I’ve been meaning to write a post since the beginning of the month, you know, as one does when they come back from a month-long holiday- usually of beautiful holiday shots and food so delicious it makes you want to hop onto the next plane to that exact destination. But instead, I’m still trying to sort through the few thousand photos I took, to find the couple of food shots that I was actually bothered to take (you’re allowed to be lazy when you’re on holidays right??) so that post might just take a little while for me to write….
But the longer I don’t write a post, the more time I keep spending just thinking about my blog. It’s crazy, I know.
In other news, I turned on the oven for the first time this year last week for my mum’s birthday. She didn’t want anything too messy or complicated and ended up choosing a pineapple upside down cake, which was just as well as it’s something I’ve been wanting to try for a while. And it gave me an excuse to start making my way through the many cookbooks I just bought in Hong Kong!
With the lunar new year coming up, many bloggers have been busy making new year treats. I don’t usually bake for special occasions (other than birthdays) because they usually fall within some sort of busy period where I just can’t find enough time to bake something and blog about it in time. Thinking I was going to have to miss out on yet another occasion, I resorted to reading about other people’s blogs (erm..whilst supposedly studying..hehe), as I usually do anyway, until I came across pineapple cookies/tarts on almost everyone’s blogs- which reminded me, that I had actually made them a while ago!!
I’m guessing that these cookies are a Malaysian thing because when I asked my parents about them, they had no idea what they were talking about. To them these are more similar to the chinese pineapple cookies they buy from asian supermarkets (I don’t know if they’re the same thing???)
I’d made these at the end of last year after reading about it. I chose this
recipe and made it one afternoon before I went on holidays to give to my relatives. It was quite a risk, making something I’d never made before as I often fail the first time I try to make anything. But since I don’t have a signature dessert or a favourtie recipe or anything, I thought I’d just give it a try. Luckily, they turned out perfect so I was able to box them and take them overseas- my relatives loved them!
When I got back to Australia, I made them again- to take photos (so I could blog about them) and, more importantly because we all wanted to eat them again! Unfortunately, they didn’t turn out as good as the first time but still tasted great! me and my sister had a fun time rolling these into balls- whilst my mum had….errrr fun cleaning the burnt bits left on the saucepan after I cooked the pineapples. Oops.
Rolling them is a bit tricky at first but is extremely fun- the dough is very soft due to the large amount of butter which leaves your hand all oily after rolling them, whilst the pineapple filling is extremely sticky. My sister made a few oddly shaped ones- just so that we could tell they were hers! Not surprisingly, they were devoured very quickly- I completely understand the food bloggers obsession with these cookies, and why everyone makes them for new year! I’ll definitely be making these again and again and again!
Nastar (Pineapple cookies)
For the pineapple filling:
1 can (440 gr) crushed pineapple, DO NOT drain
150 gr sugar
1/2 – 1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1. Dump everything into a medium saucepan. Cook until caramelised, mashing the pineapple gently.
2. Transfer into a bowl and cool. Shape into small balls and place on a baking paper-lined baking tray. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until needed.
For the cookies:
125 gr butter, chopped, cold
25 gr powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
150 gr plain flour
25 gr cornstarch
1. Mix butter and powdered sugar on medium speed. Do not overmix – we don’t want to incorporate too much air.
2. Add yolk and mix well. Sift together flour and cornstarch. Mix on low until combined.
3. Take 10 gr of dough and flatten it. Place one pinapple ball on the center and enclose with the dough. Place on a lined baking tray – cover with plastic wrap if necessary, to prevent the cookies drying out. Repeat until dough is used up. Do NOT brush them with egg wash (recipe follows) prior to baking.
4. Bake in preheated 180 C oven for 10 minutes. Take out and brush with the egg wash. Return to the oven and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the tops are nicely browned.
1 egg yolk
1 tsp milk
1 tsp honey
1. Mix together all ingredients in a small bowl. Make sure the honey is dissolved well and the mixture is no longer lumpy.