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Luscious Hawaiian Pineapple Cheesecake Bars

Have you ever been to The Polynesian Cultural Center?  If not, you really owe it to yourself to visit it if you’re on Oahu.  You’ll enjoy exploring the rich heritage of 6 Pacific Islands. Wander through 42 acres of tropical splendor and enjoy the adventure of traditional hands-on activities.

You can learn to cook the Samoan way, using sticks, stones, leaves, husks, coconut milk, taro, fish, and plenty of patience. Or dine like alii (a hereditary line of rulers) at an authentic Polynesian luau and top it off with the most spectacular evening show in the islands.

One of the best desserts at the luau is a delicious pineapple dessert bar.  But you don’t have to plan a luau to enjoy these.  I really think you’ll like them.  Even people who don’t like pineapple or coconut take a bite and say “WOW!”    Treat yourself to a mini trip to Hawaii with these!

You’ll love how amazing these bars will turn out.  They start with my favorite shortbread cookie as a base.  On that is spread a wonderful creamy cheesecake with a hint of pineapple, sweet white chocolate chips and crunchy toasted macadamia nuts.  Sprinkle on some toasted coconut and you’ll find out why everyone loves these!  They’re the next best thing to a trip to the Polynesian Cultural Center!

These wonderful bars use my favorite shortbread recipe as a base.  It’s buttery, crunchy and firm enough to hold together even when cut into small bar-size pieces.  The dough comes together very easily and then you simply press it into the baking pan.  Since you won’t be seeing it under all that delightful pineapple cheesecake filling, it doesn’t have to be very neat, simply even.

If you’ve never baked shortbread before the main thing is making sure you don’t over cook it.  You want to remove it from the oven when it’s a very light golden brown.  No darker than this.

Cut into 4 rows by 6 rows to create 24 squares.  This is a reasonable size for a single serving.  Like this.

To serve a larger group cut each of the 24 squares in half long-wise.  This size is ok if you’re serving several dessert choices, with enough of each choice for every guest.

Pin for Later

Or Make Now

Family Size

 

Hawaiian Pineapple Cheesecake Bars
Print
Luscious Hawaiian Cheesecake Bars – Family Size
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
1 hrs
 

An AlohaDreams.com recipe.

Course: Dessert
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
For the shortbread base
  • 1 cup all-purpose bleached flour (4.25 ounces or 120 grams), spoon into measuring cup to measure
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick, melted)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the filling
  • 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple un-drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chip
  • 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts , divided
For the garnish
  • 1/2 cup sweetened flake coconut , toasted
Special Equipment
  • 1 8 x 8 baking dish
Instructions
For the garnish
  1. Move oven shelf to top position and turn on broiler. Spread 1/2 cup sweetened flake coconut and 1/4 cup rough chopped macadamia nuts on a cookie sheet. Heat under the broiler (DO NOT LEAVE THE BROILER) until coconut and nuts are a golden brown. (IF YOU LEAVE IT CAN EASILY BURN) Remove from oven and set aside.

For the shortbread base
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line the bottom and sides of baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving enough overhang on all sides to lift later. Set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl stir the melted butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add the flour and stir until everything is combined. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan.
  3. Bake at 300 degrees about 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. While the crust is baking, prepare the coconut topping and cream cheese filling.
For the filling
  1. In a large bowl, with a mixer or by hand, mix eggs and 1 cup powdered sugar until completely combined. Add cream cheese, sugar, crushed pineapple and vanilla extract, and mix thoroughly. Gently fold-in 1/2 cup white chocolate chips and 1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts.

  2. Spread filling evenly over the shortbread base. Increase oven temperature to 350 and bake on ON A CENTER SHELF for additional 25 minutes or until batter is set. Remove from oven, immediately sprinkle 1/4 cup reserved chopped, toasted macadamia nuts and 1/2 cup toasted coconut.

MAKE AHEAD NOTE: Let cool, cover lightly and refrigerated at least 12 and up to 24 hours.
  1. When ready to serve cut into bars.

 

Large Group

 

Hawaiian Pineapple Cheesecake Bars
Print
Luscious Hawaiian Cheesecake Bars – Large Group
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
1 hrs
 

An AlohaDreams.com recipe.

Course: Dessert
Servings: 24 bars
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
For the shortbread base
  • 3 cups all-purpose bleached flour (12.75 ounces or 360 grams) , spoon into measuring cup to measure
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter (2 1/2 sticks, melted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the filling
  • 16 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups crushed pineapple un-drained (one 20 ounce can)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup white chocolate chips divided
  • 1 cup chopped macadamia nuts divided
For the garnish
  • 1 cup sweetened flake coconut , toasted
Special Equipment
  • 1 (13 inch x 18 inch) half sheet baking sheet
Instructions
For the garnish
  1. Move oven shelf to top position and turn on broiler.  Spread 1 cup sweetened flake coconut and 1/2 cup rough chopped macadamia nuts on a cookie sheet.  Heat under the broiler (DO NOT LEAVE THE BROILER) until coconut and nuts are a golden brown.   (IF YOU LEAVE IT CAN EASILY BURN)  Remove from oven and set aside.

For the shortbread base
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Line the bottom and sides of baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving enough overhang on all sides. Set aside.

    In a medium bowl stir the melted butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add the flour and stir until everything is combined. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan. 

    Bake at 300 degrees about 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. While the crust is baking, prepare the coconut topping and cream cheese filling.

For the filling
  1. In a large bowl, with a mixer or by hand, mix eggs and 2 cups powdered sugar until completely combined.  Add cream cheese, sugar, crushed pineapple and vanilla extract, and mix thoroughly.  Gently fold-in 1 cup white chocolate chips and 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts, reserving 1/2 cup of  white chocolate chips and 1 cup chopped macadamia nuts.  

    Spread filling evenly over the shortbread base.  Increase oven temperature to 350 and bake on ON A CENTER SHELF for additional 25 minutes or until batter is set. Remove from oven, immediately sprinkle 1/2 cup reserved chopped, toasted macadamia nuts and 1 cup toasted coconut.

MAKE AHEAD NOTE: Let cool, cover lightly and refrigerated at least 12 and up to 24 hours.
  1. When ready to serve cut into bars, 4 rows by 6 rows for a total of 24 bars.

 

 

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