Dear Santa, I’ve tried really hard to be a good person this year, but I’m human and I’m not totally confident I made it onto the Nice List. May I bribe you with some brown butter snowflake cookies to get back into your good graces?
As I’m looking back at this year, I realize I have not completed my 2015 to-do list, but I am going to cross the “new tattoo” off my list this weekend. I am a little anxious but even more excited to get something new at the end of the year. I fell short of my expectations for this year in many ways, but I have also made a lot of strides.
I travelled a bit this year and that renewed my curiosity and wanderlust; I’ve picked up sketching again so that is sentimentally rediscovering an old love; and I’ve had the most wonderful pleasure to see this little food blog grow with my friend. So now, at the end of the year, I sense a new purpose and have clearer goals for the next year. I cannot wait.
I still want to impress Santa though, and I thought he might like these cookies. They’re made with a brown butter base and covered in toasted coconut. As a cheeky touch, they’ve also been dipped in chocolate.
I had every intention to make these cookies look like fresh snow had just fallen on them, but that escaped me. Can’t win every battle.
They still look great and they taste even better. I brought these to work so my co-workers could do some taste testing for Santa, and they absolutely approve.
A few tips: When browning the butter, use a pan that is light-colored at the bottom – this will help you spot the brown bits easier so you don’t burn the butter. Melt the chocolate in a shallow bowl or plate – this will allow even distribution when dipping the bottoms of the cookies into the chocolate. Lastly, use whatever chocolate you like for dipping – mix and match if you have to.
I hope you share these “snowflake” cookies with friends and family, but save a couple for Santa and his reindeers, too.
Buttery Snowflake Cookies
Inspired by Epicurious
1½ stick unsalted butter (¾ cup)
1½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup coconut flakes
3 oz. milk chocolate, or chocolate of your choice
Melt butter over medium-low heat in a pan and stir occasionally. After about 8-10 minutes, the butter should have a creamy nutty aroma and be golden brown. Once there are brown specks at the bottom of the pan, immediately remove from heat and transfer to a mixing bowl. Set aside and let cool down to room temperature – you can refrigerate to quicken the process.
In a small bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda together. Whisk to incorporate everything.
Once the brown butter has cooled, add brown sugar and mix until combined. Add egg and vanilla extract and mix again until homogenous. It should look brown and gooey at this stage.
Pour flour mixture into wet ingredients and gently fold until you have a golden buttery cookie dough. Cover with plastic wrap and cool in the fridge for least two hours, although it is best to leave it overnight.
Once the cookie dough is ready, preheat your oven to 350F and prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
The cookie dough is going to stiff, think cold hard butter, so use a spoon to scoop out the dough. Roll out 1” dough with your hands – your hands will warm up the dough a bit and make it slightly tacky. Coat each 1” dough in coconut flakes and place on cookie tray– leave 2″ between for baking. Once all the dough is rolled and covered in coconut, place the tray in the center of the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes. Once the cookies are golden brown, remove the cookies and let cool for at least 20 minutes. They should smell buttery and flaky.
While the cookies are cooling, break the chocolate into small pieces and melt slowly over a double boiler on low heat. When the chocolate is silky and molten, turn off the heat. You can keep the chocolate on the double boiler to keep it warm while the cookies are cooling.
When you are certain the cookies have cooled enough that they won’t fall apart, start dipping the bottoms of the cookies in the melted chocolate and set aside to cool again. You can top off with extra coconut if desired. If you want them to cool a bit faster, place them in the fridge for 5 minutes – make sure not to stack or overlap the cookies.
Once the chocolate has set, these snowflakes are ready for the holiday party.