The key to the rich coconut taste in this sugar cookie dough comes from layering flavors. Coconut milk, coconut extract and dried grated coconut are all used to make an aromatic, buttery cookie that can be the foundation for a number of variations.
Makes 2 dozen to 3 dozen cookies
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup finely grated dried coconut (not sweetened)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
Using whisk, stir together the flour, dried coconut and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar together until pale yellow and fluffy, about 6 minutes in a standing mixer or 10 minutes using a hand-held electric mixer.
Add the egg, coconut milk, vanilla and coconut extract and beat until well combined, about 45 seconds.
Add the flour mixture in three batches, stirring well after each addition.
Divide the dough into two equal disks and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 1 hour or until firm. Dough will keep for up to three days refrigerated or may be wrapped tightly and frozen for up to one month.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place the shredded, sweetened coconut into a small shallow bowl.
When dough is thoroughly chilled, use a 1-ounce ice cream scoop and drop the dough into the shredded coconut. Using the back of a spoon press down on the dough so that it is flattened to about 1/3-inch thickness and pressed into the coconut. Turn the dough over and press gently so both sides are coated; repeat until all the dough is used. If you do not have a 1-ounce ice cream scoop, drop tablespoons of the dough into the shredded coconut and repeat until all of the dough is used.
Arrange the cookies on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and bake for 14 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool thoroughly.