Chocolate Dipped Caramel Cream Filled Coconut Shortbread Cookies. These cookies are a bit labor intensive but so incredibly worth making.
I love cookies; coming up with new types, baking them, Eating them. But styling for photographs I am at such a loss sometimes. It literally took me 4 days to take these photos. One day we had partly cloudy skies and the light was changing from dark to bright in my usual photography spot every 3 minutes. Good thing cookies look the same on day 4 as they do on day 1. I told my entire family they couldn’t eat ANY of these cookies until I was done photographing them. Such torture.
Then the next day was bright sun and I had only taken photos of one of the cookies so I decided I wanted to take pics of all the cookies in the same light.
But photography isn’t my strongest skill and I take FOR-EH-VER to take pics and by the time I got one type done it was time to do things with my kids like prepare dinner, baths bedtime and no more sunshine left sooooo that means try again the next day.
On the third day I had a nice sunny day and took a chance with photographing the cookies all at once again. I get nice light in my entry way but I had to work quickly before the sun moved on in and started to heat up the cookies and melt. Which was starting to happen…
So then starts day 4. I realized that I actually liked the pics I took on day 3 so I waited until the EXACT same time to take pics of the other half of the cookies to catch the same light, since it was another sunny day. FINALLY. I got all the pics I wanted and liked!!
Enough about the photography, let’s talk about these cookies now. Coconut shortbread cookies. Caramel cream filling. Some dipped in white chocolate. Some dipped in dark chocolate. All topped with toasted coconut. I had been planning on making these cookies for a while. I originally wanted to fill with just caramel sauce, but the few I tried that with, the caramel just oozed out. So I decided to make a sort of buttercream out of the caramel sauce. It mellowed the caramel flavor a bit, but still the flavors in these cookies are exactly what I wanted. The white chocolate covered cookies are a touch sweeter than the dark chocolate covered ones, but both are really good and not overly sweet.
- For the cookies:
- 1 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. coconut emulsion or extract
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (regular or gluten free)
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 3 sticks (1 ½) cup cold butter, cut into pieces
- For the Caramel cream filling:
- Caramel sauce:
- 1 stick butter (113g/ ½ cup)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy cream room temp
- ½ tsp sea salt
- Cream filling:
- 2 sticks butter ( 1 cup butter) at room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- ½-3/4 c caramel sauce
- Chocolate topping
- Milk, dark, white chocolate for melting ( bars not chips, I used Green and Blacks Organics)
- Toasted coconut
- For the cookies
- In a large bowl combine toasted coconut, flour, sugar and sea salt. Whisk to combine, and slowly pour into a bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times. Add in the butter one piece at a time while the food processor is running until all is combined. Add in the coconut and vanilla extracts and pulse again. Scrape down the sides when needed and keep pulsing a few seconds at a time until the dough is uniform in texture and the butter is fully incorporated. Transfer back to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator for minimum of 30 minto overnight. Preferably overnight. When ready to bake preheat oven to 325 deg. Prep cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicon bake mats.
- On a lightly floured surface or between two pieces of parchment paper and roll out a portion of the dough, keeping the rest chilled, to about ¼″ thickness. Cut with 1½ cookie cutters (round or whatever shape you want) and carefully place on prepared cookie sheets at least 1 inch apart. Chill for 10 minutes in refrigerator then bake for 15 minutes, or just until bottoms start to brown, don’t over bake. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool. Repeat with the remaining dough portion until all are baked. Cool completely before filling and dipping
- For the Caramel Sauce:
- In a heave bottomed pan over medium heat melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and honey and stir until dissolved. Attach a candy thermometer and boil the mixture until it reaches 260 deg F orhard ball stage. Remove from the heat and slowly pour in the cream, whisking while pouring, being careful as the mixture will splatter. Add in the vanilla and the salt and return to head and whisk until smooth. Cool completely at room temperature and keep in a sealed glass jar in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- For the caramel cream:
- In a stand mixer or a bowl and using a hand mixer cream the butter, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add in the powdered sugar and mix again. Slowly add in caramel sauce starting with about ½ cup and mix well. Taste and add more sauce if desired for a deeper caramel flavor. Spread about 1 tbsp on one cookie and top with the other. Chill until ready to dip in melted chocolate
- Cookie Assembly:
- Match up the cookies that are closest in size ( some may have changed shaped a little while baking) and spread about 1 tbsp of the caramel cream in the middle on one cookie and top with the other. Repeat with remaining cookies. Chill or freeze until ready to dip in chocolate
- Melt the chocolate in either a double boiler on the stove or in a glass bowl in the microwave. Take a chilled sandwich cookie and dip halfway in the chocolate. Gently scrape off some excess and place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet. Repeat with other cookies and freeze until set. This may take several batches due to freezer space/amount of cookie sheets. Keep cookies stored in an airtight container, they will keep best chilled or frozen. Serve at room temp.
So which do you prefer? White or dark chocolate? I really liked both types of coconut shortbread cookies.