Friday, December 9, 2011

Coconut Macadamia Shortbread

This recipe comes from a 2005 Holiday Cookies magazine from Martha Stewart. I've been making them for a couple Christmas seasons now, and look forward to them all year. Coconut is one of those things, like cilantro, you either love it or hate it, I personally love both, so if you too are one of those coconut lovers out there, you might want to give these a try.

1 cup macadamia nuts (about 3 oz) toasted
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
4 Tbsp. cream of coconut or unsalted butter ( I have always used butter, I mean who has heard of cream of  coconut??)
2 tsp. pure coconut extract
2 cups flour, plus more for work surface
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 large egg white, lightly beaten

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Process nuts and 2 Tbsp sugar in food processor until finely ground; set aside. Process 1 cup coconut until coarsely ground; set aside.

2.  Put butter, cream of coconut, and remaining 3/4 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Mix in coconut extract.  Reduce sped to low.  Add flour, salt, nut mixture, and ground coconut; mix until combined.

3. Halve dough.  Shape halves into disks, and wrap in plastic.  Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.  Let soften before rolling.

4.  Roll out each disk on lightly floured parchment to 1/4 inch think.. Cover with plastic; refrigerate until firm, 30 minutes.

5.  Cut dough into squares using a fluted 2 1/4-inch square cookie cutter ( Use whatever you like, as you can see I used a heart cutter, snowflakes would be pretty cute too).  Reroll scraps; continue cutting out shapes.  Space about 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment.  Lightly brush tops with egg white; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup coconut.  Bake until golden, 20-25 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.  Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 1 week (they also freeze great! We snacked on them for a couple months.).

 Before they go in the oven...

and after.  So delicious served with tea.

For a picture of Martha's square cookies in their cute paper cups click here.


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