Tuesday, December 22, 2009

And ending the year with stars...

I'm ending this year's postings with gratitude. I've been blessed with another year of health, friends, family, and, of course, food. Wonderful food! And I'm grateful to each and every one of you who has read my blog, enjoyed it, and left comments for me. I love reading your blogs, and find inspiration in your photography, writing, and the enormous sensitivity of our food community when it comes to issues involved with the foods we eat. It reminds me of a quote I read recently of Wendell Berry, who said "Eaters must understand how we eat determines how the world is used."

I wish each and every one of you a joyous, healthy, holiday season, and leave you with a simple, but simply delicious recipe for a mouth-watering cookie, posted originally on the blog Smitten Kitchen. This was the third cookie I brought to the cookie exchange, and one I could have eaten till I was positively round.

Toasted Coconut Shortbread
Adapted from Bon Appetit, April 2004

The original recipe was double this size, yielding six dozen cookies. I halved it.

1/2 cup (about 1.5 ounces) unsweetened shredded coconut*
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks or 6 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature**
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt (Updated: for unsweetened coconut, the smaller amount; sweetened, the larger amount)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325°F. Spread coconut on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until coconut is light golden, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Cool completely, then grind in a coffee grinder, food processor or blender until coarsely ground.

Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in large bowl until well blended. Mix in salt and vanilla. Beat in flour in 2 additions. Stir in toasted coconut. Gather dough together, flatten into a disc and wrap in plastic. Chill at least 1 hour. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. Soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.)

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out dough disk on lightly floured work surface to scant 1/4-inch thickness. Using 1 3/4- to 2-inch-diameter cookie cutters, cut dough into rounds. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Gather dough scraps and reroll; cut out additional cookies.

Bake cookies until light golden, about 20 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks and cool completely. (Can be made ahead. Store airtight at room temperature up to 1 week.)

One final note: I was informed that my copying of a recipe from The Luna Cafe (my last post) constituted a violation of copyright laws. I am not a lawyer, I'm a food blogger who made the mistake of thinking that it was OK to copy a recipe if you didn't claim it was your own, you gave the author credit as well as a link back to their blog. As I've never had any objections to this practice before, I was surprised to learn that not everyone approves of this practice. But since it's not my intention to harm anyone's private property, I have removed the recipe from my last post. I have left the link to The Luna Cafe's post with the recipe for what I called "Mole Moons", so if any of you wish to find that recipe, you can click on the link.


Penny said...

Toni, I think I will bake these cookies today. We are settled back in snowy Lake Lure and they look so good. Happy holidays to you.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Toni, happy holidays to you, and best wishes for a delicious 2010.


Thanks for writing about the copyright laws, I am not aware of that either.

Happy Holidays neighbor... and see you around the blogosphere!

Toni said...

Penny - To be settled in a snowy scene sounds so perfect to me. Enjoy the cookies, and have a wonderful holiday, Penny!

Lydia - And the same to you. I hope you stay warm this season, and that 2010 brings you health and fabulous food.

Diva - I'm not certain that this is, in fact, the law. But rather than argue about it I decided to just delete the recipe from my site and keep the link. I've never had anyone else have this problem, so it might just be a personal issue.

Happy holidays to you and your family!

anya said...

'Positively round' -- I love your approach, Toni! :)

Have a finger-licking good 2010!

Toni said...

Oh, Anya, it's a struggle. Believe me, it's a struggle! I could sit down with an enormous plate of cookies and eat the entire thing. I just force myself to get up and move away. Which is why I try to avoid baking delicious desserts. I don't want to buy an entire new wardrobe every month!!

Have a beautiful 2010!

Terry at Blue Kitchen said...

Hi, Toni! Getting to know fellow food bloggers like you has been one of the big pleasures and big surprises of this whole adventure for me. Have a great new year!

Toni said...

Terry - Same to you, Marion and the kids. One of these days, when I'm in Chicago (or you find your way down to San Diego), we must meet!!

NKP said...

Lovely stars!
Sorry you got bit by the copyright thing, most people are happy to have you promote them but the odd one objects.
Have a happy new year!

Toni said...

Natashya - Yes, it's been my experience that most people are happy to be promoted, which is why I was thrown by the objection.

And a Happy New Year to you, too!!


here's to a great new year toni... cheers!

Unknown said...

May your culinary dreams and more come true in 2010, Toni. Your blog and your visits to mine have certainly enriched my cyber experience.


Cynthia said...

Happy New Year!

Toni said...

Diva, Mimi and Cynthia - Happy New Year to all of you! Your visits and comments warm my heart, and your blogs inspire my imagination.

Penny said...

Toni, I made these cookies and they were delicious. The hint of coconut was wonderful. Happy New Year.

Toni said...

Penny - I agree with you - they're wonderful! Wonderful enough that it's easy to eat the entire batch in one sitting! Happy New Year!