Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Debra Godwin's Lilikoi Shortbread Cookies won the first prize of a year's worth of plate lunches in Kakaako Kitchen's Valentine's Day cookie contest.

Cookies with heart


By Betty Shimabukuro

Diamonds are nice and candlelight dinners are special, but isn't the best Valentine's Day gift something sweet and homemade?

Runner-up Cherry Chocolate Morsels.

Well, not necessarily (diamonds are nice), but still, a gesture counts for a lot, so bake some cookies before Friday, why don't you, and surprise your special someone.

Kakaako Kitchen came up with three timely suggestions through its "Cookies with Heart" recipe contest, which was judged on Saturday.

The winning recipe was for a distinctive shortbread cookie that was trimmed in gold and infused with lilikoi flavoring.

Winning baker Debra Godwin said she adapted a basic shortbread recipe, adding oat flour for a healthy touch -- "to counter the butter and sugar" -- and to give the cookie a nutty texture and appearance.

She also used fresh lilikoi juice, a gift from a friend. The gold trim comes courtesy of a product called Luster Dust, available at Compleat Kitchen.

Godwin's cookies will be featured for a limited time at Kakaako Kitchen and several dozen will be baked up as a Valentine's Day gift to a local hospital.

Second-place winner was Renée Silva, for her Cracker Cookies -- chocolate, nuts and butter spread over a base of saltines. Thin, crispy and surprising, these cookies scored high for originality.

Karen Jones won third place for a cookie filled with chocolate chips and cherries.


First Place:

Lilikoi Shortbread Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2-1/2 tablespoons lilkoi (passion fruit) juice
2 cups flour
1/2 cup oat flour (rolled oats ground in a food processor)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Beat butter and sugar 2 to 3 minutes, until creamy. Mix in lilikoi juice. Add flours and salt. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour, until firm.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Working with half the dough at a time (keep the other half chilled), roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with 2-inch cookie cutter. Place on ungreased cookie sheets and bake 12 to 14 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Cracker Cookie.

Cracker Cookies

1 package saltines
1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 12- to 16-ounce package chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil and completely cover with saltines.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, then add sugar. Stir to dissolve sugar. Pour over saltines. Bake 11 to 12 minutes, until light brown.

Remove and sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips. Wait 3 to 4 minutes, until chips melt, then spread chocolate evenly over crackers. Sprinkle with nuts. Refrigerate 1 to hours, then break up into pieces.

Cherry Chocolate Morsels

2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup dried cherries or maraschino cherries, finely chopped
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Combine butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Add flour and beat until smooth. Add cherries and chocolate chips; stir to form a smooth dough. Refrigerate 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cookie sheets with baking parchment.

Spoon out dough 1 tablespoon at a time; roll into balls. Place on cookie sheets and flatten slightly. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. For Valentine's Day, cookies may be decorated before baking with a half maraschino cherry formed into a heart shape. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Nutritional information unavailable.

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