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Chocolate coconut cookies have intriguing spice notes

By Wolfgang Puck, Tribune Content Agency on

1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup (250 ml) unsweetened shredded coconut

In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt, and black and cayenne peppers. Set aside

In the large bowl of an electric stand mixer, using the paddle or beaters, soften the butter at medium speed. Sprinkle in the sugar and, as soon as it is incorporated, raise the speed to high and continue mixing until fluffy, stopping as needed to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Reduce the speed to medium, add the egg and vanilla, and continue beating just until they are incorporated. Reduce the speed to medium-low and, still beating, gradually add the flour mixture, continuing to mix just until combined.

Scrape the dough out of the bowl onto a clean work surface. If it seems too soft to shape, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate until it firms up a bit, about 1 hour.


With very lightly floured hands, roll the dough into an even log shape about 15 inches (37.5 cm) long and 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. Sprinkle the coconut evenly on the work surface and then roll the log in the coconut to coat it evenly all around and from end to end. (Gather up and reserve excess coconut.) Wrap up the log in clean plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled and very firm, preferably overnight but at least 2 to 3 hours.

Before baking, position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line 1 or 2 baking trays with parchment paper.

Remove the plastic wrap from the dough log. Sprinkle the remaining coconut on a clean work surface and reroll the log as needed to coat areas that don't have enough coconut. With a very sharp knife, cut the log crosswise into slices about ¼ inch (6 cm) thick, forming about 60 slices total, placing them about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart on the prepared baking trays. Bake until the coconut looks lightly toasted, about 10 minutes total, rotating the baking trays back to front about halfway through.

When the cookies are done, use a wide metal spatula to remove them from the baking tray, transferring them to a wire rack to cool. When completely cooled, store at cool room temperature in an airtight container in single layers between sheets of waxed or parchment paper.



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