Every year I celebrate my friend Jonathan's birthday with a new cookie. This year I did a take off on my Raspberry Cloud Cakes that I made at the 2013 World Food Championships in Las Vegas. Since Jon will be spending some time soon in the Caribbean I thought a coconut and pineapple combo would be appropriate. I didn't take any pictures to guide us through the baking process, but it's simple and I think when you make these you'll be as pleased as I was.
Pina Colada Cream Filled Cookies
8 oz neufchatel cheese at room temp
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1/4 cup sweetened coconut ground in spice grinder or food processor
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp coconut extract
3/4 cup butter softened
3/4 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend- if you choose to use regular brown sugar double the amount
2 large eggs at room temp
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups AP flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup candied/dried pineapple rings chopped
Confectioners sugar for dusting
Chopped candied/dried pineapple rings
Cream cheese coconut mixture
I always make the filling first: In medium size bowl combine your neufchatel cheese and butter. Now add your ground coconut, confectioners sugar and coconut extract. I cover this with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge while I'm making the cookie dough.
To make the cookies: Pre heat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In medium size bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir with a whisk or fork to combine and set aside.
In large bowl, with hand or stand mixer combine butter and brown sugar and mix until smooth and airy (about 3 minutes). Add eggs and vanilla and continue to mix. Add half the dry ingredients into the wet and mix on low. Add the rest of the flour mixture and mix until smooth. Fold in the candied/dried pineapple pieces. Cover with plastic wrap, and let cool in your refrigerator 20-30 minutes.
When dough is chilled, form into small balls about 1 inch in diameter. Place on baking sheets and cook 11 minutes. Cool slightly on cooling rack, then remove to kitchen or paper towels to cool completely.
Remove coconut filling from fridge and take a tablespoon (or maybe a little more) and place this creamy mixture on the flat side of the cooled cookie. Cover with a second cookie to make a sandwich. Keep going until you've matched up all the mates.
Sprinkle the top of all cookies with confectioners sugar, add a dab of coconut cream cheese on top and plunk in a piece or two of chopped pineapple. Nice presentation and a very sweet cookie.
I refrigerate these cookies and take them out about 30 minutes to one hour before serving. Happy Birthday Jonathan! Oh my, what am I going to make you next year?