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My gift basket business gets pretty hectic around Valentine’s Day, so I don’t always get to make my favorite heart-shaped cutout cookies. If you’d like to make cutout cookies, see this post for Christmas cookies, which are made from the same user-friendly dough. If you’re strapped for time the following cookies make a fine alternative. To make them even easier, use a tub of storebought frosting and add a drop or two of red food coloring instead of making your own. I tried the Duncan Hines “Creamy Home-Style Cream Cheese” and it’s not bad.
COCONUT GIRLIE-GIRL COOKIES WITH PINK FROSTING
These cookies look a little prissy, but hey… they’re for Valentine’s Day!
(Makes 25 to 30 cookies)
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 package (7 ounces) sweetened shredded coconut (about 2 ¼ cups)
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pink Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Spread ½ cup coconut on a small baking pan and toast in a 300 degree oven for about 8 minutes, until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter with sugars in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. With the mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture, then remaining coconut; mix until just combined.
3. Divide the dough into two portions. Shape each portion into a log about 1 ½ inches in diameter. Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or for up to 24 hours. (Dough logs can be frozen for up to 1 month. Defrost the dough on the counter for 15 minutes before proceeding.)
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the dough into ¼-inch rounds and place on parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Let cookies stand on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. Spread frosting on each cookie and sprinkle with the toasted coconut.
PINK CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
Using an electric mixer, beat one 8-ounce package of room-temperature cream cheese and ½ stick of room-temperature unsalted butter until light and fluffy. With mixer on low speed, beat in 1 cup confectioners’ sugar a few tablespoons at a time, scraping down bowl as necessary. Add ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest (optional) and 1 to 2 drops of red food coloring; increase speed to high and beat until frosting is light, fluffy and pale pink in color, about 3 minutes. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to one week. Bring to room temperature before using. Makes about 1½ cups.
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