Sunday, February 14, 2016

Chinese New Year Pineapple Shortbread

February 8th through the 22nd marks the Asian holiday of the New Year, also know as the Spring Festival.  For 2016, the Monkey is the sign of the Zodiac and for those born under the Monkey, it's believe that they are the most unlucky during those years.

For us, we celebrate with our lovely granddaughters, Madison and Emersyn.
I can remember in 2010, when I went to Taiwan with my daughter and son-in-law to bring Madison home and going into the bakeries and seeing these lovely Pineapple Tarts. It's a speciality during the New Year, but can also be found year round in most bakeries.  This cookie I made today reminds me of that tart with its sweet pineapple-like-jam and tender shortbread crust.

Pineapple Shortbread
3 8-oz cans Crushed Pineapple
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup Light Karo syrup
4 tsp. All-purpose flour

9 oz. (about 2 1/4 cups) cake flour
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
12 T unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 large egg yolks

First, prepare the filling.  Drain the pineapple in a fine sieve, pressing the solids; reserve the juice for another use.  Place pineapple in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat; cook for 15 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring frequently.
Add the sugar and the salt; cook 10 minutes more or until liquid has evaporated again, stirring occasionally.  Add the corn syrup and cook 5 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently.  Finally, add the flour and cook 1 minute more or until very thick, stirring constantly.  Scrape mixture onto a baking sheet, spreading the mixture into a thin layer; cover and chill completely.
Make the shortbread.  Weigh or lightly spoon cake flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.  Sift together cake flour, dry milk, salt and baking powder.  Place the butter into a large bowl of a stand mixer and using the paddle attachment, beat at medium speed until smooth and creamy.  Add the confectioners' sugar, bet 2 minutes.  Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Beat 2 minutes or until fluffy.  Add flour mixture and beat at low speed just until combined.  Divide dough in half and roll into 2-10 inch logs. Cover with plastic wrap. Chill 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325F-degrees. and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Divide each log into 12 pieces and roll into a ball.  Use a rolling pin and with the dough between plastic wrap, roll into a 3-inch circle.

Place about 1 tablespoon of filling in the center and bring edges together over the filling.  Pinch edges.  Gently press into a floured 1 1/4-inch square mold or cookie cutter or shape by hand.  I thought the shaping by hand was the easiest!
Place on the lined parchment paper, about 2 inches apart.  Repeat procedure for the remaining dough, placing 12 shortbread cookies on each baking sheet.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning the bars over and rotating pan after 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool completely.

I decided to add a glaze:
1 cup Confectioners' sugar
1-2 T hot water
2 tsp. Light Karo syrup
1/8 tsp. Pineapple Flavor

Mix all the ingredients together and use an off-set spatula to glaze the top of the cookies.

Gung Hay Fat Choy!  Happy New Year and Enjoy!!


  1. I love shortbread and it's such a great idea to pair it with pineapple–yum!

  2. What a delightful way to celebrate the New Year! Adorable picture of Maddie and Emmie!

  3. We are big pineapple fans here so these really sound amazing. Year of the Monkey! Your grands are adorable.

  4. They must be very delicious with your homemade pineapple filling!

  5. These sound very nice with the pineapple, Susan. Your grands are so cute! ♥

  6. They sound delicious...we like pineapple here! Your grandgirlies are so cute!

  7. Those look very yummy! And the grandkids are cuties. :)