Will it ever be Spring in New Jersey? Yeah, sure, we had 90 degree temps about a week ago, but I'm in that "what have you done for me lately?" mode. It was gray, rainy, and chilly today and the forecast is for more of the same for the rest of the week. What's a girl to do? I guess I'll just have to bake!
Toasted Coconut Shortbread Adapted from Bon Appetit, April 2004 (from Smitten Kitchen)
1/2 cup (about 1.5 ounces) unsweetened shredded coconut*
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks or 6 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature**
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 325°F. Spread coconut on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until coconut is light golden, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Cool completely, then grind in a coffee grinder, food processor or blender until coarsely ground.
Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in large bowl until well blended. Mix in salt and vanilla. Beat in flour in 2 additions. Stir in toasted coconut. Gather dough together, flatten into a disc and wrap in plastic. Chill at least 1 hour. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. Soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.)
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out 1 dough disk on lightly floured work surface to scant 1/4-inch thickness. Using 1 3/4- to 2-inch-diameter cookie cutters, cut dough into rounds. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Gather dough scraps and reroll; cut out additional cookies. Repeat procedure with remaining dough disk until all of dough is used.
Bake cookies until light golden, about 20 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks and cool completely. (Can be made ahead. Store airtight at room temperature up to 1 week.)
* I couldn’t find unsweetened, so I used sweetened and dialed back the sugar by 2 tablespoons. ** If you’re looking for an excuse to splurge on the good butter, shortbread is it. You will absolutely appreciate the extra flavor as it shows up in this cookie.