Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Coconut Cream Cut Out Cookies

Coconut is one of my favorite things! It's so good! Fresh from the shell, shaped like Santa and covered in chocolate, baked into a pie, rolled into a cookie, you name it, I like it!

I decided a few months ago I was going to make coconut roll out cookies. I wasn't convinced that I had found the right version until I made them for my sister on Easter.  She raved about them and has been calling and texting me daily asking for more.

She's kind of a big deal, in my cookie world, so I trust her opinions ;)

She's cute and she likes cookies. I mean she has tried every single cookie I've ever made in the last 15 years! Good enough for me!

If you've tried my Citrus Vanilla Bean Cut Out Cookies, you'll recognize the base for this recipe. All of my cookies start with the same basic ingredients and measurements.

We're going to start some pretty delicious things :)
The first time I tried the recipe I used regular sweetened flaked coconut. You can buy it at any grocery store in the baking isle. The problem with flaked coconut is that the flakes are really long and they torn up my dough when I cut into it. Not pretty! But the flavor was great!

The next time I tried it I was going to use desiccated coconut. It's very fine, tiny little flakes of unsweetened coconut. Luckily a much wiser cookie friend had already taken that route and informed me it was dry and flavorless in cookies. Not what I wanted.
She suggested I try toasting the coconut first and then adding it to the recipe. It worked great, no torn up cookie edges! But it completely changes the flavor of the cookie. Not in a bad way, still incredible delicious. Just toasted. It adds a different texture as well.

If you stop over in the baking aisle of your favorite store, you'll probably find a few different kinds of coconut. Two I can almost guarantee you'll see are "Sweetened Flaked" and "Sweetened Shredded".
The shredded coconut is cut a little finer than the flaked variety and for this recipe it's my go to coconut!

In addition to changing up my coconut in this recipe, I also used a different fat. I am usually a 100% butter kinda gal. I like it organic and I like it unsalted. There are few things as wonderful as pure, fresh butter.

Coconut oil might be one of those things :)
As soon as you break the seal and catch a scent, you'll understand.

I like to gather everything up and measure it out before I start mixing, that way I don't forget an ingredient or add too much of one.

I start my cutting the butter into smaller pieces to allow it to break down faster. Toss the butter cubes, coconut oil and sugar into your mixer bowl and start it up. Cream together on medium low.

You want the butter, coconut oil and sugar to be very well mixed, no large chunks of any one ingredient should be visible.

Once creamed, scrape the butter and sugar mixture off the sides and back into the bowl before adding the egg and coconut emulsion.
Turn mixer back on to medium and blend until smooth and fluffy.

Grab your pre-measured bowl of dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking powder) and dump it into the bowl.

  • Mix just until mixture forms large crumbs, similar to piecrust. 

Once you get here, stop mixing and add your shredded coconut. If you do it at this stage it still gets incorporated into the dough but doesn't get over mixed.

Once the coconut is added turn the mixer back on medium low and continue to beat until everything is well mixed and the dough starts to come away from the bowl and form a ball around the beater.

Now scoop your dough out of the mixer bowl and roll out onto a lightly floured surface. I like to roll mine out on wax or parchment paper to save cleanup.

Can you see all the little flecks of coconut? Aren't they exciting?! I love coconut :) I may have already told you that...

Once you have the dough rolled to your desired thickness, I usually go with about 1/3 of an inch. They bake up a little thicker leaving me a thick, soft, moist cookie. Mmmmmm my favorite!

Grab up any cutters you plan to use and start cutting into the dough.

Even with the shredded coconut, the little pieces of coconut will still get pulled out of the dough when you cut through. Leaving you with some jagged edges and rough tops. This is nothing compared to the first time I did it with flaked coconut!

They'll still look fine after they bake, and won't be any problem at all if you plan to decorate them.

Take your cut out shapes and place them onto a baking sheet, give them plenty of room as they expand when baking and you don't want them to touch.

Pull them out of the oven when the bottoms are very slightly golden and any little pieces of coconut sticking out look toasted.

These cookies are heavenly straight out of the oven. They are so creamy and moist and packed full of coconut flavor.

Here is the recipe:

Coconut Cream Cut Out Cookies:
Recipe by me :)

3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup coconut oil (if you don't have coconut oil you can use all butter, or if you prefer coconut oil you can leave the butter out.
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp coconut emulsion or extract (I prefer LorAnn's Bakery Emulsions)
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut (try toasting it first if you want to change up the flavor and texture of the cookie)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream butter, coconut oil and sugar until smooth and well blended.
3. Add egg and extract and beat until fluffy.
4. In separate bowl combine flour, salt and baking powder and mix together.
5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in mixer bowl and beat for 30 seconds to a minute until it resembles crumbly pie crust starter.
6. Add coconut and continue to mix until dough forms.
7. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface and cut into desired shapes.
8. Bake for 9-11 minutes until lightly golden on bottoms.
9. Remove from oven and let cookies cool slightly before eating and completely before decorating.

I like them fresh and hot without any decorations. It's like a soft, sweet little bite of coconut shortbread and it melts in your mouth.
But of course, if you are making them for your super cool little sister, you'll want to let them cool and add on some decorations.

I used my Royal Icing recipe to decorate the cookies above, and you can follow the instructions and make some too!

And now the moment you've been waiting for! I mean we're technically all winners when we make these cookies, but one lucky reader has been drawn to win a bunch of prizes from my RI post!

And the winner is....

Congratulations Nicole! You have 48 hours to contact me and I'll get your prizes in the mail! If I don't hear from the winner, I'll draw a new one on Saturday!

For the rest of my wonderful readers, thank you so much for sticking with me! Try this recipe and make some royal icing to go with it!

I'll back soon with another post and there will be plenty more prizes to come!

Flour De Lis
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