Nastar Cookies are pineapple filled shortbread style cookies. They’re sweet, flaky, and full of pineapple flavor.
I cheated on these cookies. And I paid dearly for cheating. They didn’t come out the way I hoped and it’s all due to the filling. Don’t get me wrong, they tasted delicious, but they weren’t perfectly round like all the pictures on Pinterest.
What are nastar cookies?
They’re an Indonesian cookie. It’s a pastry dough cookie that filled with a pineapple filling. It’s the pineapple filling that I cheated on. I had some pineapple coconut jam from a local vendor here in town. I thought it would be a good substitute for the traditional pineapple filling. I was so wrong.
The pastry came together beautifully. It is light, and slightly sweet, and perfectly delicious. There’s a little powdered sugar in there, some cornstarch, and a few egg yolks to bring it all together. This makes for a perfectly delicious wrapper for the pineapple jam filling.
The pineapple jam isn’t really a jam. It’s more like a pineapple paste. You shred the pineapple and cook it until all the liquid is gone. Then you add sugar and continue to cook it until the pineapple is thick and easily shaped into balls. So, pretty thick. Therefore, my shortcut failed. Because the jam I used was not that thick. At all.
Where do nastar cookies come from?
Nastar is a only in Indonesia. However, this is not an Indonesian creation. It’s a Dutch creation based on a lebaran cake recipe. Lebaran is a pie made with strawberry, blueberry, or apple jam. However, these are not fruits easily found in Indonesia. Shocking, I know.
The name is actually a combination of the word pineapple, which ananas and tart. I guess there’s no Indonesian word for tart except tart. So, shortened it’s nastar. I have come to learn that Indonesians like to abbreviate words. Worse that Aussies or New Zealanders.
I play a game on my phone. And there’s a large Indonesian presence on the 2 servers I am on. I have found it’s easier to try to learn their language to speak to them then rely on the translator. The translator is not so great sometimes. Even though I sound like a 3 year old, at least I can get my point across as I continue to learn this interesting language.
When do Indonesians eat nastar cookies?
Back in the day, this cookie was mainly for nobility. However, as with all things, eventually the normal people figured out a way to enjoy these specialties, too. But don’t let that fool you. This is still a cookie served for special events like Eid (Idul Fitri) and Christmas or the Lunar New Year.
The golden color also has meaning. For Chinese descendants, the golden color and sweet filling symbolize sweet and abundant sustenance. The golden color itself symbolizes luck.
For those lucky enough to live in Asian, there’s a cookie mix specifically for these cookies! You only need to add eggs and probably the filling to make these gems. Not that there’s a ton of ingredients in these delicious cookies. It’s really the filling that takes the most time. Other than that, it’s a basic pastry recipe you could use for pie dough or hand pies.
Where does the golden color come from? After baking the cookies for 30 minutes, then you coat them with an egg yolk wash with honey. I applied two coats of the egg wash making sure to let the first one dry before I put the second one on there. Then I baked them for a little longer to make sure the egg was as dried and give it a pretty, golden color.
These don’t have to be perfectly round. Some are formed and decorated to look like pineapples. I wasn’t that creative with my nastar cookies. When I make them again, and I will make them again, they will be more decorative than these. I just wanted to try them and see how they turned out first.
What do nastar cookies taste like?
Don’t let the color fool you. They are not crispy at all. Nastar cookies are tender and perfectly delicious. The pastry shell is slightly sweet, tender, and perfectly delicious. The cornstarch in the recipe inhibits glute from forming. This makes the pastry dough more tender and flakier.
The powdered sugar means the outside tastes like shortbread and not just pie crust. Which it does. Taste like shortbread. But without all the crunch and texture of shortbread cookies. And the powdered sugar is just enough for a slightly sweet dough. Because the filling is perfectly sweet on its own.
I used a coconut pineapple jam for the filling. Don’t do this. The next time I make these, I will make the traditional pineapple filling. It’s not so much a jam as it is a caramelized and thickened pineapple butter. That’s the only way I can describe it. You simply cook grated pineapple until it’s thick and delicious.
And the best part is you can make the dough several days ahead of time. If you’re making the traditional pineapple filling you can make it ahead of time, too. Simple press and fill on the day you want to make them. You could even freeze the dough up to a month ahead of time. Talk about planning. In fact, I might just do that!
For the cookies:
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 eggs yolk
- 1 cup Pineapple preserves
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon milk
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Preheat oven to 300 F.
- Combine the flour with the powdered sugar and cornstarch in the bowl of a food processor.
- Cut the butter into cubes and add to the food processor.
- Pulse 20 to 25 times or until a coarse meal forms.
- With the processor running, add the egg yolks.
- Process until the dough comes together and begins to form a ball.
- Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead lightly until smooth.
- Divide the dough into 20 even pieces.
- Roll into a ball and then press into a 3 inch round.
- Place 1/2 teaspoon of pineapple preserves in the center of the round.
- Carefully close the cookie and press the seams to close.
- Bake at 300 for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Combine the 2 egg yolks with the remaining ingredients.
- Brush the cookies with the egg wash mixture. Allow the egg wash to dry and then apply a second coat.
- Bake the cookies again at 300 for 20 more minutes.
- Cool in pan and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
Nutrition InformationYield 30 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 64Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 39mgSodium 30mgCarbohydrates 6gFiber 0gSugar 2gProtein 1g
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