On the first day of Christmas … my true love gave to me … Rosalyn’s Midwinter Night’s Dream Cookies.
My dearest friend, Rosalyn, and I have danced with a good many wondrous topics over the years, but almost every conversation of ours gets to food at some point. Don’t ask me how the subject of the Lindt Excellence White Coconut bar came up.
I think it started with me saying something about trying to create the world’s best Coconut Cream Pie. As I recall, Rosalyn said I had to get white chocolate into that somehow. Then she told me about the Lindt White Coconut bar and insisted that I get some. And finally there were those 3-4 e-mails asking me if I had tried it yet. I didn’t have a chance.
Now, thanks to Rosalyn, my chocolate stash always includes a couple of these creamy, dreamy bars. Coconut and white chocolate are indeed a magical combination.
Thus, it is only fitting to name this divine, toasted coconut shortbread with its elegant drizzle of white chocolate for the muse who inspired it. I think Shakespeare would approve.
Rosalyn’s Midwinter Night’s Dream Cookies
This elegant cookie is befitting the moonlit fairy dreamland of one of Shakespeare’s most endearing plays. It’s a delicate, crisp, all butter, rolled shortbread aromatic with lightly toasted dried coconut. The white chocolate drizzle is not absolutely essential, but it adds a touch of drama that’s perfect for the holiday season.
2½ cups King Arthur’s unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup fine shredded, unsweetened, dried coconut, lightly toasted
1½ cups fresh unsalted butter, at cool room temperature (3 cubes)
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
6 ounces Lindt white chocolate, chopped (about 1 cup)
pearl luster powder
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Whisk to thoroughly distribute the salt Stir in the coconut and distribute evenly. Reserve.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until pale but not curdled.
- Add the vanilla and coconut extract, and incorporate.
- Add the flour-coconut mixture and mix very briefly on very slow speed, just until a dough forms.
- Divide the dough into 3 equal portions and flatten each portion to a ½-inch thick disk on a sheet of plastic wrap. Seal the plastic wrap around each portion of the dough and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight. (The sealed dough can be refrigerated for 2-3 days if necessary.)
- On a lightly floured pastry cloth, using a covered rolling pin, roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thick rectangle. Use a little flour to keep the dough from sticking if necessary, but try not to work too much additional flour into the dough.
- Using a fluted edged 2¼-inch square cookie cutter (or cutter of your choice), cut out the cookies.
- Arrange slightly apart on cookie sheets that have been lightly coated with vegetable spray.
- Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes, rotating sheets at the halfway point to ensure even browning.
- Remove from the oven, loosen each cookie with a thin spatula and let cool for 3-4 minutes on the sheet.
- Remove cookies from the cookie sheet and place on a wire rack and cool completely.
- Store airtight, in layers separated by wax paper rounds, in a cookie tin in a cool, dry place. These cookies improve with age. They keep for 3-4 weeks. Cookies may also be frozen.
- Shortly before serving, melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over but not touching a saucepan of simmering water, making sure not to overheat it. Using a demitasse spoon or a pastry bag fitted with a small tip, drizzle or pipe the white chocolate over each cookie.
- Immediately sprinkle with a tiny pinch of luster powder.
- Put the cookies on a wire rack and let the white chocolate harden for about an hour before arranging on a serving tray.
Makes about 3½ dozen, 2¼-inch square cookies.