I was really impressed with the end results of both of these cookies, but the process was not a fun one. Let's start with the one I began with which was the Toasted Coconut Shortbread with White Chocolate Frosting. I started with this recipe because I wanted the coconut scent to fill up the kitchen while I baked.
I'm not sure what it is with me and toasting coconut, but I fail miserably every time. The taste is always as delightful as ever, it's just I always seem to brown them like crazy, even if I only have them in the oven for three minutes. I'm not sure if my oven is just warmer than some people's because even if I watch the coconut I swear the second I blink it turns brown. Oh well, I made the batter, added the overly-toasted coconut, and wrapped up the dough. I let it sit for an hour, then I decided to walk to the mall, which alone takes an hour. I was at the mall for quite a while, doing Christmas shopping, then went to dinner with my mom and her boyfriend. By the time I came back it had been a good couple of hours, well this dough was still as crumbly as ever. I let it sit overnight because I didn't want to work with it while being crumbly. The first thing I did when I awoke was check on the dough, to my disappointment it was still crumbly. I decided to microwave it for thirty seconds thinking that perhaps it would melt the butter and let it stick a little better. It worked a little.
I knew that with the consistency of the dough I was not going to be able to get circles, well, not by cutting them from a "log", cause my "log" was a house that just got hit by a hurricane. I decided to take out my trustee heart cookie cutter, grabbed a spoon, and started spooning batter into the cookie cutter. I used my fingers and packed the dough in as tightly as I could. I did this over and over again with each heart, some re-doing them a good three times until it stuck. This took me a good forty-five minutes. I know, it wasn't fun. I finally finished, and plopped them into the oven.
The scent of the coconut suddenly overpowered the kitchen, it was rather delightful. I let them sit for a good twenty minutes so I knew they were definitely cooled down. Out of the whole batch I made only two crumbled to pieces, which was okay, because it allowed me to test them. These were absolutely AMAZZZZIIIING cookies! Very troublesome, but delicious nonetheless. Every bite you took had such a punch of toasted coconut, it was great. The end result was definitely rewarding for the time it took to achieve that result, I certainly will not be making this recipe again, however, I could always use another shortbread recipe and just sub-in the toasted coconut and add some coconut extract to make them even more divine!
Next on our list are Cinnamon Candy Canes. These were REALLY fun to make because I didn't do anyyy of the work, my food processor did! I've had one other recipe, I can't remember which, where I made cookies in the food processor. I love this, it makes clean up and the whole process so much quicker. After the first step, sugar, cinnamon and butter, I opened the food processor and got the biggest whiff of cinnamon, it was definitely lovely. I have to admit the reason I was so intrigued by these cookies is because CINNAMON was the first word in the title for this recipe and you guys know by now that cinnamon is my favourite spice!
I went to Bulk Barn the other day looking for a candy cane cookie cutter and couldn't find one, leaving the store I was really disappointed. I don't know why I was sooo determined to make these into candy canes where I could have just used any old cookie cutter or simply shaped them into balls, well I was a sad panda. However, being the fool that I was, I didn't read the directions first LIKE YOU ALWAYS SHOULD, no, I didn't read them UNTIL a little while before I was about to make them and came to the realization that she SHAPED them HERSELF, duuuuuhhhh. I don't know why I wouldn't of even thought of doing that in the first place, I guess I just wanted an even EASIER way out than it already was.
Well, I took the batter out, and started rolling them into logs. This was the easy part, however, doing the arc was not fun, I broke them so many times or made them too fat, or made them too thin. I don't know why it was such a fail day for me, but it seemed that the dough just didn't want to be baked. I decided to make half the batch into candy canes then the rest of the batch I used my handy heart cookie cutter, I decided to do this since it would be nice with the above cookies.
These were a delicious cookie. Definitely a sugar cookie mixed with some cinnamon, could it really go wrong with ingredients like that? I don't think so!
Cinnamon Candy Canes/Hearts
- 3/4 cup + 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 1/2 cups + 2 1/2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- Maple syrup
- Granulated sugar, for sprinkling
Place butter, sugar and cinnamon in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the flour, egg and egg yolks and process until a smooth dough forms – my processor wasn’t strong enough to process the dough, so I prepared it on my Kitchen Aid using the paddle attachment. Lightly knead the dough, divide in two parts and wrap each one in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm.
Preheat the oven to 350°F; line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
Roll 1 leveled tablespoon of the dough to form a log (roughly 10cm/4in long). Carefully bend the top to form a candy cane and place onto prepared sheets, 2.5cm (1in) apart. Repeat with the remaining dough. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool.
Brush the canes with the maple syrup and sprinkle over the sugar. Store the cookies in an airtight container for 2-3 weeks.