Every would-be cookie baker needs a taster — that person who will sample your fare and tell you whether the batch is brilliant . . . or a bust. I’m blessed to have the greatest taster of all under our roof, so when Kish sent along some holiday cookie recipes from the New York Times I had to pick one to try this year. I like coconut, so this was my choice.
Toasted Coconut Shortbread
Ingredients: 2 1/4 sticks cold salted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces; 1/2 cup granulated sugar; 1/4 cup light brown sugar; 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour; 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (plus more for rolling); 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon; 1 large egg, well beaten; sanding sugar
Using an electric mixer and medium bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Use a spatula to scrape down sides of bowl, then put mixer on low speed and slowly add flour, followed by 1/2 cup coconut and beat until blended.
Divide dough in half and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Sprinkle each piece of dough with half of the cinnamon, then fold plastic over to cover dough and use your hands to form dough into a log shape about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter. Chill logs in the refrigerator for 1 1/2 hours, until they are firm.
Heat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush outside of logs with egg wash, then roll logs in unsweetened coconut. Slice each log into 1/4-inch rounds. Dip each round on one side into sanding sugar and arrange on backing sheet, sugar side up, 1 inch apart. Bake cookies 10-12 minutes, until edges are just beginning to brown.