Coconut Shortbread Cookies

We interrupt this diet to bring you a cookie for Valentine’s Day.  If I can’t enjoy a treat on Valentine’s Day, then all is not right with the world…or with my world at least.

I have a love-hate relationship with coconut in baked goods.  Sometimes I absolutely love and enjoy the taste and texture, and other times it makes me gag.  Whenever coconut is sprinkled willy nilly over frosting, I find it particularly gag-some—even if it’s toasted which normally wins me over.  As a kid, I liked Almond Joy candy bars but not Mounds.  Strange, I know.

My neighbor brought over a plate of these delicious coconut shortbread cookies over ten years ago; and I, of course, immediately asked for the recipe.  I love shortbread, and the coconut enhanced it with the cookie remaining relatively crisp and not getting all coconutty-gummy.  Add in the fact that it’s dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with toasted coconut, it’s a delightfully yummy cookie both in taste and texture.

I wanted you to know that I’ve had these cookies pre-diet.  Being on a diet which doesn’t allow, of course, all the usual suspects—sugar, bread, pasta, rice, potatoes—means that when you do have a cheat day, especially if it’s a dessert, it’s going to taste mighty good.  Relatively speaking, having a treat after a month with no sugar, might make you think something is even better than it actually is.  Be assured, that’s not the case here.  These cookies are wonderful—diet or no diet.

Happy Valentine’s Day…may your day be filled with chocolate!

One year ago:  Coffee Crème Brûlée

Two years ago:  Brownies with White and Dark Hearts, Molten Chocolate Cakes with Mint Fudge Sauce

Coconut Shortbread Cookies

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Ingredients for Cookies

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 to 1 cup flaked coconut (I used 1/2 cup)

Ingredients for Topping

  • 1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp. shortening (I used Crisco)
  • 1/2 cup coconut, toasted

Directions

Preheat oven to 300o F.  Lightly grease or line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Set aside.

Beat butter at medium speed until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating until incorporated.  Stir in vanilla.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt and gradually add dry ingredients to butter mixture, mixing well.  Stir in flaked coconut.  Cover and chill if necessary.

Roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness on lightly floured surface.

Cut out cookies in desired shapes with 2-inch cookie cutters and place on prepared cookie sheets.

Bake at 300o F for 18 to 20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.  Remove to wire rack to cool.

Melt chocolate chips and shortening either in a pan on cooktop or in the microwave according to directions on package (usually 50% power).  Dip edges of cookies in chocolate; then sprinkle with toasted coconut.  Place on baking sheets lined with wax paper.

Chill 10 minutes.   Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies.

Fran’s Notes

You will not get an absolutely clean cut shape due to the coconut.

Source:   Recipe from my friend and neighbor, Donna

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