Coastal Coconut-Key Lime Cookies

coconut key lime shortbreads croppedAt World Food Championships, competitors are faced with 2 and possibly, 3 rounds of cooking: a Signature Round, in which competitors create their “signature” dish, a Structured Build, in which WFC dictates what will be made, and the Finals Round, again, dictated by WFC.  During my first WFC, the Structured Build was simply to make “cookies.”  There were requirements other than the cookies had to be sweet and they had to be finished in 45 minutes.  After that, anything goes.

So, as a person who rarely makes cookies, I decided to go with what I like…not very sweet, simple, and citrusy.  The end result was a coconut flavored and rolled shortbread cookie filled with a key lime curd, and drizzled with white chocolate.  Basically, it’s Florida in a bite.

Coconut Shortbread Cookies

1 c. butter, room temperature

½ c. sifted powdered sugar

2 c. all purpose flour

1/8 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp coconut extract

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and powdered sugar.  Add extracts and mix well.  Add flour and salt.  Mix just until combined.  Use hands to bring dough together.  Using a cookie scoop, scoop portions and roll into balls.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together 2 egg whites and 2 tsp water.

Add 2 c. flaked coconut.

Using a cookie scoop, portion shortbreads & roll into balls.  Dip each shortbread ball into egg whites and then to coconut…completely coating.  Place dough all onto parchment lined baking sheets.  Using the back of a 2 tsp measuring spoon, press an indention/well in the middle of each cookie.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.  As cookies come from the oven, use the measuring spoon to repress the indention/well.

Allow short breads to cool completely before filling.

Key Lime Filling

¾ c. key lime juice

2 egg yolks

¾ c. granulated sugar

2 TBSP cornstarch

In a small sauce pan over medium heat, mix all ingredients together and whisk until thickened. Pour filling into a metal bowl that is sitting in a larger bowl of ice.  Whisk constantly to cool filling.  Pour cooled filling into a piping bag & squeeze into well of baked shortbreads.

White Chocolate Drizzle

Melt white chocolate in the microwave.  Pour into a small Ziploc bag and drizzle each cookie.

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