18 February 2011

hazelnut & coconut shortbread cookies with raspberry jam filling

It has been raining, raining, raining all week here, and I have pretty much been glued to the house since Monday. I'm so glad to be going out of town! We are headed to Portland to spend some much needed time with my friends Jess and Dan and I can't wait to see what they have in store for us. Last time I was in Portland, we ate some majorly deliciuos pizza at Ken's Artisan , went wine tasting in the Willamette valley, and noshed on cupcakes from Cupcake Jones. Of course we also checked out Powell's for what seemed like hours... love that place! I'd be happy to re-visit each and every spot, but hopefully I'll check out some new places too (like the food carts!)
As a little "thanks for letting us stay" gift, I spent yesterday afternoon rolling, cutting, baking, and filling these cookies. I nabbed a few for me and Kev, to make sure they were good, naturally. It was also a lot of fun to have a plate of freshly baked cookies waiting for Kevin when he got home. I felt so June Cleaver, without the pearls and the circle skirt...
The cookies were divine (how can you go wrong with hazelnuts an raspberry jam?); however the coconut did get a little lost in there. I think I might not chop it us as finely next time and add a little more. Regardless, they were delicious. I wish I could have a few more right now, but sadly they are packed and ready to get to Portland.

I'll be back home Monday night with hopefully some great new Portland spots to check out. I sure do like that city! Have a great weekend!!

hazelnut & coconut shortbread with raspberry jam filling
Using a 3-inch diameter cookie yields approximately 22-25 sandwich cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 c sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 c all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c coconut, toasted
1/4 c hazelnuts, toasted
raspberry jam, for filling
powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on medium blend together sugar and butter until soft and light yellow, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile finely chop (either with your knife or in a food processor) the coconut and hazelnuts. Blend vanilla into butter and sugar mixture, then add salt and flour with mixer on low. Once incorporated, add coconut and hazelnuts and stir just until blended together. Remove dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, form into a disk, wrap and refrigerate for 30-45 minutes or until firm.

On a floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thick. With a cookie cutter, cut dough into large circles. Cut out a small circle in half of the circles (preferably the best looking circles) using a smaller circle shaped cutter. Place all circles onto cookie sheets.

Bake cookies 12-14 minutes until edges begin to brown, rotating sheets halfway through if baking more than one sheet at a time. If not, refrigerate dough between baking. Remove trays to cooling rack to let cool for a few minutes. Remove cookies from tray and place onto cooling rack to cool completely. Once completely cool spread about 1 tsp or more of raspberry jam onto the bottom circle cookies and top with doughnut shaped cookies. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

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