These Puerto Rican shortbread biscuits are a favourite at parties and celebrations, including Christmas, and are often given as gifts. Simple to make, but impossible to resist, there are endless variations on the centre filling – the ubiquitous guava jam or hundreds and thousands are both popular in Puerto Rico – but we’ve filled ours with a homemade pineapple jam that tastes like summer.
- 180 g unsalted butter, softened
- 45 g (¼ cup) coconut oil
- 110 g (½ cup) caster sugar
- 340 g plain flour
- 1½ tsp almond extract
- ½ tsp grated nutmeg
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ (about 450 g) small ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, very finely chopped or grated
- 220 g (1 cup) white sugar
- 1 lime, zested, juiced
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make pineapple jam, combine pineapple and 2 tablespoons of water in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes or until pineapple releases juice. Add sugar and half the lime juice, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until mixture is thick and jam-like. Stir through vanilla extract and remaining lime juice and zest. Transfer to a sterilised jar (see Note) and set aside to cool. Jam will keep refrigerated for 6 weeks.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 160°C. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and coconut oil together until combined. Add sugar and beat for 2 minutes or until pale and fluffy. Add flour, almond extract, nutmeg and vanilla extract and beat until just combined.
Shape tablespoonfuls of mixture into balls and place on oven trays lined with baking paper. Press down firmly with your thumb in the centre of each biscuit to form an indentation. Spoon 1 teaspoon pineapple jam into the centre of each biscuit and bake for 16 minutes or until edges are golden and biscuits are cooked through. Allow to cool on trays then serve. Biscuits will keep in an airtight container for 3 days.
• It is essential to sterilise jars before filling them to prevent bacteria from forming. You can reuse any glass jar as long as the lid seals well. To sterilise jars in the oven, preheat oven to 120°C. Wash items in soapy water, rinse, then dry. Place jars (including non-plastic lids) on an oven tray and place in oven for 20 minutes. Remove and fill jars while still hot. To sterilise jars in the dishwasher, wash on the hottest cycle. Dry, then fill jars, bottles and containers while still hot.
Photography Brett Stevens. Styling Kirsten Jenkins.
As seen in Feast magazine, Dec/Jan 2014, Issue 38.