Simple Cinnamon Cookies with Coconut Toffee
- 1 ½ cup unsalted butter (at room temperature, divided)
- 2 ½ cup granulated sugar (divided)
- ¼ cup water
- 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ cup unsweetened flaked coconut
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 large egg (lightly beaten)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoon milk (divided)
- turbinado sugar (as needed)
Make the coconut Toffee: Melt 1 cup butter in a heavy, 2‑quart or larger saucepan over medium-high heat. As soon as the butter begins to get foamy, whisk in 1 ½ cups granulated sugar, water, and 1 teaspoon salt, scraping down the sides. Lower the heat to medium. Do not stir until the toffee begins to color, about 13 minutes. When it is the color of peanut butter, remove from heat and immediately add the coconut, stirring to combine. Spread the mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet so the toffee is no thicker than ¼ inch. Cool completely, then break into pieces about 1 ½ to 2 inches in diameter. Set aside 16 of the most uniform pieces for the cookies. This recipe makes more coconut toffee than is needed for the cookies; the extra toffee will keep, in an airtight container at room temperature, up to five days, or freezes much longer.
Make the Cinnamon Cookies: In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Set aside.
In a separate bowl cream remaining ½ cup butter and remaining 1 cup sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Add egg and vanilla, mixing well until combined, about 2 minutes.
Stir in ⅓ of the flour mixture, followed by 1 tablespoon milk. Once combined add half the remaining flour mixture and 1 more tablespoon milk. Once combined add the remaining flour mixture and last tablespoon of milk. Mix until dough just comes together. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
To bake: Remove dough from fridge and roll into big 1 ½ inch balls. Roll each ball in turbinado sugar and place on a baking sheet about 2‑inches apart. Lightly press a piece of coconut toffee into the center of each ball to flatten it. Bake until the edges just begin to brown, about 12 minutes. Cool on wire rack.