My great grandparents, Memo and Papa as we called them, immigrated to the United States from Malaga, Spain. They lived with their families on banana plantations in Hawaii and then immigrated to the main land through San Francisco. Most of my mom’s family still lives in the Bay Area today.
Malaga cuisine is fairly typical Mediterranean cuisine, with an emphasis on seafood. Appropriate, considering they’re right by the sea. They eat a variety of things, including an Andalusian version of gazpacho made with grapes and almonds, sardines, beans and sausages. What we’re talking about today though, is holiday food. I wish I would have old enough to experience and remember a Martin holiday gathering because it sounds like quite the festivity! My mom and dad both talk about the large amount of family members that would gather and all the aunts, titas, and Memo would cook. Pucheto (chickpea soup); Bacalao (codfish fritters); anise cookies; wedding cookies; and walnut pineapple roll ups.
These have been called Memo cookies for as long as I can remember and we have made them every year for Christmas that I can remember. The distinct smell of spicy cinnamon and pineapple as these cookies bake in oven always reminds me of Christmas. They remind me of Memo too; I remember her very vaguely when I was small and how my sister and I used wear dress up clothes and run around her and Papa’s house. If you’re looking for a cookie that’s a little off the beaten path from your normal Christmas cookies, give these a whirl. I bet you’ll fall in love with them, like I have!
Memo’s Walnut Pineapple Roll Ups
Yield: 24 roll ups
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 can crushed pineapple
cinnamon to taste, about 1 teaspoon
1. Combine all dry ingredients for the dough, flour, salt, baking powder.
2. Separate one of the eggs. Combine the yolk of that egg, with the rest of the wet ingredients, sour cream, butter and sugar.
3. Add the dry to the wet and mix until well incorporated. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
4. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
5. Drain pineapple and roughly chop walnuts. Combine walnuts and pineapple with the cinnamon.
6. Remove the dough from the fridge and divide it into thirds. Roll out the thirds into a circle, about 1/4 inch thick, and cut into eight triangles.
7. Place a small amount of filling at the wide part of the triangle, about one teaspoon, and then roll the dough around the filling. The point of the triangle should be on the bottom of the dough. Repeat with the rest of the triangles.
8. Place cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Beat the other egg and brush cookies with the egg. Bake cookies for 15-20 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
I hope you enjoy my Memo’s cookies. They hold a very special place in my heart. I made these last weekend with my sister, since we can’t go home until very late this year and won’t be able to make cookies with Mom. This also works to my advantage because now I get to eat cookies at home in Boulder AND at home in Big Bear. Win!
Happy Friday! Be well & happy eating!