5 Hawai‘i Cookies You’ll Want to Try
We tasted dozens of packaged cookies from The Cookie Lady Hawai‘i, Betty’s Best, ‘Ohana Nui, Ever Chocolate and Big Island Candies.
The Cookie Lady Hawai‘i
We can’t resist a light crisp cookie, which The Cookie Lady Hawai‘i had baked in Waipahu since 2009. This year, loyal customer Maiko Ushijima bought the business, vowing to maintain the legacy in a new Honolulu shop. Favorites lemon, cornflake and furikake are now joined by matcha and liliko‘i. $10.35 for 5-ounce package.
Betty’s Best cookies remind us that humble exteriors often reveal hidden treasures. Wholesale Unlimited, run by the Honma family with multiple stores and goodies, is a go-to for gift boxes for loved ones. These budget conscious, Waipahu-baked cookies come in 20-plus flavors. And the salty-sweet shortbread arare cookies prove damn near irresistible.
In 2018, Tom Walker started ‘Ohana Nui, baking li hing pineapple, ginger macadamia nut and mocha chip cookies, with a zing from chewy intense pops of pineapple and ginger within the crisp, buttery cookie. The omiyage newcomer donates a portion of monthly profits to Surfrider Foundation, Walker says. We’re looking forward to a holiday chocolate-filled cookie rolling out this year.
$16 for 7-ounce box, ohananui.shop
Malynne Simeon works in city government by day and bakes at night and on weekends, sharing her love of Filipino treats with her two daughters. Ever Chocolate began as an online pandemic business with chocolate bombs and polvoron, a crumbly Filipino shortbread that packs a depth of flavor. Popular combos include matcha with white chocolate, ube with pinipig (toasted rice), strawberry with chocolate, and mac nut toffee. $11 for a sleeve of eight cookies plus 25 cents for each dipped in chocolate.
Big Island Candies
Hilo-based Big Island Candies long ago earned all-star status in the omiyage hall of fame for great taste in elegant packaging. A collab with Japanese celeb Harumi Kurihara adds another star with Harumi’s Hawaiian Salt Cookies. These buttery, flower-shaped treats balance sweet and salty. We’ll always have the shortbread but, happily, this business never stops innovating.