It took 25 years, one month and thirty days for me to combine my favorite flavor with my favorite cookie.WHAT WAS I WAITING FOR? There is no turning back for me now.
These cookies have shortbread's telltale buttery crumble, a slight chew from the toasted coconut you will put into the dough (after trying to shove a fist-full of it into your mouth first. Real talk: coconut WILL fall down your shirt if you do this, and you'll probably be okay with it.) I really love that these cookies are not too-sweet. They remind me of a classic southern Coconut cake- you know the kind, usually topped with some sort of tangy cream cheese frosting.
I melted some nice dark chocolate and dipped half of these beauts in. I wasn't done there, though. I decided that MORE toasted coconut on top of the chocolate was necessary. I was right. HEAVEN. Seriously. Cookie heaven.
Can you imagine these as a sandwich cookie? I'm officially done. I'm sorry I brought that up.
I hope you're as pumped about these cookies as I am. I beg of you, dear friends: go make these. Right now.
Toasted Coconut Shortbread Makes about 36 cookies (depending on size and shape of your cookie cutter) Recipe from Annie's Eats
1 cup of finely shredded, unsweetened coconut (toasted!) 1 1/2 cups of unsalted butter, softened 1 cup + 1 TBS of granulated sugar 1 1/4 tsp. salt 1 tsp. vanilla extract 3 cups AP flour
To garnish: Good quality dark chocolate Sweetened, shredded coconut (toasted!)
I've been super into getting my mise en place straight before cooking and baking these past few months, so let's do that first. In two batches, we are going to toast our coconut. First, add your unsweetened coconut to a dry skillet. Toast over medium heat until golden brown, moving frequently. Remove and spread on parchment paper to cook. Next, add ~1 cup of sweetened coconut to your dry skillet and toast until golden brown, moving frequently. When done, pour this coconut into a small bowl and set aside.
Add butter and sugar into the bowl of your stand mixer. Beat for 2-3 minutes on medium high speed, until light and fluffy. Add salt and vanilla (I used vanilla bean paste here- I like the little visual flavor babies it adds to my baked goods) and mix until incorporated. Slowly, add in flour until just combined. At this point, you will have a bit of a dough ball beginning to form. This is good! Sprinkle your unsweetened coconut in and mix until just combined.
Turn dough out onto a clean surface, form into a ball, and tightly wrap with saran wrap. Chill for 1 hour or more. Dough should be very firm.
Preheat the oven to 325, and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Lightly flour your work surface of choice, and roll your dough out to ~1/4 inch thickness. I worked in two batches with my dough, keeping the second batch in the fridge until I was ready to roll it out. Cut out your cookies using your favorite cookie cutter, and transfer to baking sheets. Re-roll your dough scraps as needed to get as many cookies as possible. (You're welcome.)
Bake until lightly golden. I like my shortbread to stay pale- and it's really nice if these cookies stay pretty pale, so you are able to see all of the toasted coconut and vanilla bean specks inside of your cookies! Baking times will vary based on cookie thickness and size of cookie you're making. I started checking my cookies at 12 minutes, and they ended up baking 14-15 minutes per batch. To encourage even browning, I rotated my cookies halfway through baking.
Let your cookies cook on your cookies sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. (Pro tip: put your cooling rack over some parchment or a baking sheet. It's going to make chocolate dipping/drainage WAY easier.)
Once completely cooled, dip some (or all!) of your cookies into melted dark chocolate. While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle with your toasted sweetened coconut.
If you're feeling generous, share. If not, enjoy!