Coconut-Pecan Shortbread Cookies With Caramel Filling

Course : Cookies
Serves: 1
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---For the shortbread:
1/2 Cup sweetened coconut
1/2 Cup pecans
1 cup unsalted butter -- (2 sticks) room temperature
1/2 Cup sugar
1 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 Cups all-purpose flour -- plus more for rolling out dough
1/2 Teaspoon salt
---For the caramel filling:
2/3 Cup sugar
1/4 Cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

Preparation / Directions:

To make the shortbread: 1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the coconut on a baking pan, and toast until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring halfway through toasting. Transfer the coconut to a cutting board, and finely chop. Place the chopped coconut in a bowl. 2. Place the pecans on the baking pan, and toast until fragrant and golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes, turning halfway through toasting. Transfer the pecans to the cutting board, and finely chop. Place the pecan pieces in the bowl with the coconut. 3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract, flour, and salt; mix until combined. Add the reserved toasted coconut and pecans. 4. Form the dough into a disk, and wrap in plastic. Transfer the dough to the refrigerator, and chill until firm, 30 to 45 minutes. 5. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper. On a clean, lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 2 1/4-inch fluted pastry cutter, cut out 68 circles from the dough. Place the circles, spaced 1 inch apart, on the lined baking sheets; chill dough 5 to 10 minutes. 6. Using a 3/4-inch-round aspic cutter (or the large end of a pastry tip), cut out the centers from half the circles. 7. Bake the shortbread until golden brown, about 12 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through baking time. Transfer the shortbread to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store the shortbread in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to assemble the cookies. To make the caramel filling: 1. Place the sugar and 3 tablespoons water in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Set over medium-high heat, and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, and cook until dark amber in color, about 5 minutes, using a pastry brush dipped in water to wash down the sides of the pan to prevent crystallization as the mixture boils. 2. Remove the pan from the heat, and gradually whisk in the heavy cream and the butter. Transfer the filling to a medium stainless-steel bowl, and let cool. To assemble the cookies: Spoon or pipe approximately 1/2 teaspoon caramel on each of the shortbread circles that have not been cut. Place a cut shortbread circle on top of each caramel-covered one, and drizzle the remaining caramel over the tops of the cookies. Let the caramel set at least 2 hours or overnight, and store the assembled cookies in an airtight container up to 3 days. Rich, nutty shortbread cookies are especially irresistible when sandwiched around buttery caramel. Be sure to chill the dough well before rolling it out, and to loosen the dough from the work surface with an offset spatula several times during rolling-this will make picking up the cutout cookies easier. Before baking, choose the best-shaped cookies to be the "tops," and cut holes in the centers with an aspic cutter or the large end of a pastry tip. When the cookies are assembled, a bead of caramel will show through the center.


Nutritional Information:

4208 Calories (kcal); 268g Total Fat; (56% calories from fat); 33g Protein; 436g Carbohydrate; 640mg Cholesterol; 1124mg Sodium

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