Fancy Cookies

While the rest of the blogging and food world is caught up with pumpkins and apples, I have been working with coconut.  I have experienced the thrill of using a whole coconut when baking, but this time I was more then happy to take advantage of the shredded, dried coconut available at the grocery store.  I was not up for hammers and chisels in my home kitchen.  However, I may follow up with a post about using fresh, whole coconut, but I will wait till warmer weather when traipsing outside to use the hard surface of the driveway doesn’t require hat and mittens.

I had made a coconut crust for my sweet potato tart and had dough left over.  I decided to use it for these cookies.  They are delicious as is, but I often prefer coconut paired with another flavor, except when you are talking coconut cake! I like it better with lemon or chocolate or RUM.  So, I kicked them up a notch on the “decadence scale” and dipped them in semi sweet chocolate.  I think that these would be lovely on a dessert buffet or in a box of holiday cookies, they look fancy…hmmmmm!? You may be seeing these again 🙂

Coconut Cream Sandwich Cookies (parts adapted from Dorie Greenspan and Joanne Chang)

For the shortbread cookie:
8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
1/4 tsp of vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup of toasted shredded coconut
pinch of salt

Beat butter in mixer with paddle attachment.  Add sugar and beat till fluffy and smooth.  Add egg yolk  and vanilla. Add flour and coconut and mix till just combined.  Turn out and form into a disk, cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.

Remove dough from fridge and let sit at room temp for 5-10 minutes.  Roll out on floured surface till about 1/8 inch thick.  Using a 2 inch round or square cookie cutter, cut cookies and transfer to a parchment lined sheet tray.  Bake at 350 for 5 minutes, rotate the pan and then bake for about 5 minutes more.  They will be just beginning to brown around the edges.  Remove from oven and let cool on a rack.

For the filling:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon coconut rum
1/2 cup shredded toasted coconut (unsweetened preferred)
Pinch salt

Beat butter in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Add confectioners’ sugar one cup at a time until well incorporated.  Add vanilla, rum and salt.  Add coconut.  The filling should be fairly stiff, you should be able to roll it into a balls between the palms of your hands.

Roll 1 tbsp of filling into a ball and sandwich between two cookies.  These will keep in an airtight container for four days at room temperature.
(To dip, melt semi sweet chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals, dip half the sandwiched cookie and sprinkle with more coconut).


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