This morning, all I could think of was homemade cookies. All that time without power has sent me head first back into the kitchen — a good thing, no doubt. But I’ve also been busy with work, making sure that all my proverbial balls remained in the air throughout. So it was late afternoon before I finally cleaned out my stand mixer bowl (banana pancakes were this morning’s breakfast for our extended family who arrived bright and early for a shower) and set out to bake a batch of cookies.
The flavor combination – Dark Chocolate Coconut Shortbread – is something my friend Rhian and I came up with this afternoon while chatting on Google Talk. She loves food as much as I do and is awesome about dreaming up flavors with me. I may just have to send her some now … or bribe her to make a visit with promises of homemade baked goods (I like the second idea better, personally). All it took was a mention that I really wanted to make cookies, and she was shooting out ideas and mere minutes later, I had a recipe in mind.
Oh, Dark Chocolate Coconut Shortbread Cookies … they are mouthwatering. The cookies have a buttery shortbread base that’s best eaten cooled. The texture is crumbly, but the cookies don’t break apart into bits (in other words, they don’t make a mess). Dotted with sweet bits of dark chocolate and coconut, every bite is a little different … a happy surprise. And since they aren’t overly sweet, Paige loved them as much as Will and I did. That’s a feat in itself.
The shortbread recipe is the same one that I use for my Shortbread Candy Cookies. It’s a tried and true that adapted easily for this recipe. If you make these, they are awesome with coffee – and don’t be shy about dipping. It’s totally worth it.
The trick to getting these into perfect little rounds is simple: You use a cookie scoop to drop the dough onto a cookie sheet. Then you simply press them into a circle with your hand … or a spoon if you prefer. Then they cook evenly. And since they are all the same size and shape, they are easy to wrap up for gifting too. (It’s not too early to think about your holiday cookie baskets!)
One last thing, completely unrelated to the cookies … Will was asking about my work today — about the recipes I create and how people read them. So I told him a little about my blog, something that he’s always known about but we’ve never really talked about. When he heard that certain friends and family members are among the readers, he insisted that he and Paige make an appearance today to say hi. I thought it was sweet.
What’s your favorite cookie combination?
Dark Chocolate Coconut Shortbread Cookies
yields about 30 cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Add the butter and vanilla extract to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream together until smooth. In a separate bowl, sift together confectioners sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt. Add the sugar mixture to the butter mixture slowly, by the spoonful, with the mixer running on low. Fold in the coconut and the dark chocolate chips.
Use a small cookie scoop (or ice cream scoop) to drop the cookies on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, leaving about two inches between each ball. Press each one down gently with your hand or a spoon to make an even-height cookie round. Cook in the preheated oven for about 12 minutes.
Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to four days.