Coconut Cream Cameo Cookie w/ flowers & Queen Emma Brooch

British influence flourished in Hawaii during the reign of the Hawaiian Monarchy– from the British Union Jack in the Hawaiian flag, to formal holoku dresses, to even British Tea.

In the mid 1800’s, Queen Emma of Hawaii shared a particularly close friendship with Queen Victoria of England, undertaking the long ocean voyage to visit her several times.

Here’s a little cookie I made, infused with one of Hawaii’s favorite flavors — perfect to have at tea time.

Packet of coconut cream powder
The cookie is a basic shortbread cookie, to which I’ve added some coconut cream powder.

I like to get brands like this which are 100% coconut cream powder, without added sugars or preservatives. The powders are easy to find in Asian grocery stores, but you need to check the ingredient lists carefully to avoid the additives. Some brands are also available on Amazon, but not all have the ingredients listed. Coconut milk powder would probably be an acceptable substitute, but I haven’t tested it out.

If you are unable to find the coconut cream powder, finely shredded unsweetened coconut like this also works. The cookies will just have a less creamy texture. Most large grocery stores here carry this, but it may be located in the healthy food aisle.
Brushes, Candy Melts, Cameo mold

Supplies to make the cameo candies: Cameo candy mold (1-1/2″ to 1-3/4″), Pink and White Candy Melts, and food safe brushes.

Candy Melts and food safe brushes are easily found at Michael’s or Joann’s stores.
White chocolate painted in cameo molds
Melt the white candy melts according to the package directions.

Use a brush to carefully paint the white candy over the the woman’s face, hair, and upper torso.

Let it harden. In warmer weather, you may need to stick it in the refrigerator for a few minutes to harden.
Filling cameo molds with pink chocolate
Melt the pink candy according to the package directions.

Carefully spoon a half a teaspoon on top of the hardened white candy. Use a brush to carefully swirl the melted pink candy evenly into the well. Add more melted candy as necessary and use the brush to help move the filling neatly.

Now lift up the entire candy tray 2-3″ above the tabletop, and let it fall flat back onto the table. Repeat this several times and you should see small air bubbles come up to the surface. You want to get all the air bubbles out so there won’t be tiny holes in your cameo. Mine are not perfect, you can see some tiny holes in some of my cameos.

Chill until hardened, then turn over and unmold.
Painting icing on cookies

Paint some simple icing on the cookie tops, using again, a brush to keep the edges as neat as possible.
Coconut Cream Cameo Cookies, clear background

The cookies are delicious without the icing, but the cameos look so much prettier with the icing underneath.
coconut Cream Cameo Cookie w/ flowers & Queen Emma Brooch & teacup

Thanks to my friend, multi-talented designer Friston Ho’okano for this lovely Queen Emma Brooch. I just pinned it onto this little bouquet of flowers, but it also has an attachment in the back so it can be worn as a necklace! Please check out his fabulous Victorian Steampunk designs at his etsy shop, Designs by Friston

A lovely tea cookie to celebrate this Mother’s Day, or any day in honor of a strong, loving woman.

Queen Emma was certainly a strong role model for all young women, establishing the largest hospital in the islands, Queen’s Hospital, and even traveling to England to visit the Archbishop of Canterbury for advice before opening the first all girls school in Hawaii, St. Andrew’s Priory.
Flowers, close up
Most of our mothers and the women in our lives did not open hospitals or schools, but the love they had for us was just as strong and important.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the women out there, who love and nuture others.


Coconut Cream Cameo Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A cookie fit for a queen!
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 14 cookies
  • ½ c. salted butter, softened
  • 2-3 T. sugar
  • ½ c. coconut cream powder
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 1T.+ 1 tsp. water
  • 14 or so Cameo Candies (1-1/2" to 1-3/4"), depending on how many cookies are cut out
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Cream butter, sugar, and coconut cream powder. Mix in flour well.
  3. Roll dough out ¼" thick on a lightly floured board. Cut out shapes with 2-1/2" to 3" cookie cutters. Flower and teapot shapes are nice.
  4. Place on ungreased baking sheets and bake 17-18 minutes, or until cooked through, but still pale on top. Remove cookies from baking sheet onto a cooling rack. Cool.
  5. Icing: Mix powdered sugar with water. Icing consistency should be like thick gravy.
  6. Place ½ tsp. of icing in the middle of each cookie. Use a brush to "paint" the icing neatly to the cookie edges, adding more icing as needed. Place one cameo candy in the center. Allow to icing to airdry and harden overnight.
  7. (If you are unable to find coconut cream powder, substitute finely shredded unsweetened coconut. Add in after the flour has been mixed in.)