many flavors. A natural choice in December would be cinnamon or clove and that would be delicious. But I really wanted to feel like I was back in Hawaii and highlight the tropical flavor.

I also wanted something quick. I don’t mind spending hours and sometimes days on a complicated recipe but sometimes you just need a treat FAST!

Tropical cookies are the answer to this! I do love a good cookie but if I want to whip up a treat I usually go for Chocolate Chip Cookies or an awesome Classic Shortbread.

I always have coconut on hand and generally have some macadamia nuts in the freezer. These are just two ingredients that I use ALOT!

So I decided on Dried Mango, Coconut and Macadamia Nut Cookie – a tropical cookie with all my favorites in it. Could it be any more tropical?!?

Mango Coconut Macadamia Nut Tropical Cookies
Mango Coconut Macadamia Nut Cookies

Some adjustments to the recipe

My first attempt at these tropical cookies last night came out very sweet. I had bags of sweetened coconut but no unsweetened and I think that was a major contributor.

That first batch was also very flat and chewy. To some people, that is the perfect cookie but it wasn’t what I was going for. I tend to like a more cakey cookie.

The first attempt at Mango Coconut Macadamia Nut Tropical Cookies
The first dough with all granulated sugar baked thinner.

So I decided to change up the recipe. I had started with a basic cookie dough that I have used with mix-ins before. But the addition of sweetened coconut took it over the top on the sweetness front. I also used all granulated sugar instead of half brown, half granulated.

And I didn’t chill the dough at first because I was impatient.

All of these came together to cause a super sweet, flat and chewy cookie. Good, but not my intention.

After baking the first 8 cookies and seeing how much they spread, I decided to chill the dough before baking and see if that would solve the problem. Chilling definitely helped as this allows time for the butter to solidify again and also gives the flour time to hydrate.

But the next batch still spread more than I wanted, even after the chilling time.

Mango Coconut Macadamia Nut Cookies
The dough made with all granulated sugar is noticeably lighter.

I baked off the rest of the dough because I can’t let it go to waste. The flatter cookies will still be eaten, have no fear!

Then this morning I made another batch. I don’t like to change too many things at a time when I am testing a recipe. It makes it impossible to see the result of each change. But I did make two changes right off the bat.

I knew the simplest change that I could make to get the result that I wanted was the sugar. This wasn’t because the sugar was making the cookie too sweet. Sugar does so much more than that! The granulated sugar in the recipe that I had used had caused the dough to spread. As sugar gets hot, it melts and if it isn’t set quick enough, the cookie will spread out. I could have increased the temperature to try to set the outside of the cookie before it had a chance to spread. But I wanted to be conscious of the fruit, some of which was exposed.

A higher oven temperature might have burned the bits of fruit that were not covered by dough.

Why the changes?

The switch to half light brown sugar and half granulated sugar offered two benefits.

First, the addition of brown sugar added a caramel flavor, which perfectly accompanies the fruit. It is just a bit of warmth that balances out the sweetness.

The second benefit was lift. Brown sugar is just granulated sugar with molasses added to it. The molasses gives the cookie some acid which reacts with the baking soda to provide a bit of rise to the cookies. When the acid and the baking soda combine, they create bubbles which help to lift the cookie instead of letting it spread out flat.

Combine that reaction with the creaming of the butter and sugar at the beginning of the process, which creates air bubbles as the sugar cuts into the butter, and we have a cookie that rises up as much as it spreads out.

Mango Coconut Macadamia Nut Tropical Cookies
The dough made with half brown sugar and half granulated sugar is noticeably darker.
Mango Coconut Macadamia Nut Cookies
Chunks of mango! These cookies are packed!

What I ended up with is a cookie that is exactly the way I like it. Luckily for me, my family isn’t crazy about nuts in cookies so these babies are mine, all mine!

I actually feel like these tropical cookies could be classified as a breakfast cookie – I mean, tons of fruit, nuts for protein, and healthy fat. Maybe I’m pushing it…but I wouldn’t say no to one of these at 9 am!

Add these Dried Mango, Coconut and Macadamia Nut cookies to your holiday cookie tray. They will be a welcome addition and something that is totally different from what other people are serving!

Mango Coconut Macadamia Nut Tropical Cookies
Mango Coconut Macadamia Nut Cookies

Dried Mango, Coconut and Macadamia Nut Cookies

Recipe by Tanya Ott


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 113 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 80 grams light brown sugar

  • 80 grams granulated or caster sugar

  • 1 egg, at room temperature

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 160 grams all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 170 grams dried mango, chopped

  • 60 grams unsweetened coconut, toasted

  • 100 grams macadamia nuts, chopped

  • About 75 grams white chocolate, melted (optional)


  • In a medium skillet, toast the coconut for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring almost constantly, until browned. Chop the dried mango and the macadamia nuts. Set these ingredients aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking sodam salt and ground cinnamon.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and both sugars for 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix for another 30 seconds. Scrape the bowl again.
  • Add the egg and mix until incorporated. Add the vanilla and mix briefly.
  • Turn the mixer off and add the dry ingredients. Mix on low for 30 seconds until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  • Add the mango, coconut and macadamia nuts and stir until well combined. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350℉.
  • Scoop about two tablespoons with a cookie scoop or a spoon and place two inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Gently press the ball down just a bit. These cookies will bake in the same shape that they are when they are chilled. They will only spread slightly so pressing the ball down slightly will give the finished cookie a better appearance.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 11 minutes, until lightly browned.
  • Cool on a wire rack until completely cooled.
  • Chop white chocolate and melt in a bowl in the microwave on 30 second bursts, stirring between each burst. Drizzle melted white chocolate over cooled cookies with a spoon or with a piping bag.
Mango, Coconut and Macadamia Nut Tropcial Cookie Recipe


  1. We all have room for improvement and that certain show did the same for me! I pay attention to the little details now. I used to just think, “Oh, it’s not quite right but it’s good enough.” Now, I just keep working until I get it right and I don’t get as frustrated.

    Thanks for reading, Sally!

  2. This is so much more than a recipe, Tanya! It is a full lesson in baking and adjusting, and tweaking until you hit your personal jackpot…. as to being impatient… gosh, I hear you!

    a certain show made me become a bit more patient, but just a bit. A lot of room for improvement

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