Woohoo, only one more day until Chinese New Year! I had dinner with some of my girl friends last night to celebrate and gave them each a box of bunny cookies. Haha, I wish I had taken a picture, but one of them started petting the bunny. I think she might just keep it on her desk and not eat it :D I also included some pineapple tarts, and that's what I'm going to talk about today!
The first step to making pineapple tarts is to get a pineapple. I admit, I didn't look very hard, but I don't know if you can find ready-made pineapple jam in the supermarket. Anyway, I actually like making jam; even if it does take a fair amount of time, it's very simple. Peel your pineapple, remove the eyes, chop roughly, and then puree in a food processor (or a blender, or grate by hand). Pour the puree into a heavy-bottomed saucepan and add one clove, one star anise, and 1/2 to 1 cup of sugar, depending on how tart your pineapple is. Boil over medium low heat until it turns a dark amber color and is thick and sticky; oh, hey, you can go and look at the post I made about pineapple tarts two years ago to see what the jam should look like. Scrape into a bowl and refrigerate. You can do this a few days in advance.
The next thing is, decide whether you want to make closed (see post linked above) or open tarts. I had shamelessly asked my friend Kaimono if she would send me some pineapple tart molds so I went with open face! I like this style because you can see the yummy jam, and because I like the design of the cookie molds.
Look how many she sent! There are different sizes and patterns. Thank you, thank you!! :D I can tell I'm going to be using these for lots of cookie baking in the future, and not just pineapple tarts! Oh, and in case you're curious how they work, the cutters are in two pieces, one to cut the actual cookie, and then an inner piece that stamps the pattern and makes a well for the jam. Just make sure you roll your dough thick enough to accommodate a well (for these molds, I rolled dough to 1/4").
Roll your pineapple jam into balls and place one in each well. I guess you don't actually have to roll them into balls and could just scoop it with a small spoon or pipe it, but I like them to be neat! Plus then you get to lick your jammy fingers.
Before baking, you can glaze the cookies with an egg yolk-water glaze, or leave them plain. The ones above are glazed. (Aren't the tiny ones cute?)
And these are unglazed. I think I prefer them unglazed, actually, seems to make the pattern easier to see!
Okay, well we are in the midst of an ice storm, so I'm going to sign off and attempt to make it to work. One more post on CNY tomorrow :D Gong xi fa cai and xing nian kuai le to those of you who are ahead of U.S. time :D