Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Coconut Snowflakes


2 ½ cups flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
2 sticks plus 5 tablespoons (10.5 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon coconut extract
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups confectioners' sugar
4 tablespoons half-and-half
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice plus teaspoon lemon zest
White sparkling sugar, for decorating
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut

To Prepare

1. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and ¼ teaspoon salt.
2. Using an electric mixer, cream 11 tablespoon butter and the granulated sugar on medium low speed until fluffy, 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs and the extracts, scrapping the bowl, for 2 minutes. Mix in the flour mixture in 2 batches on low speed.
3. Divide the dough between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using the wrap to help, shape the dough into 2 disks and seal. Chill for 2 hours.
4. Meanwhile, using the mixer, beat the remaining 10 tablespoons butter, ½ teaspoon salt, the confectioners' sugar, half-and-half, lemon juice and lemon zest on low speed until smooth. Beat on high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Chill the filling.
5. Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, preheat to 375 degrees. Line 4 cookie sheets with parchment. Working with 1 dough disk at a time, roll out on a floured surface to 1/8 inch, rotating the dough as needed. Using a 2 ½ inch cutter, cut out the cookies. Divide the cookies among the pans, chilling the pans as you work.
6. Sprinkle the cookies with the sparkling sugar. Bake 2 pans at a time, switching them halfway through cooking, until the edges are brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a rack; let cool.
7. Spread the bottom of 1 cookie with 1 teaspoon of the filling. Sandwich with another cookie. Use your fingers to scoop and press the coconut onto the filing. Chill for about 30 minutes.

Makes about 2 dozen sandwich cookies.

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