Posted by: Erica Retrochef | August 22, 2011

Regal Rings

Oh wow, it’s been a busy month. First there were relatives, then there was recovering from relatives, then getting ready for back-to-school, then actually going back to school — and all four family members are in some stage of academia, so this is even more an upheaval for us than most households. Somewhere in the midst of that madness we managed to whip together a quick retro recipe, and now I’m finally prepping the pics and post to share it with the world.

We do hope to return to regularly scheduled gastronomic giggles soon!

When we had relatives visiting, we had planned on giving the kids a fun activity to distract them for a while, and putting together an easy dessert seemed to fit the bill. Buzz had the brilliant idea of making it something retro, thus getting somebody else to do part of our job for us. (Sadly, we were too busy all week, and it didn’t come to pass, so we put our own kids to work once our relatives flew home.)

In 1951, Hawai’i wasn’t yet a state, but it was clearly seen as a tropical paradise full of magical fruit — at least if fruit advertisements are anything to go by.


You “bake” these regal rings in your refrigerator. Quick and easy, too, for you put a chocolate cookie spread generously with whipped cream between slices of Dole Pineapple. Into the refrigerator for a few hours and presto! a party dessert. Dole does it like nothing else, of course — for it’s Hawaii’s own, Hawaiian-grown!

The ingredients were all things we liked, although not necessarily together. Chocolate and pineapple, in particular, sounded somewhat disconcerting.

Once the cream was whipped, the recipe was incredibly easy, just a bit of assembly and then chilling the completed “sandwiches” until after our dinner. The kids helped out, and they could do just as good a job stacking the elements up as we could. The trickiest part was keeping the bottom layer of whipped cream from all falling down into the center of the pineapple ring.

(As a kid, I was always very puzzled by the fact that pineapple rings are always broken; they have a slit through them. When, as a grownup, I got a pineapple slicing and coring tool as a present, I finally figured out why. It turned out that the rings are not really horizontal slices of the fruit. The good part of the pineapple gets cut into a spiral, which requires a long slit down one side to convert it into a stack of individual rings.)

The cookies were those big, soft Pepperidge Farm cookies, which made them almost exactly the same size as the pineapple rings. But while the deserts were resting in the refrigerator, as we served and ate supper, the cool, dry air hardened the cookies quite a bit. The one that was left overnight got even harder. I’m not sure whether using drier cookies at the outset would have made a negligible difference, or whether they would have hardened so much that the desserts would become tooth-chippingly inedible.

When it was time to bite down, we found the flavor was very enjoyable. The only problem was one that we all anticipated—the tendency of the whipped cream to squish out as the sandwich was compressed. Everyone liked this dessert, and while it wasn’t anything fancy, it was satisfying.

This recipe is part of a 1951 advertisement for Dole pineapple, preserved on Flickr by jackieinmi.



  1. Glad to see you’re back! I keep coming back here to see if you’ve posted anything new, and here it is!…I would have thought ‘pineapple’ and ‘chocolate’ would have clashed. Lemon, vanilla, or shortbread cookies would probably be good in this.

  2. Curious…despite the pineapple juice, the cookies did not get soggy? I wonder what they’d tasted like with ice-cream instead of whipped cream…personally I’d use macadamia white chocolate chips cookies just to stick to the “hawaiian” experience! with coconut ice cream!!

    • The whipped cream formed a buffer between the pineapple and cookies — also, I was a little worried about the sogginess issue, so I shook a lot of the juice off the rings before assembling everything.

      I love the idea of reworking this, honestly, it could be light and refreshing if you swapped out the whipped cream for a coconut sorbet. Pina-colada with a soft buttery shortbread cookie in the middle, perhaps?

  3. Weird… ’cause usually, the cookies should soften, ’cause they’re next to the cream, like in an icebox cake. Maybe the cookies were too thick?

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