I seem to be on some sort of Norah Jones kick these days. I may or may not be spending way too much time on Pandora lately.
Some artists have food voices. Norah is one. Her voice is a peach. A fresh, ripe peach. Right off the tree, on a hot shimmery afternoon in August.
Billy Joel is a chewy pretzel. Salty and savory, and dipped in marinara sauce. Mmm, Billy Joel…
Josh Groban. A rich, dark chocolate silk pie. No nuts, though, and no whipped cream. Josh Groban isn’t whipped cream. Just straight up pie, and lots of it. Maybe the whole thing, all in one sitting. Yikes.
Ella Fitzgerald. She’s a thin slice of rich, smooth New York cheesecake, on a white ceramic plate. Maybe with a bit of caramel sauce.
Jack Johnson. A fresh, cool piña colada smoothie. Am I right?
That’s what I thought, too. Maybe I should have named these cookies after him. And sent him a box.
These cookies provided a badly-needed springtime pick-me-up. There may be snow on the ground outside, but it’s a tropical party in my kitchen.
Piña Colada Cookies
adapted from The Taste of Home Baking Book
2 (3-oz.) cans crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup flaked coconut
For icing (optional):
1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 Tablespoons reserved pineapple juice
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Drain pineapple, reserving 3 tablespoons juice. Set pineapple aside; set juice aside. In a mixing bowl, cream shortening and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Add pineapple, and extracts; mix well. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in the coconut.
Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto a greased baking sheet. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until slightly golden. Immediately remove to wire racks to cool.
If icing is desired, combine confectioners’ sugar with enough of the reserved pineapple juice to achieve spreading consistency. Spread over cooled cookies.
(High altitude: Increase the oven temperature 20 degrees, and decrease baking time by a few minutes. Watch them closely.)