(or listen to the audio file)
I had Nilssen's song running through my head the whole time I was baking these cookies!
- I baked this recipe strictly by the book. (Well, I did use vanilla paste instead of extract, but I hardly think that counts as a change in the recipe.)
- Rolling dough inside a zipper bag is such a fun tecnique! I have used it before - it works great for freezing dough. Then you can pull out a frozen sheet of cookie dough and shape and bake.
- I figured there might be some really cool way to bake these in a different shape or in a pan or something, but I was in directions-following mode. I introduced some artistic tension by lining up my fork tines like dominos for some of the cookies and on the diagonal for others. That's right. I live dangerously. (I just realized that I could have made an "X" with the tines. Maybe next time.)
- I baked the cookies at 315 degrees for 8 minutes, then turned the cookie sheet and baked them for another 8 minutes.
Check out the different tine patterns! These two cookies didn't spread very much.
- I baked the first cookie sheet right after cutting the cookies. Some of the cookies spread pretty much.
- I refrigerated the other cookie sheet after cutting the cookies, to see if I could reduce the amount that the cookies spread. But the 2nd batch spread just as much. Or more. On each sheet, some cookies spread and some didn't. The spreading seemed pretty random, really.
See how much these spread?
Warm from the oven, these cookies were delicious: chewy, yet melt-in-your-mouth rich. The coconut didn't stand out but gave the cookies a great chewy texture. Every so often I could notice a piece of nut.
With their copious amounts of butter the cookies were a great Fat Tuesday indulgence (this was the last of my pre-Lenten baking). I tasted one. . . well, ok, three. Then I popped them right into freezer for later. I'll have to say that I'm glad I made no changes to the recipe - the recipe is pretty fantastic just as Dorie wrote it.
The cookies chilled in the freezer about a month before I pulled them out to serve to our book group. One of the guys, JT, an avowed coconut hater, was deeply suspicious of the cookies. But he could not detect the coconut (although he tried) and actually thought the cookies were pretty good. His wife AT was the only member of the book group who didn't care for the cookies. She said she'd rather have shortbread OR a coconut cookie, but not a hybrid. (I know just where she's coming from. That's exactly how I felt about the Chocolate Gingerbread. and the Twofer pie.)
The other tasters thought the cookies were yummy. I have to confess to eating a corner of one, and I can report that they are definitely not as good after being frozen. The chewiness seemed more pronounced, and the melt-in-the-mouth butteriness was less evident.
I also shared them with my mother and brothers and my two daughters (who happened to be home last weekend.) Reactions tended to be positive, if brief (my brothers: "good," said B. "nice," agreed M.) (my daughters: "understated," said A.L.E. "subtle," agreed J.D.E.) (my mom: "delicious," then added, "rave review")
Jayne of The Barefoot Kitchen Witch will have the recipe for Coconut Butter Thins on her blog, or you can find it on page 145 of Dorie Greenspan's book Baking From My Home to Yours. You can see lots of other cookies by visiting the TWD blogroll and clicking on each baker's blog.