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easy vegetarian recipes

Nastar (Pineapple Cookies)


Every year when Chinese New Year approaches, my mother in law and her sisters all gather together for a multi day baking marathon, churning out jars and jars of nastar (pineapple jam filled cookies) and pans and pans of lapis legit (thousand layer cake). I am always amazed at the stamina of these 50 and 60 years old plus aunties baking away with a big gas oven under 30 degree Celsius tropical weather. And the baked goods are always so delicious, on par if not better than those sold by bakeries. These are then distributed among the many family members and closed friends, of course me and my hubby always get a jar of nastar and a pan of lapis legit each year, lucky us right?

Ingredients for Pineapple Jam

Ingredients for Pineapple Jam

So with that introduction, let’s bake some cookies! Before we begin, let me warn you that it is best to spread this cookie making process to two days. Day 1: Make pineapple jam. If you start quite early in the day, the jam should have enough time to chill and you can start rolling this into little balls. Place them on a baking tray lined with parchment and chill in the fridge. Day 2: Make cookie dough. Roll dough into little balls. Stuff jam into each dough and roll into neat round balls. Remember to apply egg wash. Then bake. Fair warning: if you are making these for Chinese New Year, it is best to store a portion away so you don’t accidentally finish them all and have nothing left when you have guests coming over. :)

Pineapple Jam

Pineapple Jam

Making pineapple jam is the simplest thing in the world. At the minimum, you need one pineapple and some brown (or even regular) sugar. To make it a bit fancier, I usually add cinnamon and cloves, but some prefer it plain, so it’s really up to you. Puree the pineapple with either food processor or blender (don’t add any water), then cook this with sugar and the spices (if using) until thick. And remember that this is going to be filling for cookies, make sure the jam can be rolled into tiny balls and not fall apart, like the ones shown in the photo below. If you like this jam and want to make it as spread, feel free to stop cooking when it is thinner and more spreadable.

Top: balls of pineapple jam; Bottom: balls of cookie dough

Top: balls of pineapple jam; Bottom: balls of cookie dough

For the cookie dough, you will need butter, sweet condensed milk, egg yolks, and all purpose flour. This is a very simple cookie dough, but one that I really like. It has this melt-in-your-mouth property once baked, hold their shapes well when baked (I have tried many recipes where the dough expands when baked and destroy the cookie shape!), and more importantly very easy to work with when stuffing jam into the dough and neatly wrap the whole thing into neat round ball. Even for a Chinese like myself, I only make this at most once a year because of how labor intensive the whole production is, so dough that is easy to work with counts for many extra points.

Nastar (Pineapple Cookies)

Nastar (Pineapple Cookies)

I hope this post encourages you to make some pineapple cookies for this Chinese New Year. I wish you a wonderful time with family for the coming festivities, and may this year brings your prosperity and happiness. 恭喜发财. 祝你大吉大利, 年年有余, 吉祥如意! To celebrate this coming Chinese New Year, I am collaborating with many other talented food bloggers to bring you a collection of cookies and other sweet treats recipe commonly served during this festive occasion. Please go ahead and take a look at our collective recipes. I hope you will make one or two to serve your family and guests :)

Nastar (Pineapple Cookies)

5.0 from 1 reviews



Prep Time: 4 hours

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 7 hours

Serves: 100 cookies


  • Pineapple jam (make 700 gram)
  • 1 ripe pineapple, flesh only, about 1.5 kilogram
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
  • 3 cloves (optional)
  • 200 gram brown sugar, or to taste
  • Cookie dough (make 1 kilogram)
  • 350 gram unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 100 gram sweet condensed milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 510 gram all purpose flour
  • Egg wash
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon milk


  • Pineapple jam
    1. In a food processor/blender, puree pineapple. Transfer pineapple puree into a heavy bottom pot along with cinnamon stick, cloves, and brown sugar.
    2. Turn on heat to medium and cook until boiling. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking until the jam is really thick. Add more sugar if needed. Near the end, be sure to stir and scrap frequently to prevent burning.
    3. Transfer jam to a mixing bowl to cool. To speed up the cooling process, you can wrap the bowl with a saran wrap and chill in the fridge.
    4. Once the jam is cool to touch, line a baking tray with parchment paper, scoop a bit of jam (roughly 7 gram each) and make round ball, then place it on the prepared tray. Repeat until the jam is used up. If you prepare are going to prepare the cookie dough on the next day, you can cover the baking tray with a saran wrap and return the tray to the fridge.
  • Cookie dough
    1. Beat together butter and condensed milk until light and fluffy. Add egg, one and a time, beat until well mixed. Slowly add all purpose flour in batches into the mixture, beat until the dough becomes smooth, but not sticky. I find it easier if I just use my hand to incorporate the last batch of flour into the dough.
    2. Scoop 10 gram of dough and make a round ball. Repeat until dough is used up.
    3. Prepare 2 baking sheets, each lined with a parchment paper.
    4. Flatten each dough, place the pineapple jam filling at the center, gather the edges of the dough and wrap the filling with the dough. Roll into a round ball, then place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat for the rest of dough and jam filling.
    5. Mix egg yolk and milk together to make the egg wash. Brush the top of cookies with egg wash.
    6. Preheat oven to 165 Celsius (325 Fahrenheit). Bake the cookies for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.
    7. Let the cookies cool completely before storing them in nice looking jars.


  • Marvellina says:

    I can't believe you spend more time making these than the lapis legit ? wow! ha..ha... well, I know I'll be spending lots of times on both for sure! Especially the legit !! Gong Xi Fa Chai Anita!!

    • Anita says:

      I know right? Everyone always think that lapis legit is such a hassle to make, but I honestly would rather make 3 lapis rather than a batch of nastar :)

  • Ann says:

    I love pineapple, so I think I'm going to try these for CNY this year. Thanks for posting -- happy new year!

    • Anita says:

      Happy New Year Ann! Yes I believe pineapple is one of the must have fruit for Chinese New Year :)

  • Ann Low says:

    I love pineapple cookies and homemade jam is always the best! Yours look really yummy and cute. - 恭喜发财!

    • Anita says:

      Ann, 恭喜发财! Yes, homemade pineapple jam is the best since I can adjust the sweetness to my liking, plus pineapple is a good luck must have item for CNY :)

  • Lisa Ho says:

    Beautiful bake :D and love the spice added to pineapple jam. Happy Chinese New Year :D

    • Anita says:

      Happy Chinese New Year Lisa :) I grew up eating pineapple jam with spices, so I stick to this version especially for CNY.

  • fitri says:

    Hi Annita, I tried your nastar recipe today, the cookies are so yummy , and soft as I expect, but the problem is with the yolk topping, why the cookies surface is crack all over .. I would like to have a smooth surface like yours, any tips ? thank you

    • Anita says:

      Hi Fitri, it is possible that your oven temperature is hotter than mine. Try to reduce the temperature to 320 Fahrenheit, or even 300 Fahrenheit, it may need longer to cook, but the cooler temperature should help ensure no cracks to the cookies.

  • Lokness @ The Missing Lokness says:

    I'm a huge fan of pineapple desserts! Even though this recipe requires 2 days to make, I don't care! I am going to try this recipe for sure. Happy New Year!

    • Anita says:

      That's the spirit! Let me know how it turns out, and Happy New Year to you as well Lokness :)

  • Lily says:

    These cookies are a labour of love, but I'm sure they are worth every minute. Happy Chinese New Year to you and your!

    • Anita says:

      Thanks Lily. Happy Chinese New Year to you and your loved ones as well :)

  • Gina says:

    These look soooo good! Such fun traditions for New Year's, I really need to start some of my own.

    • Anita says:

      Happy Chinese New Year Gina. Yes, that is indeed a super fun tradition :)

  • Sharon @Nut Free Wok says:

    Wow, these cookies look so delicious! I remember eating some pineapple cookies as a child and besides being dry, the pineapple flavor was heavenly! I cannot wait to try your recipe. Happy new year!

    • Anita says:

      Thanks! Happy New Year Sharon :)

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