My father was born in Indonesia when it was still a Dutch colony. He loves anything sweet so I asked him if he remembered a cookie from his childhood for my blog. He told me that his mother never baked cookies. He was still a child when the war broke out. My father was placed in a internment camp on the island Java where no sweet treats were available. After the war he was sent to Holland immediately, so his favorite cookies are all Dutch. A few years ago I travelled through Indonesia and I can remember tasting this crumbly ball with a sticky pineapple filling. You can buy it everywhere in Indonesia, but it is baked mainly during the two most important holidays: Christmas and the end of the Ramadan. I kept a cookie tin filled with kue nastar for next week when I visit my parents. Maybe the taste of these cookies can bring up a few sweet memories. If you like these cookies, try my version of kue nastar with quince paste
Kue Nastar cookie from Indonesia
for the filling
1 big ripe pineapple or 400 grams of canned pineapple
25 grams of sugar
1 cinnamon stick
½ piece of star anise
15 grams of unsalted butter
for the dough
150 grams of flour
40 grams of cornflour
10 grams of milk powder (or custard powder)
15 grams of icing sugar
pinch of salt
125 grams of unsalted cold butter
2 egg yolks
about 20 cloves
Remove the crown and the bottom of the pineapple. Slice off the peel. Remove the eyes with a sharp knife by cutting narrow grooves diagonally around following the pattern of the eyes. Cut the pineapple in 4 quarters and remove the tough center portion.
Cut the pineapple in chunks and puree in the blender or with a stick mixer. Put all the ingredients for the filling in a wide non-stick pan and reduce on low heat. Keep stirring until the pineapple forms a sticky paste. This took me 40 minutes, so take your time and be patient..
Take the spices out of the mixture and spread it on a plate or tray and leave to cool. Roll about 20 little balls from the paste.
Mix the flour with the cornflour, the milk powder, the icing sugar and the salt. Cut the butter into little pieces. Rub the butter in the flour through your fingertips until the mixture resembles rough breadcrumbs. Quickly knead in 1 egg yolk and form into a ball. If the dough is too crumbly add a splash of water.
Don’t overwork the mixture or it will become tough. Wrap the dough in cling film and leave to rest in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 180 °C/ 350° F. Roll little balls from about 20 grams of dough. Flatten the balls, fold in a little pineapple ball and roll to make a nice ball again. Stick a clove in the top of the ball.
Beat the egg yolk with a few drops of water until loose. Place the balls on a baking sheet covered with baking paper and brush a little eggwash over the tops. Bake for 15-20 min. in the middle of the oven until light brown and done.
This post is also available in: Dutch