Saturday Snacks: Let’s Make Kona Cafe’s Sweet Bread & Macadamia Honey Butter!

Welcome to the weekend, friends! Thank you so much for all of your help last Saturday regarding the mystery that was BoardWalk Bakery’s Chocolate Chip Crumbcakes. The lion’s share of you believe that the pesky cup of cornstarch was the reason for the treat’s incredible lack of moisture. If you’ve made the recipe without the cornstarch and have had favorable results, please let me know in the comment section below so that we can all celebrate your accomplishment!

As we gather this morning around our virtual kitchen table, it’s time to turn our attention to a time-honored resort restaurant favorite. Quick aside: how much fun would it be to actually meet up around a table someday? Let’s put that on our to-do list for when THIS WHOLE THING is over. I digress. Today, we’ll be taking a virtual trip to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort’s Kona Cafe.

Let me first make the confession that I love bread. More truthfully, I love bread and butter, and, sometimes, the bread takes a backseat to the butter and actually simply serves as a vehicle to get that butter into my mouth. In fact, someday, I might just put together a ranking of my top complementary bread and butter spots among the Walt Disney World restaurants. #informationforlife

If you’re a bread and butter lover like me, today’s Saturday Snacks recipe will be right up your alley. For years, Kona Cafe has served its guests a complementary loaf of Sweet Bread, and, for a time, that happy little loaf of bread was served with their Macadamia Honey Butter. Yes, friends, read that again. Macadamia. Honey. Butter.

The Sweet Bread is still served to dinner guests, but the Macadamia Honey Butter no longer accompanies it. How sad, because – spoiler alert – the stuff is AMAZING.

Thankfully, our list of ingredients isn’t too over the top for the bread and butter. You’ll need 4 macadamia nuts, so, unless you rip open the bag in the grocery store, take out four nuts, and ask to only pay for those four, you’ll need to pick up a bag. You’ll also need some fast-acting yeast (which, thankfully, is a little less tricky to get now than it was earlier in the pandemic), and both salted butter and margarine. Make sure you have a couple of cans of pineapple juice and a bottle of honey on hand, and you’ll be good to go.

Today’s recipe comes courtesy of Chef Mickey – Treasures from the Vault & Delicious New Favorites by Pam Brandon and the Disney Chefs. I’ve had the cookbook for years, and I was so happy to come across this recipe when recently sifting through all of the cookbook’s offerings again. It just goes to show that it’s always useful to sort through our old cookbooks. Like Forrest’s box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.

Before you begin throwing together today’s recipe, grab the required margarine, butter, and eggs out of the fridge. The recipe calls for these three ingredients to be at room temp or softened, so pulling them out and giving them time on the counter while you’ve enjoying your first cup of coffee will be a good thing.

If you’re using packets of yeast, your first step will be to pour the contents of three packets into a small bowl. You’ll need to place 2 tablespoons of yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl to use with your hand mixer). You’ll have just a bit of yeast left over after measuring out the two required tablespoons.

You’ll need to add 1 cup of warm pineapple juice to the yeast. I gave my cup of juice about 30 seconds in the microwave, and the level of warmth reached was just what I needed.

Give the warm pineapple juice and yeast a swish with a whisk and allow it to sit in the bowl for 5 to 10 minutes.

You want the yeast to get a bit bubbly and turn foamy.

While your yeast is doing its thing, grab a large bowl out of the cabinet and toss in 4 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour and a pinch of salt. Take whisk to that bowl and get any flour clumps broken up. Set the bowl aside.

At right around the 10-minute mark, the yeast should be airy and foamy and ready for the next step: the addition of half a cup of sugar, 3 room temperature eggs, and 4 tablespoons of softened margarine. Once everything’s in the bowl, turn the beater on low (careful…it’ll splash a bit) and make sure it’s completely combined.

Grab the flour mixture and add half of the amount of it to the yeast mixture. Turn the mixer on low and combine. The bread dough will start to come together. Once the dough begins to form, stop the mixer and pull the bowl off of the stand. We’ll be going the rest of the way with the help of a wooden spoon and our biceps.

Add in the remaining flour mixture, and stir the dough with a wooden spoon until everything’s completely worked into the dough. Warning: there will be sneaky bits of flour that try to hang out in the bottom of the bowl. You show those bits NO MERCY (sorry; my hubby and I finished Cobra Kai season 3 this week) and work them into the dough. No dough bits left behind.

Once the dough has come together, cover the entire mixing bowl with a damp kitchen towel, and leave it in a warm spot to rise for an hour. This is the fun part; you and I get to walk away and then be surprised to see how big that mound of dough has gotten when we return to uncover it an hour later.

After the hour, place the dough onto a floured surface. And stand back and admire what you’ve done. You’re making bread!

Divide the mound of dough into four equal parts. Shape each part into a ball. The dough will be a little bit sticky, and that’s okay. I lightly covered the surface of the round loaves with a little bit of flour to combat the stickiness, and they were a-okay.

Cut a 1/2-inch deep X in the top of each dough ball.

Place each dough ball onto a parchment-covered baking pan or two and cover them with that same damp kitchen towel. They’ll need another 45 minutes to rise in the warmest spot in your kitchen. This is the perfect time to clean up your kitchen. If you’re like me, by this time, you’ll have quite a stack of dirty dishes going. You could also take a catnap. Those dishes can wait. It’s the weekend.

After the second rise, I transferred the dough balls onto two separate because they had grown, and I didn’t want one giant loaf of bread after everything was said and done. I’m mean, there are worse things, but still…

Into a 375-degree oven they went, and after just shy of 20 minutes in the oven, out came the most glorious golden loaves of sweet bread.

Ummmm, yes. If you like bread, you’ll have four new BFFs as soon as they emerge from the oven. The sweet bread’s texture is balanced: light, yet dense enough not to crumble.

The loaves smell divine while baking and have a slight, and of course, sweet, pineapple taste. If the taste of pineapple isn’t a favorite of yours, fear not. The flavor is light, and not at all overpowering.

Of course, we’ll need a little something to top this amazing bread, and Kona Cafe’s Macadamia Honey Butter is just the thing for the job. Thankfully, this delicious butter is easy to make.

To begin the butter, we need to chop 4 macadamia nuts as finely as we can. Also pop a couple of those extra macadamias into your mouth. We can’t let them go to waste, after all.

Place the chopped nuts onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and pop the pan into a 350-degree oven for 6 minutes or until toasted. Once the macadamias come out of the oven, slide them off of the pan to cool.

Toss the sticks of softened margarine and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer (yep, we need to wash it between the bread and the butter), and blend them completely.

Once the butter and margarine are nice and creamy, you can add in the toasted macadamias and 2 tablespoons of honey.

Mix the ingredients together until everything is completely incorporated.

The recipe calls for us to serve the butter at room temperature, and that’s a good thing, because we don’t have to wait to slather that fantastic butter all over a slice or two of sweet bread.

Sweet and creamy, with nutty depth from the toasted macadamias; this butter, as my hubby pointed out, would be fabulous on just about anything and everything.

I can’t recommend this sweet bread and butter highly enough. It’s so good, and, if you’re not going to be sitting down and eating all four loaves, you can cut the recipe in half or pop the extras in the freezer.

What delicious creations are you whipping up in your kitchen these days? Please let me know below.

Whatever you have on your slate this weekend, I hope that it’s a couple of days that are filled with tiny moments of joy. Have a great one, my friends.

Ready to welcome the taste of the Polynesian Resort into your kitchen? The recipe is below:

Kona Cafe Sweet Bread


Pineapple Sweet Bread:

  • 1 cup warm pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons margarine, softened
  • 4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt

Macadamia Honey Butter:

  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup salted margarine, softened
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 macadamia nuts

For Bread:

  1. Combine warm pineapple juice and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, until foamy. Add sugar, eggs and margarine, and mix with the paddle attachment.
  2. Combine flour and salt in a separate bowl. Add half the flour mixture to mixing bowl and mix on low speed. Remove bowl from mixer and add remaining flour mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until dough comes together and the flour is completely incorporated.
  3. Cover bowl with a slightly damp towel and allow dough to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  4. Turn dough out into a floured surface and divide into four portions. Form each portion into a ball and place on a baking sheet. Cut an “X” about 1/2-inch deep into the top of each ball.
  5. Cover dough with towel and let rise for 45 minutes in the warmest part of the kitchen. After 30 minutes, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Bake bread loaves for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm with macadamia honey butter.

For Butter:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Finely chop macadamia nuts and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 6 minutes or until toasted. Remove the nuts from the baking sheet and cool.
  2. Beat butter and margarine until creamy in an electric mixer with a whip attachment. Add chopped macadamia nuts and honey, and mix well. Serve at room temperature.
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Deni loves all things Disney, and, in 2013, moved to the Magic from Maryland. Walt Disney World is her happy place, and she loves getting to share it with others. Deni and her husband of almost 26 years have 2 grown children. Her favorite WDW snack? A Mickey Bar, of course. Is there any other?!

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