Sunday, June 28, 2009

Toasted Coconut Shortbread

My best friend is the pickiest eater I know. She's like a little kid sometimes. It's too spicy, it's too sour, it tastes "too foreign" (after a spoonful of tom gha), or it's got a funky texture. I love her to death, but she makes me want to scream sometimes. And as much as I like to rib her about... well pretty much everything, not the least of which are her food idiosyncrasies*, I get not liking texture. Sure, it has to be a more extreme case for me to be bothered, but there are some foods that you just can't get around the literal feeling of it.

I know for a fact that dessicated coconut is the bane of existence for many a person. I happen to be one of them. I love the flavor of coconut. I'll use cans of coconut milk in brownies. I'll mix up a pina colada in a heartbeat. What I won't do is touch anything with the dried out, soulless, pathetic excuse for food that is coconut flakes. Like cockroaches never die, you can't chew it and you'll never get it out of your mouth. Ever.

Lest you think I'm too hard on it, I keep giving it chances. Like everything else, I refuse to believe that I won't like it or that I will hate something based on superficial reasons. Before toasting, I even shoved a bite of crappy, non-chewable coconut in my mouth to sample for the millionth time, hoping that this time I would get over my texture issues. Nope. Still tastes like waxed paper. But oh boy, not after toasting. I was licking the residue out of my coffee grinder with a spoon for goodness sake.

I have a really hard time with rolled cookies and these were no exception. My rolling skills are practically nonexistent. Plus, with so much butter, I found it hard to find that happy medium where they weren't hard as a rock or buttery goo. My first batch burned. I even broke out my favorite cookie cutter and used it for the first time.

Alas, it was not to be. However, my second batch with a biscuit cutter worked out well. I still have some scraps to bake up if I'm feeling more adventurous later on.

Mine weren't quite as tender as I usually like my shortbread, but I think that was my fault. My rolling skills leave much to be desired, hence the lack of rolled cookie recipes on this site. They were just a tad too salty, but the coconut flavor was a delicate compliment to the buttery flavor I love so well. I would decrease the amount of salt next time and possibly add some coconut flavoring. I'm very happy with how these turned out. Even the best friend couldn't complain too much.

Toasted Coconut Shortbread
from Smitten Kitchen

I looked up this word to make sure I was spelling it right and lo! Check out one of its definitions:

An unusual or unexpected sensitivity exhibited by an individual to a particular food or drug. Idiosyncrasy is usually determined genetically and it may be due to a biological deficiency (e.g. an inability to metabolize a drug).

Too perfect, right? I learned something new today.


Mary said...

I happen to think toasted coconut is heavenly! And yeah, sweetened coconut flakes are only good when a bag is first opened and they're all moist, otherwise it's just like sugary sawdust.

Mariana said...

These were absolutely delish! Thanks babe for the little bag I got to eat in the car on the way home. They really made that 4 hour trip so much easier.