Serious Eats: Sweets
Cookie Monster: Coconut Pineapple Gems
Given the year-round bounty of fruits and vegetables in California, you might think that people out here aren't into canning. You might think we save our mason jars for cocktails at hipster BBQ joints and throw overly ripe produce to the cows.
Luckily it's just the opposite. Farmers markets here are just brimming with jars of homemade preserves. It seems like every stand is selling jam made with strange-sounding berries (olallieberry I'm looking at you) or heirloom fruit that they've grown on their farm (and would love to tell you about. At length.)
My current favorite is a pineapple jam that's got a fairly chunky texture and super sweet flavor. It really brightens up my otherwise staid winter toast. I knew right away that it would be the perfect jam for thumbprint cookies, so I pulled out my baking sheets and set to work. The cookies were good— the buttery shortbread base was a nice mellow cradle for the intensely flavored jam—but they called for a little something more.
The obvious answer (if, like me, your brain thinks pineapple-tropical-tropical-coconut) was coconut. Sweetened coconut flakes impart both flavor and texture to these cookies. The flakes get a little brown and crispy, adding chew to the top of the cookie, and flavor-wise, they add a familiar counterpoint to the tropical pineapple flavor.