Recipe Corner – Taste the South
Everyone needs their favorite holiday cookie recipe and this one just may oust yours. The combination of chocolate, nuts, coconut and delicate flaky butter cookie is heavenly, and the nuts can be omitted for those with allergies. This cookie recipe has several steps but is not difficult to make. The butter cookie base can be make in advance and frozen until needed. They don’t have to be thawed before filling and frosting. The finished cookie freezes well, and is a satisfying and unique take on the quintessential holiday treat— the butter cookie. The most time-consuming part with these are rolling the cookies into balls. If you’re new to cookie baking, portion out all your dough first, before rolling into balls, so each one is the same size. Perfect with a glass of red wine, or a strong cup of coffee.
Makes 36 cookies
For the cookie base:
½ cup butter
½ cup confectionary sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and add the sugar, salt, and vanilla. Gradually add enough flour to form a soft dough. Roll the dough into 36 balls about the size of a nickel and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten them very slightly, and bake at 350 for 12 minutes. Don’t brown the cookies, they should be just set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
For the filling:
6 oz. cream cheese
1 cup confectionary sugar
2 tbs flour
1 tsp vanilla
¾ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
½ cup of raw finely chopped cashews, walnuts, or unblanched almonds (optional)
Beat the cream cheese in a mixer, and add all the other ingredients except the coconut and the nuts (if using). Cream well. Stir in the coconut and nuts by hand. When the cookies are cool, add a dollop of the filling to each one. Set aside.
For the topping:
4 tbs unsalted butter
3 tbs water
1 cup dark, bittersweet, or semi-sweet chocolate chips
¾ cup confectionary sugar
In a double boiler, or over very, very low heat on the stove, melt the butter and water. Add the chocolate and stir constantly just until it melts, making sure to not to cook the chocolate or it will burn. Remove from the heat the moment it’s fully melted and whisk in the confectionary sugar. Drizzle the melted chocolate topping over the tops of the cookies.