Pineapple filling Cookies

Vietnamese food

Eating some cookies for a little luck and sweet in the New Year, anyone?  These pineapple filling cookies is considered bringing good luck in Asian countries with different names: pineapple tart, tangerine pie, Kuey tart, Kue nastar, etc. I found a recipe of Pitchet Ong via Food 52.  Those cookies are big with 1 tablespoon filling while others having smaller filling 1/2 to 1 teaspoon.  The ratio 9 gram filling with 12 gram dough in Kitchengress is perfect 2 bites (1 inch ball cookies)

Ingredients:  Make 4 dozens 1 inch ball cookies.
   For the filling
     2 small ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, and finely grated about 5 cups
     500 gram (2½ cups )sugar, more or less depending on grated pineapple volume and sweetness
     1/4 teaspoon salt
     2 inch (5 cm) cinnamon stick
     1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • Peel pineapple, dig out the eyes, and discard the hard core.  Finely chop or grate by hand or food processor. Measure the pineapple by volume and use 1/4  cup of sugar for 1 cup of sweet pineapple up to 1/2 cup sugar for sour/not too-sweet ones. Add all ingredients except vanilla into a medium saucepan.  Cook and stir constantly on medium high heat until sugar melt and dissolved.  Turn the heat down to medium low (#2 on mine) gently simmer, stir occasionally (to prevent burning and sticking at the bottom) until until the mixture thicken and no liquid at the bottom about 45 minutes to 1 hour or longer depending on the stove heat.   Add vanilla, stir constantly until the mixture reaches to soft ball stage. Testing by add a tiny amount of mixture into cold water, it should form a soft ball.  
  • Remove from heat, let it cool down at room temperature.   When it cools enough to handle, form into round balls, about 1 teaspoon/9 gram each. 

   For the dough
     300 gram all purposed flour
     2 tablespoon dry milk powder
     1/2 teaspoon salt
     180 gram (1½ stick) unsalted butter , soft at room temperature
     70 gram powder sugar
     1 egg and 1 egg yolk
     2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
     40 whole cloves for stems (optional)

  • Put  butter, egg, 1 egg yolk, sugar, and salt into a mixing bowl.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Sift flour and  milk powder into the bowl, mix with low speed until the dough comes together.  Divide the dough into two and wrap them into plastic wrap.  Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour. 
  • Take one piece of dough out and cut  into 12 gram pieces and roll each into a ball (about 1 inch diameter).  Chill in the fridge when done and repeat with remaining dough.
  • Use fingers and palms to flatten a dough ball into a 2-2¼ inch round disc (about 3 fingers width).  Put one pineapple ball at the center, fold the dough up and pinch the edge to enclose the filling. Roll the ball between the palms back to an even round shape, put the seam down on a baking sheet, lined with silpak or parchment paper.  Press the top down lightly to make it looks like a tangerine.  Repeat with remaining dough and filling.  These cookies do not spread so only need about 1/2 to 1 inch apart. 
  •  Preheat oven to 350 oF with a rack at top third position. Brush with egg yolk and stick a clove at top if use.  Bake until golden brown about 15-18 minutes.  Remove from oven, let cookie cool in the tray a few minutes until cool enough to handle, transfer cookies to a wire rack and cool completely .  Store in an air tight container at room temperature.  Discard cloves before eating. 



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