a touch of fall; coconut sugar cookies

sugar cookies are something that never go out of season.  for a baker, they are the equivalent of a blank canvas just waiting to be transformed into tasty works of art.  the dough is also flexible enough that the ingredients can be manipulated with substitutions and it will still be easy to roll out.

for this batch i replaced the butter with coconut oil and the result was a crispy, flaky cookie with a rich coconut flavor.  since it is now fall, i thought a few swirls of fall colors in the dough and a leaf cutter would be a nice way to try out my new kitchen and oven.  by using toothpicks, it is easy to add little dabs of color to the dough.  do this carefully, as you can see, the red i used overpowered the orange and yellow and made the dough look a bit cherry red instead of marbleized fall colors.

marbleized coconut sugar cookies
makes about 24 large cookies
7 ounces coconut oil, at room temp and solid
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour, plus more for rolling the dough
paste food colors and tooth picks
leaf cutter
place the coconut oil into a mixing bowl with the sugar, vanilla and salt.  with the mixer on medium-low, combine the ingredients completely but take care not to mix too long.  coconut oil responds to friction quickly and will melt with a lot of mixing.  add the egg and mix to combine.  add the flour and mix the dough until it is combined.  
scrape the dough out onto a clean tray or large platter to prevent the colors from staining your counter top or cutting board.  to color the dough, dip the toothpicks into the food color and dab it onto the dough.  the more you add, the more the colors will mix and homogenize so do not try to add a lot.  wearing gloves if you do not want to stain your hands, gently knead the dough to distribute the colors.  add more color if you like, and knead it in.  do not knead it excessively or the colors will blend to form a single tint.  place the dough on the tray in the fridge to set for about 10-15 minutes to make rolling it out easier.  preheat the oven to 350.  line several cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpats.  
to roll the dough, refer to this previous post which illustrates the use of dowels.  roll the dough, cut out the leaves and transfer them to the prepared trays.  bake the cookies for about 14-16 minutes.  the cookies should be lightly browned around the edges.  allow the cookies to cool completely, store air tight.

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