HAWAIIAN COCONUT SHORTBREAD COOKIES
1 c. butter, softened
¼ c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. all-purpose flour (measured after sifting)
¼ tsp. salt
2 c. sweetened flaked coconut
1 c. powdered sugar, sifted (or more as needed, for coating after baking)
Cream the butter until smooth. Add sugar and vanilla, creaming again until smooth and slightly fluffy. Sift flour and then measure the flour. Add salt to flour and sift again. Gradually add to the creamed butter mixture until you have added all flour and mixture is smooth. Mix the coconut into the cookie dough. Shape into a one and half (1.5) inch diameter roll and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until the dough is firm, about 2-4 hours, or for several days until ready to use. The dough may be frozen for later baking. Using a sharp knife, cut ¼-inch slices from the cookie dough roll and place on a very lightly greased cookie sheet, about 1 inch apart.
Bake at 300 degrees for 16 to 18 minutes, until a light golden brown at edges, but not browned entirely across the top. Cool cookies on sheet just until they are set, easy to remove and have cooled slightly, usually 2 to 3 minutes. Remove cookies with a spatula and place on the 1 cup of powdered sugar (it will take more like 2 to 2½ cups) that you have sifted onto a piece of wax paper or similar surface. Cover cookies with powdered sugar on all sides by sifting some of the sugar over them or "rolling" them in the sugar. After they have cooled and the powdered sugar has set, coat them again with more powdered sugar. Cool completely and store in an airtight container, for however long you can keep them from being eaten.
Try these the first time following the recipe as given. The next time, you can play around with adding other ingredients to tweak to your exact tastes. Some ideas: toasting some of the coconut before adding to the dough, adding finely chopped macadamia nuts, ginger, cardamom or any citrus zest. Key lime zest and macadamia is a great combo, truly a cookie that takes you to tropical islands without the frequent flyer miles.
Note: Probably the best thing about this cookie is that they are a great "make-ahead" cookie, as the dough is refrigerated and sliced, so you can break up the prep time into different days. Also, the baked cookies improve in flavor as they mature—so another "do-ahead" advantage.