Southern Belles: Recipe

Remember when I teased you about when I was going to give you this recipe?  Well here it finally is!
Some of you reading this might remember when I first made these cookies from an old recipe I found in a magazine; well here is my modified version to share with you.
The name sounds so fancy, yet they aren’t hard to make.  Some precise measuring, time, and an 8 by 11 inch pan is all it takes.  You don’t have to be a baking guru to get these right.
The Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbs. butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs ( save one egg white for sugar topping )
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 salt
  • 2 Tbs. heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
For the Sugar Topping:

  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 1/2 white sugar
  • 1/4 brown sugar
  • pinch of cream of tartar
  • 2/3 cup shredded coconut
We’re going to mix the cookie dough first, pre-bake it a bit, then put the topping on, well, top of it and finish baking the whole thing.
( I wish to apologize in advance for the horrible lighting in my kitchen. Please bare with me, the cookies will be worth it in the end, I promise. )

Preheat you’re oven to 325 degrees ( fahrenheit ).


It starts out just like any other cookie recipe, by blending the butter and sugar together.  It’ll be a sandy looking, because of how little butter there is compared to how much sugar there is.  Just make sure that there aren’t any big clumps of butter hanging out in your mixer.
Put your eggs in next, saving one of the egg whites for later.  I find the best way to do this is to crack the egg into your hand and let the white slide through your fingers.  Mix till smooth.
The flour, baking soda, and salt get sifted right into your mixer bowl…
…and the heavy whipping cream, lemon juice, and vanilla get splashed right on top of that airy pile when you’re done sifting.  All these things get mixed in at once, till it all comes together into a nice looking dough.
Time to get this dough into the pan.
I use an 8 by 11 inch pan to get my desired thickness.  The dough will spread out to about 1/4 of an inch thick.  Make sure you spray the pan so that the cookie doesn’t stick!  Use a spatula for the spreading, wetting the back of it every few spreads to keep the dough from sticking to it.  Make it as uniform as you can.  You don’t want one end to be much thicker than the other, or else it’ll bake a bit funny.
When you’re satisfied with your spreading, pop it into the oven for 15 minutes.

While it’s baking, it’s time to mix up that sugar topping.

Toss the egg white, white sugar, brown sugar, and the cream of tartar into the mixing bowl and beat it on high.  Please note: this is not a meringue.  But the egg white will expand a bit to give you more topping.  Continue beating it for about three minutes.  You should have a nice, smooth, sugary mixture in your bowl.

Dump your coconut in and mix on high for another 2 minutes.

The topping should look something like this when it’s done.

And now we wait for the cookie in the oven to be done baking.

When you do finally take it out of the oven, let it cool for 5 minutes before you put the topping onto it.

The topping doesn’t need to spread, and I wouldn’t recommending trying to anyways because you’ll end up ripping your cookie ( not that I ever did that, of course ).  It’s one of those nice, crumbly toppings that you can just sprinkle on the top of whatever you’re baking.  So sprinkle away, creating an even layer all across the top of your cookie.

Then it’s back in the oven for another 15 minutes.

When it’s finally done baking, let it cool completely before cutting and eating.  If it’s still warm it’ll wanna rip coming out of the pan.  The best way to cut it, I think, is in squares, and small ( -ish ) ones at that.  It’s a very rich cookie, crunchy on the top, and chewy underneath.

I bet you’ll feel super fancy after making these.  They’ve got a fancy name and they look like the perfect victorian tea party treat when they’re all cut into neat little squares and arranged on a little plate.  I mean really, how could you not feel fancy after all that?  I, for one, feel the need to find a pretty white parasol to walk with after eating just one square.

You’ll be hooked on these cookies as soon as you take you’re first bite, I guaranty it.  Just make sure you have people to share them with, though, because I would really hate to see you fall into a sugar coma after eating the whole pan by yourself.

Any questions?  Let me know in the comments below!  I would love to hear to from you, and please, do tell if you feel fancy after making them like I do!

Em  :)

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