I am a sucker for any baked good with coconut. These come from the Big Fat Cookie book, and were delicious--from their crisp cookie bottoms to their white chocolate and toasted coconut hats. Their creation meant I never did get around to making the dinner I had planned for that night. But a washboard cookie dinner wasn't bad, after all.
Toasted Coconut Washboards
2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temp.
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 300 F.
2. Spread the coconut on a baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, stirring once, until the coconut becomes evenly golden. Set aside to cool. Increase the oven temp. to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper
3. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into a medium bowl and set aside
4. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and brown sugar until smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract and mix until just blended, about 1 minute. On low speed, add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Use a large spoon to stir in 1 1/2 cups of the toasted coconut.
5. Divide the dough into 2 portions and pat each into a flat rectangle. Cut 2 large sheets of wax paper, and roll one portion of the dough between the wax paper into a 7 1/2- by -12 inch rectangle that is about 1/4 inch thick. Remove top piece of wax paper and discard it. Trim the edges of the dough slightly to even them. Cut the dough into 9 rectangles that measure about 4 x 2 1/2 inches. Lift the cookies, on the wax paper, and place cookie side down on a prepared baking sheet. Lift off the wax paper and use a metal spatula to separate and spread out the cookies so that they are about 2 inches apart. Holding a fork so the underside is facing down, draw the tines of the fork down the length of each cookie to cover it with parallel lines. Repeat with the second rectangle of dough.
6. Bake one sheet at a time until the edges and bottoms of the cookies are lightly browned, about 15 minutes. The centers should remain light in color. Cook the cookies for 5 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cook completely.
7. Put the white chocolate in a heatproof container or top of a double boiler, and place it over, but not touching, a saucepan of barely simmering water (or the bottom of the double boiler). Stir until melted and smooth. Remove from the water and let the white chocolate cool and thicken slightly, about 10 minutes.
8. Use a pastry brush to paint a 1-inch border of melted chocolate across one narrow end of each cookie. Sprinkle the remaining toasted coconut on the white chocolate. Let sit at room temperature until the white chocolate is firm, about 1 hour. Or to speed it up, refrigerate the cookies uncovered for about 15 minutes, then remove them from the refrigerator.
The cookies can be individually wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.