Saturday, December 12, 2009

Toasted Coconut Butter Cookies

Back in Dec 1995 I received a Food & Wine issue filled with pictures of cookies on the front cover. It wasn't til years later that I tried these. I changed the recipe by adding pure Orange Oil because I thought, and still think, in compliments the toasted coconut just right. If you need other uses for the oil, try the Orange Raspberry Scones on this web site. If you don't have time to get it, try zesting an orange over the bowl capturing the oils, too.
This cookie is delicious, packages well for gift boxes and adds a rectangular shape if you are arranging a platter. If you have time to make the dough early in the day but can't get to the baking this is perfect because it is done in 2 steps.
When I have made these in the past they puffed up slightly bellowing the sides and that is not desirable. These nice rectangles are what you want. Don't over beat the dough and through practice you can attain this perfect shape, too! To me these cookies smell like Christmas!
Preheat oven to 350 and toast 2 1/2 Cups Coconut to a golden brown. Turn once during the toasting precess. Let cool.
The butter should be cool, not room temperature. Beat together 2 Sticks UnSalted Butter, 1/2 Cup + 2 1/2 Tbl Sugar, 1/4 tsp + a pinch Salt until light and fluffy. Add 2 Egg Yolks, 1 at a time (choose your smallest 2 eggs. If you have one very large egg, use just one). Add 1 tsp Vanilla, 1 tsp Orange Oil (or zest of 1 orange). Add 2 1/3 Cups Flour gradually and beat just until combined well. Add Toasted Coconut and mix slowly until just combined.
Line a small sheet pan with a long piece of plastic wrap. Lay half in the pan and half hanging over one of the ends of the pan. Put all the dough on the wrap closest to the overhang. Fold the wrap over the dough and with you hand, quickly flatten the dough to fill the pan. It should be level and about 1/2" thick. Work the dough down the pan until if forms a square or rectangle. It will not fill the entire pan. Whatever the shape, you can use the heal of you hand to make a straight edge on the one open side. Place in refrigerator for a few hours but 6-8 works best.
Preheat oven to 350. Place dough on a cutting surface. Using a very long chefs knife, cut dough in half and in half again, creating 4 long bars of equal width. Cut the bars into 1/2" cookies and place on a light colored cookies sheet. They can be fairly close together since they don't rise much. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown. The recipe calls to dip 1 end of each cookie but I never had luck since they are very tender and fell apart into the chocolate, therefore I like to drizzle them. Once they are all cooked, place very close together on a cooling rack over a sheet pan. Melt 1 1/2 Cups Chocolate over very low heat stirring all the while, (can use milk or dark chocolate bars or semi sweet bits). Remove from heat. Dip the tines of a fork into chocolate and drizzle by shaking the fork crosswise over the cookies until you have the desired effect. Let cool completely before trying to stack. These are a family favorite every year!

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