Toasted Coconut Chai Shortbread Cookies

This recipe isn’t mine — but it won the Go Bold With Butter Christmas Cookie Contest in 2016 and I can totally see why. This is special cookie — unique in texture and taste — and perfect for the holidays. It is buttery and dense, like a true shortbread should be, but the toasted coconut and chai add a complexity that is divine. If there was ever a cookie to have with tea, this is it!

For the Coconut Shortbread Cookies:
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the White Chocolate Chai Dip:
6 ounces white chocolate baking chips
1 bag chai tea, removed from tea bags
2 teaspoons salted butter
Cinnamon for dusting

For the Coconut Shortbread Cookies:
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350°F.

Step 2: Place coconut on parchment-lined baking sheet and toast for 6-8 minutes, or until golden brown. Toss frequently to prevent burning. Set aside until completely cool.

Step 3: Place butter and sugar in large bowl and blend with hand mixer until just combined. Add vanilla, blend and set aside.

Step 4: In separate bowl, sift together flour and salt, then add flour mixture and toasted coconut to butter and sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until dough starts to come together. Transfer to lightly floured surface and press into flat disc. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Step 5: Remove dough from refrigerator and let soften slightly. On lightly floured surface or between two pieces of parchment paper, roll dough 1/4-inch thick and cut into circles with cookie cutter.

Step 6: Place cookies on ungreased baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges begin to brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.

Step 7: When cookies have cooled, place them on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
For the White Chocolate Chai Dip:

Step 8: Combine white chocolate chips, chai powder and butter and gently heat over double boiler or in microwave for 30 second increments, stirring frequently, until just melted.

Step 9: Dip half of each cookie in melted chocolate and chai mix, let excess drip off, then return to parchment lined baking sheet.

Step 10: Lightly dust chocolate coated halves with cinnamon and let cool until firm.

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