Jayne of the Barefoot Kitchen Witch (click for recipe) chose Coconut Butter Thins for this week's TWD. These “lacy” cookies presented quite the challenge for me. Knowing my problems with shortbread cookies, I saved half a batch should the first half go horribly wrong. I cut out the dough and then froze the cookies for an hour before putting them into the oven. Once in the warm chamber of the oven, delicious smells of coconut and lime and butter wafted throughout the apartment. I anxiously waited for the annoying beepbeebeebeep sound of my kitchen timer that would warn me “Hey, if you wait 30 more seconds, your dish will be ruined. Run to me!” and at that moment, I would open the oven door and be greeted by golden brown, square shaped shortbread cookies with flecks of green lime zest and golden toasted coconut.
Lets rewind to the annoying beepbeebeebeep alarm, shall we?
As I heard the alarm, I bolted to the kitchen, pushing my boyfriend out of the way in a frantic attempt to retrieve my shortbread cookies. I opened the door, but was not greeted by golden brown, square shaped shortbread cookies with flecks of green lime zest and golden toasted coconut. Instead, I found flat, oddly circular shaped cookies, some with caramel colored edges and golden middles, but most just a dark caramel color.
I sighed and tested a cookie. It was thin and lacy and quite tasty, as Dorie said they would be, but for some reason, it felt like there should be more to these cookies. Where was the coconut flavor? The kick from the lime? I tried a bite from another cookie. Same light texture, but still not the flavor I was looking for. I bit into another. And another. Soon, the plate was filled with half-bitten cookies and I still had not tasted the flavors that I was so excited for. And on top of that, I was made that I ate the halves of seven cookies and that I now had to spend extra time at the gym for too much "tasting".
I froze more cut-outs and tried again the next time, sure that a night in the freezer would solve the spreading problem. Oh, how I was wrong. This time, I had more cookies that were golden, but they went from perfect square shapes to oblong circles that somehow reached for their neighbors on the baking sheet and attached at the edges. The flavor was a bit stronger, and the cookies were softer, so I knew I was on the right track.
It was then that I decided to take these cookies and bake them in a mini tart shell. If they were not going to shape the way I had hoped they would, I would force them to be. After about 20 minutes, I opened the oven and saw the most perfect, golden brown, thick shortbread shells. I let them cool and then filled them with the fantabulous (yes, I made that up) no-cook banana ice cream and topped them with lime zest and toasted coconut. I took a bite and the flavors just exploded in my mouth. I was immediately transported to the islands, as the flavors introduced themselves one by one. The tart-sweet flavor of the lime zest and the deep coconut flavor and crunch gave way to the smooth, rich flavor of banana and was finished with a thick, buttery and slightly chewy shortbread cookie. It was exactly what I had hoped for.
Victory at last.
Check TWD for more shortbread cookies!