Tuesday, September 16, 2008

calories don't count on your birthday

it's kira's 20th birthday! so i surprised her with coconut shortbread and a cupcake from sweet and sassy in the morning.

and it turned out amazing! best shortbread i've ever made hands down. nice and soft with an initial burst of butter flavor, followed by the sweetness of the coconut...everything just melts in your mouth. the only way i think you could improve these would be to toast the coconut to make that flavor come through stronger. just to show you how good these were, this is what they looked like a mere 7 hours later:

and theeeen i surprised her with a chocolate chip cookie cake [3 layers frosted with chocolate ganache]. kira, chelsea and i all really enjoyed it and i think this is going to be my new go to for birthdays :] chelsea even said that the first bite was "shocking....like omg this is good". now that's the reaction i was looking for. i really liked the thin layer of ganache on this because it added a creamyness to the otherwise chewy cookie.

i love birthdays. people should have them more often.

coconut shortbread
[from baking bites]

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut (unsweetened is fine, too)

Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, or with aluminum foil.

In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of an electric mixer, blend flour, sugar and salt together. Mix in butter at low speed until dough is crumbly, but starting to come together. Stir in coconut and continue to mix until dough resembles wet sand; there should be large and fine clumps of dough in the mixing bowl.

Pour shortbread dough into prepared pan and press it firmly down into a single, even layer. Score shortbread lightly to make it easier to slice later

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until edges are golden and top is very lightly browned. Middle of shortbread will be set, but not firm.

Cool shortbread for 5 minutes, then use a sharp knife to cut the shortbread into 18 bars. Cool shortbread entirely in pan.

When cooled, remove shortbread from baking pan and store in an airtight container.

Makes 18 large shortbread fingers, or 24 smaller bars.

chocolate chip cookie birthday cake
[adapted from nestle toll house]

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup chocolate chips [i used the semi-sweet and white chocolate swirled kind]

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread a thick, even layer into whatever cake pan you are using.

Bake for 11 to 13 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets on wire racks for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Repeat for however many layers you like and use the rest of the batter to make regular cookies. Melt any remaining chips or chopped chocolate with a little heavy cream, then spread a thin layer over each cookie, stacking as you go.


Cakespy said...

Shortbread is one of my favorite things in the world--and this looks like a really good one. In fact, what a delicious birthday overall!!

Grace said...

i've had so many types of shortbread in my day, but never coconut, which is a travesty because it's one of my favorite flavors. very nice! :)

syrie said...

Well you can certainly bake me a cake mine!Looks delish!

My Sweet & Saucy said...

What a great friend you are! Those birthday treats sound great!

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

OMG the coconut shortbreads!! What a lucky birthday girl! :D

Jacque said...

Mmmmm, that shortbread sounds fanTAStic! Yum... now you've got me craving sweets :)