aloha dress + toasted coconut shortbread cookies

by Chen

My new dress from ModCloth, one of my favorite sites. The dress has a name: Aloha.

I know. I know. It’s not summer yet, and I may need to wear it with a crochet cardigan or shrug (or mom will be mad at me, which is scary). But how about mimicking that by baking with some tropical favorite–coconut?

These pale yellow cuties are buttery, crumbly, and not overly sweetened at all and must be the simplest cookies in the world. However, they are still delicate enough to be served with some good tea or packed as a gift. I am sure that my teenage cousin will love it as afternoon snack.

toasted coconut shortbread cookies
The recipe was basically adapted from here, which would yield more than 6 dozens cookies. I cut everything to 1/3 and ended up with 30 thin cookies. Instead of using a cookie cut, I rolled the dough into balls and pressed with hands. This would make the cookies more rustic.

1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (if using sweetened, cut the sugar by 3 tbsp)
1 stick of butter, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla (I left it out; no big difference)
1 cup minus 2 tbsp flour

Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and toast in 325F oven until golden. I did this on stovetop: spread the coconut in a nonstick pan over medium low heat and stir until golden. Remove from the heat and let cool.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add salt and vanilla and mix well. Slowly add the flour. Beat until incorporated. Stir in toasted coconut.

Form the dough into a ball. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill until form, about 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 325F. Line two baking sheets with foil.

Lightly flour the hands. Roll the dough into balls, about 1 1/2 tbsp for each. Place the balls on the baking sheets and gently press down by hands. Pop them into the freezer for another 5-10 minutes to let them harden a little.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Let the cookies cool completely on a rack. Store in an airtight container.