Tasty treats made in Hawaii

Watch workers dunk shortbread cookies into melted chocolate at Big Island Candies.

Leaving the Hawaiian Islands behind after a beautiful vacation can be bittersweet. But while your bright blue umbrella drink isn’t going to make it through customs, you can take the flavor of the islands home with you in the form of some locally sourced, locally made sweet treats. Neatly packaged and ready to go, these cookies, candies, and snacks are the perfect foil to your back-to-work blues.

Honolulu Cookie Company – That box of pineapple shaped, chocolate dipped macadamia nut shortbread you bought for Auntie Grace? It’s going to be so tempting, right there in your carry on. Better get one for yourself, too. It’s a good thing there are a dozen different locations in Hawaii where you can pick up sweet treats from the Honolulu Cookie Company. On Maui, look for them in Whaler’s Village. On Oahu, you’ll find retail stores inside the Waikiki Beach Marriott and the Hyatt Regency Waikiki.

Island Princess – While the Macadamia Popcorn Crunch from Island Princess is the go-to snack for many visitors, I’m a hardcore Mele Mac girl, myself. Chocolate, toffee, and mac nuts. What’s not to love? Island Princess products are well distributed throughout the islands, available at retail outlets like the ever-present ABC Stores and Costco. If you really want to delve into all things Island Princess, consider a stop at their factory store, located near the airport and not far from the Ala Moana Hotel and Outrigger Waikiki.

Big Island Candies – Greet me at the door with coffee and chocolate and I’m yours. That’s just what they do at Big Island Candies. And as if munching on free samples isn’t enough, you can watch through glass windows as workers hand-dip the shortbread that’s made on site. Want to take a real island-inspired treat back home? Consider the chocolate dipped iki, or chewy cuttlefish. The headquarters and gift shop are located in Hilo, Hawaii.

Here’s perhaps the best news of all. Even if your trip to the islands is still at the pie-in-the-sky dream stage right now, every one of these sweet spots offers online shopping. Aloha, delivered right to your door!

–Kris Bordessa of Honolulu On The Cheap and Big Island On The Cheap

[Photo Credit: Flickr/hshuldman]