Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Pineapple Macadamia Nut Shortbread #CreativeCookieExchange

Candied pineapple and macadamia nuts bring a little tropical flair to traditional, rich buttery shortbread.

This month my Creative Cookie Exchange friends are channeling the tropics to bring you cookies that remind us of sun and surf and swaying palms trees. And I got to reminiscing about a long ago holiday to Hawaii.

When I was still in school and my father moved to southeast Asia, he used to book tickets for my sisters and me to visit him from Texas. No one flew that far in one go at the time so there were several stops. Often one of the layovers was in Hawaii so we’d break up the trip by staying a few days on Waikiki. One year I was going to be traveling on my own so I twisted a friend’s arm (hard task, right?) to come with me. Her father worked for Delta so her ticket was heavily discounted and since Daddy was already paying for the hotel room, all she needed was spending money. We had the best time, hanging out on the beach and soaking up the sun together.

I’ll tell you honestly that while we ate our share of pineapple there, both at breakfast time and perched on tropical cocktails, I don’t recall trying a macadamia nut until years later. Nevertheless both pineapples and macadamias have become synonymous with Hawaii. And they go beautifully together in buttery shortbread.

Adapted from Recipe.com

2 1/2 cups or 315g all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed or 65g brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup or 227g cold butter
1/4 cup finely chopped or 30g macadamia nuts
1/4 cup finely chopped or 50g candied pineapple

Preheat your oven to 325°F or 163°C and prepare a 8 x 8 in or 20 x 20cm pan by lining it completely with baking parchment. I also use a little non-stick spray just to help it stay in place.

Chop your pineapple and nuts into small pieces.

In a large mixing bowl, combine your flour, brown sugar and salt.

Cut the cold butter into pieces and add them to the mixing bowl. Use a pastry blender to cut in the butter, until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.

Stir in the chopped candied pineapple and nuts. Use your fingers to break up the bits of pineapple so they aren’t all stuck together.

Pour the mixture into your prepared pan and level it out with a spatula or spoon.

Use your hands to press and flatten the mixture as thin as you can manage.

Use a sharp knife to score the top of the shortbread. If it crumbles as you try to score it, press it down again, even more firmly. You can poke 'em with a fork if you want to also. That seems traditional for shortbread.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 18-22 minutes or until the edges are starting to turn golden.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pan for just a few minutes on a wire rack. While the it's still quite warm, use the sharp knife to cut right through the shortbread where you scored it.

Allow to cool completely before removing the shortbread cookies from the pan.

These are melt in your mouth good.


Check out all the other tropical cookies from my fellow Creative Cookie Exchange bakers this month:

Creative Cookie Exchange is hosted by Laura of The Spiced Life, this month with technical assistance from Renee of Magnolia Days. We get together once a month to bake cookies with a common theme or ingredient so Creative Cookie Exchange is a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts at The Spiced Life). We post the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!


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