Pineapple Linzer Cookies

I made these pineapple linzer cookies after visiting Té Company, a snug little hideaway in the West Village.  This cafe worked better than yoga to calm my mind.  Their assortment of oolong teas was vast and a little intimidating, but also playful; I found one tea variety that was described as “the Jason Bourne of Taiwan’s tea R&D center.”  Other contenders were earthy, and descriptions like “vintage barn” were included in their flavor profiles, along with more conventional tea-tastes like hibiscus, cedar, and hawthorn.  I could have spent all afternoon letting my eyes wander through their menu.  Upstaging the tea, however, was this cafe’s amazing pineapple linzer cookies.  Té Company’s recipe was posted in Saveur Magazine last year; my mind is still blown that they were willing to share such a special recipe with the public.  I had to test it out immediately!

The cookies are an elegant blend of sweet pineapple and spicy yuzu kosho (a paste made from chili peppers, yuzu peel, and salt).  If you make this recipe, go light on the yuzu kosho… I recklessly painted it on to a few cookies, and believe me, it burns.  When the yuzu kosho proportions are correct, tasting these cookies at home serves as an instant ticket back to calming memories of Té Company.

Blogging is ultimately a social pursuit, and it has served its purpose as a way to catch and share what life has been kind enough to throw at me.  My journal, on the other hand, is a place of cacophonous confusion and spiraling uncertainty.  Read my journal, and you’ll know that the quiet moments that I tracked down at Té Company were rare and priceless.  Because I’m trying to build my own business, I don’t really turn my mind off after the work day is done.  My thoughts are always swirling with ideas about how to move forward with my projects, regardless if it’s a Tuesday morning or a Saturday night.  It’s increasingly harder to track down moments of inner silence.

While sipping tea together at Té Company, fellow blogger Lisa of Tiny Pinecone suggested that I try journaling first thing in the morning, before even checking my cell phone, as a creative exercise before the busy noise of the rest of the day hits full-force.  This has proved to be so much harder to do than it sounds.  As it turns out, my cell phone has taken the place of a security blanket.  It sits, perched right at the side of my bed for easy access in the morning.  For the past few days, I’ve failed at this new routine.  It’s amazing how difficult it is to alter small movements in your daily shamble.  I’m now determined to make this small change happen.  I truly believe that small steps can alter everything.

Try your hand at these pineapple cookies and savor their spicy sweet harmony.  Think about your own routine.  What calms you down and revives your spirit?  Notice those things, and make them happen.

 

Cookie Dough (This recipe is borrowed from Saveur Magazine)

Ingredients:

4 34 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 12 cups plus 6 tablespoons hazelnut flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 34 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and reserved

For the Pineapple Jam

Ingredients:

5 cups cleaned pineapple, cubed
2 cups granulated sugar
2 sprigs rosemary
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
Zest and juice of 1 lime
14 cup yuzu kosho

Directions:

  1. Whisk together flours, salt, and baking powder in a bowl; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar on medium speed of a hand mixer until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until smooth; beat in vanilla. Add dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Divide dough into 2 balls and wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate 2 hours.
  3. Heat oven to 300°. On a lightly floured surface and working with one dough ball at a time, roll out into a 16-inch by 19-inch oval about 18-inch thick. Using a 3-inch round cutter, cut out cookies and transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Using a 34-inch round cutter, cut out another circle off-center from about half of the cookies. Re-roll scraps once.
  4. Bake cookies, rotating pans in the oven, until lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.
  5. Meanwhile, make the pineapple jam. In a medium saucepan, bring the pineapple and 1 13 cup water to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the liquid has nearly evaporated, about 10 minutes. Transfer pineapple to a blender and purée. Return pineapple to saucepan and add the sugar. Cook until the pineapple starts to caramelize, about 18 minutes. Add the rosemary and stir to coat. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the salt and lime juice.
  6. To assemble the cookies, spread about 1 teaspoon of yuzu kosho over the cookies that do not have the holes. Top with about 1 tablespoon of jam and cover it with a cookie with a hole in it. Let cookies rest overnight to fully set. To serve the next day, top with fresh lime zest and Maldon sea salt.