Thursday, December 09, 2010

Grandma's Coconut Icebox Cookies

These are the cookies I remember my grandma baking. I'm sure there were others, but these are the ones that stand out.  She was a world-class pie baker, but — sacrilege — I always preferred a good cookie over pie. These fit the bill perfectly and the recipe is incredibly easy. The hardest part may be finding canned coconut — and if you can't find it, no big deal. You can substitute the flaked, bagged kind. It has a bit less moisture content than canned, but will work fine. If you find the dough is just too dry to hold together, you can add just a small splash of coconut milk. 
Coconut Icebox Cookies
Makes about 30 cookies.

2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 4oz can of coconut, unsweetened
1 tsp vanilla
Generous pinch of salt
3/4 cup powdered sugar

Combine all the ingredients except powdered sugar and mix well. Divide dough in two equal parts. It will be quite crumbly and dry but as you press it together the butter will bind it together. Press and roll into two 2" diameter logs using wax paper as an aid in rolling. Wrap well in the waxed paper and refrigerate for at least one hour, or overnight. 
Preheat oven to 300ºF. Cut dough with a sharp knife into 1/4-inch slices and place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes, or until edges are just starting to brown. Remove to cooling rack. Place powdered sugar in bowl. Coat cookies in sugar while still warm — the powdered sugar won't stick if the cookies are cool, so roll them in it when they are just cool enough to handle.
These cookies just keep getting better over the next couple of days, so they can be prepared in advance. (Though I just had one warm from the oven and it was scrumptious!)

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