April Cookie Carnival: Toasted Coconut Shortbread with Pineapple Topping

It’s been a few days since I promised my last strawberry ice cream recipe, but I promise it is still in the plans! Since today is actually the first day of May, my calculations indicate that I have ran out of time to post my goodies from the April Cookie Carnival. We’ve had quite a busy week culminating with running the Arizona location of the muddy Warrior Dash today. If you are waiting for the ice cream, I promise it will make it up here in a couple of days after I finally get all the dirt cleaned off my body and running clothes! 🙂

We had some friends over yesterday for the first barbecue in our newly finished backyard, and these cookies turned out to be the dessert hit of the party! This is particularly impressive in my book because the other option was a no-fail caramel brownie 🙂 I have to admit that the coconut-pineapple combination in these proved to be pretty awesome!

While the end result was worth it, I struggled a little with the recipe. After pulsing the dough in my food processor, there was no way it was going to hold together enough to form a cohesive ball of dough. Did anyone else have trouble with crumbly dough? I tried to avoid it, but ended up needing to add 2-3 tsp. milk to the dough to get it to hold together. After this, it cooperated much better. My other complaint is that my yield was much lower than the recipe indicated. I used a coffee cup to cut my circles and ended up with a total of 12 spheres. I don’t feel that my coffee cup was that big, so they must have used a really small cookie cutter to end up with 12 sandwich cookies in the test recipe. Since I wanted to have 10-12 servings of each dessert option for people to choose from, we ended up eating them open-sided and added the topping immediately before eating our individual servings. Despite my troubles, I feel like I could now make these rather quickly in the future. I will certainly keep them in mind because they were really enjoyed by our guests! Enjoy! 

(Printable Recipe)

Toasted Coconut Shortbread with Pineapple Topping
Adapted from Anna Olson’s recipe on Food Network Canada

Ingredients:
Shortbread:
1/2 cup sweetened coconut, finely shred
1 cup and 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, unsalted, room temperature
2-3 tsp. milk, if needed

Pineapple Cream Topping:
1/2 cup (4 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained
2/3 cup whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread coconut on a baking tray and toast for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown, stirring once. Watch it closely so it does not burn. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.

Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add butter in pieces and pulse just until dough is crumbly. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and sprinkle toasted coconut over the dough. Work it into the dough until the dough comes together. May add milk as needed to bring the dough together. Dust work surface again and roll out dough into a rectangle about 1/8-inch thick, and cut into circles using a 3-inch glass or round cookie cutter. Use a spatula to lift cookies onto a parchment-lined baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes, just until the edges of the cookies begin to brown. Cool cookies on the pan for 5 minutes before removing the cookies to wire racks to cool completely. 

For the pineapple topping, beat whipped cream with an electronic mixer until soft peaks have formed. Set aside. Beat cream cheese until soft and fluffy. Beat in icing sugar and vanilla. Stir in pineapple and fold in whipping cream. Chill until ready to serve. To plate, place a cookie on a plate and spoon or pipe about 2 tablespoons of pineapple cream onto the cookie. 

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