Sunday, February 18, 2018

Pineapple Jam Macadamia Shortbread Cookies




Pineapple tarts are very popular in Singapore during Chinese New Year. They are moreish bitesize cookies with pineapple jam on top. They symbolise prosperity to come and are serve to visitors during Chinese New Year.

Pineapple tarts are my favourite. I like my pineapple jam spiced with cinnamon, cloves and anise. And a buttery shortbread that snaps and crumbles, with that special sandy texture of a shortbread, and a hit of salt at the end. Macadamia is not traditional in pineapple tart, but I like the subtle roasted nutty flavour in my pineapple tarts. The macadamia is my secret touch. Well, I guess, it’s not so secret now.

I use the traditional pineapple tart cookie cutter mould to get the patterns on the cookies. I brought the cookie cutter mould in Singapore many years ago. You can get it online easily these days. You don’t need the special cookie cutter mould though. I tried it with a standard flute cookie cutter, and before you lift the cutter, and with the cookie still in the cutter, make an indentation to hold the jam with a dowel, a rod or even your finger. You won’t get the pretty pattern on the cookie, but it will still look pretty good. Oh, just so that you know, if you try to make the indentation after you remove the cutter, the cookie will most likely crack and break.

I use canned pineapple slices in natural juice. Probably not a traditional thing to do. But I promise you that it will be the same as fresh pineapple and you won't be able to tell the difference.

Pineapple Jam Macadamia Shortbread Cookies (aka Pineapple Tarts)

Makes 50

Pineapple Jam
825 grams canned pineapple slices in natural juice
200 grams caster sugar
1 cinnamon stick
4 cloves
1 anise star

To make pineapple jam:
Pineapple jam is best make a day before assembling.

Drain pineapple slices and discard juice. In a food processor, Pulse pineapple slices to get an even finely grated pulpy texture. This should require only 3 to 5 short one second pulse. The aim is not to get a puree, but a pulp texture.

In a small saucepan, combine pineapple, juice from processing the pineapple, and the remaining ingredients. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to gentle simmer, give a quick stir occasionally (every 15 minutes), and when all the liquid has almost evaporated, stir more often (every 5 minutes) so that the jam does not burn. The jam is ready when all the liquid has evaporated. The whole process should take about 1 hour. The jam should be fairly dry but still moist, and golden brown in colour.

Transfer jam to a shallow dish or pyrex container, spread jam out evenly, remove the cinnamon stick, cloves and anise star, cover and refrigerate until completely cool. Jam can be stored for a week before use.

Macadamia Shortbread
125 grams macadamias
300 grams plain flour
90 grains rice flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
250 grams unsalted butter, softened, room temperature
75 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

You will also need 1 egg yolk for egg wash. Optional.

To make macadamia shortbread:
Roast macadamias in a preheated oven at 160 degrees celcius fan-forced for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remember to stir the macadamias once or twice while roasting to ensure all the macadamias are evenly roasted. Allow macadamias to cool completely.

In a food processor, add cooled macadamias and 1/4 cup plain flour, process until macadamias are finely chopped. (Processing the macadamias with flour prevents the macadamias from becoming a paste.)

Transfer the macadamia and flour mixture to a large bowl. Add the remaining plain flour, rice flour and salt to the mixture. Stir to combine and set aside.

Using an electric stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Stop mixer. Add the macadamia and flour mixture. Using a spatula, mix all the ingredients until just combined. Gather mixture into a ball and wrap in clip film, pat down into a disk, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until firm.

Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking paper until 1/4 inch thick. Generously flour the cookie cutter mould and cut out cookies. Place cookies on baking tray. Re-roll remaining dough and repeat. (If the dough becomes too soft and difficult to handle, or if you find that the dough keeps sticking to the mould even after you have floured it, transfer dough in fridge for 10 minutes or until firm.)

To assemble:
Preheat oven at 160 degrees celcius fan-forced.

Roll a teaspoon of the pineapple jam into a ball, and place jam on the cookie, press jam lightly onto the cookie.

If you are using egg wash, brush beaten egg yolk lightly over the cookie and jam. The egg wash is make the cookie and jam glossy and darker in colour.

Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in air-tight container.

1 comment:

  1. This recipe is so me! Jam and cookies, not only that but pineapple jam! Can't wait to try it!

    ReplyDelete