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Pineapple Squares

These easy Pineapple Squares have a sweet and buttery coconut shortbread cookie crust topped with a delicious pineapple filling (and a little more crust on top). They're totally irresistible!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Cooling Time2 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 24 squares
Calories: 325kcal
Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!

Ingredients

Filling:

  • 1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple in pineapple juice
  • 1 (24-ounce) jar applesauce, sweetened but not flavored
  • 5 tablespoons Minute tapioca
  • 6 tablespoons sugar, or to taste

Crust:

  • 1 pound margarine, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ pound sweetened shredded/flaked coconut

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Make the Filling:

  • In a medium sauce pot (I use a 3-quart), combine the crushed pineapple, applesauce, tapioca, and 6 tablespoons sugar. Bring to a boil and boil gently, stirring often, until the mixture thickens (about 5 minutes). Taste and add more sugar if needed.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly while you make the crust (about 10 to 15 minutes).

Make the Crust:

  • In a large bowl, cream together the softened margarine and 1 cup sugar until smooth.
  • Add the egg and vanilla extract; stir until well-combined.
  • Add the flour and coconut; stir just until well-combined and a dough forms (the dough will be slightly sticky and should resemble cookie dough). Note: Don't overwork the dough, as that can make it tough.
  • Set aside 1 cup of the dough for topping the squares later.

Put It All Together & Bake:

  • Put the dough in a light-colored aluminum half sheet pan (18x13x1-inch) lined with parchment paper. Spread the dough out evenly and pat it down to fill the pan.
  • Pour the pineapple filling onto the dough.
  • Take the reserved 1 cup of dough and dot the top of the filling evenly with small pieces of dough.
  • Bake in the center of the oven for 45 minutes or until the bottom crust is cooked through (it should be firm but have barely any color - you don't want the crust to get brown - be careful not to overcook!).
  • Remove from oven and cool completely (about 2 hours) and cut into squares.

Recipe Notes

  • I don't recommend using a dark pan because it will bake hotter and faster and may result in the bottom crust being overdone, crumbly and too brown. If you must use a dark pan, reduce the temperature to 325°F. You may also need to reduce the cooking time.
  • Store your pineapple squares, covered or wrapped tightly, in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days, or you can freeze them. To freeze: wrap each square in plastic wrap and then foil, and then put them all in a freezer bag or container. They should last 2 to 3 months. 
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