Kahuna Cooking: Mai Tai Cookies

I may be a Grinch, but everyone loves cookies. The only nice part about this time a year is if you time visiting someone just right you can mooch a few and maybe a cocktail. In culinary school I was a lousy baker, I’ve dulled more from lack of practice. Like most chefs I stick to simple desserts when forced. However I just really like making cookies. They are versatile little buggers, and I don’t know anyone who hates them. The idea of going to a bar and just ordering a big plate of warm cookies is a mental opiate. Then in a drunken spree with twitter pals I hit upon an idea, MAI TAI COOKIES.


The thought that this could happen elated me. Immediately the idea became more and more complex, after all in true Tiki fashion “Less isn’t more, More is more.”. However when it came to Orgeat chips it turned out more like Jurassic Park. I was so concerned over whether I could do it I forgot to ask if I should. I found a recipe I thought I could use as a springboard, and unfortunately the whole thing just didn’t go as planned as I detail in the recipe. In the future I’d love to see how the cookies turn out if I omit the orgeat goop. Still these things taste awesome, the glaze I concocted will work marvelously on cookies, cupcakes, cakes, even your grandfather’s big toe. Don’t take my word for it, make um yourself.

Mai Tai Cookie (4)Orgeat “Chips” (by volume)
¾ cup Coconut Oil
½ cup Butter
¼ cup White Sugar
¼ cup demerera sugar
¼ cup orgeat
½ tsp Dark Jamaican Rum
½ tsp Orange Curacao
½ tsp lime zest

Okay so this is the part that didn’t pan out. Perhaps I should have used some xanthum gum to bind it. Or mix it longer, heating it up more so the sugar and liquid is more homogenous. For whatever reason this separated and I decided “Fuck it” mixing the whole thing in with the cookie batter. This step is what I believe made it more sugar cookie like. It didn’t make chips like I wanted, but it still made a damn good cookie. Procedure: Combine your ingredients in a big mason jar. And place that mason jar in a pot of simmering or boiling water. Stir until ingredients are well combined then place on a 9×13 baking dish lined with parchment and let set for 2 hours.

Mai Tai Cookie (5)Mai Tai Rum Glaze (by volume)
1 ½ cup of powdered sugar
1 oz (2 tbsp) Dark Jamaican rum (We used Coruba)
1 oz (2 tbsp) Gold rum Agricole (We used Clement VSOP)
1 tsp orange curacao
3 tbsp grated lime peel
½ tsp orgeat

Whisk together and top desired pastry immediately.

Mai Tai Cookie (2)Mai Tai Cookie (oz by weight)
10 oz pastry flour (About 2 ½ cups)
6 oz room temperature butter (About ¾ cup)
4 oz demerera sugar (about ¼ cup)
4 oz white sugar (About ¼ cup)
4 grams baking soda (About a tsp)
4 grams salt (About a tsp)
3 oz eggs (About 2 large eggs)
¼ cup lime zest
½ tsp Dark Jamaican rum
½ tsp orange curacao
1 recipe orgeat “chips”
½ cup slivered almonds
1 recipe Mai Tai Rum Glaze (Tops 26 cookies)


Measure and combine dry ingredients and butter in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Affix paddle. Cream until well chipped and light in a pebble like dry mix. Add eggs, rum, curacao and zest, beat until homogenous, then stop and scrape the edges down. Mix in nuts and “Chip” mixture. Place batter in 9×13 baking dishes lined with parchment. Use 8 oz or 1 cup of mixture per pan. The mixture will spread greatly during cooking, use a mason jar lid to make rounds or serve as blondies. Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated 375 degree. They will firm up after they cool. If you desire to cut shapes do so while hot. Glaze after cooled and serve.

So usually friends I like to bring you as close to perfect a product as I can. This time I bring you a product that hit some bumps in the road. It’s tasty, but it could be better, or atleast it could be simplified. The real star turned out to be the glaze. If you don’t make anything else make this glaze and just spread it on stuff. The cookies are damn good however so give um a try. Until next time…


“You get Hammered America” – JFL


About JFL

Joey or JFL as he is known by friends is a culinary trained mixologist from the Heart of Dixie Birmingham, Alabama. From a weekly column in the St. Clair News Aegis to his own experiments online JFL never stops doing work on Tiki and Cocktails. When he's not studying all things spirit, wine, and beer he's pursuing his own odd interests such as cartoons, cheesy old horror movies, horror punk, hair metal, and hockey
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