Coconut Shortbread Cookies
- 1/3 cup + 2½ teaspoon whole milk
- 1 tablespoon yeast (dried)
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 5 eggs
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1¼ pounds flour (about 4 cups), plus extra flour for dusting
- 1 ounce (about 1 tbsp) clover honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ pound butter (2 sticks), softened, divided into tablespoon-size chunks
- Canola oil, for frying
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 10 ounces 64% chocolate
- 1 cup heavy cream
Starter: Heat milk to about 90 degrees. Remove from heat and stir in yeast with a fork. Let the mixture sit until it gets creamy and foamy, about five minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, start over with new yeast.) Mix in egg and egg yolk with a fork. Add one cup of the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Pour the rest of the flour over the top of the mixture (don’t mix it), cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about an hour, until it has doubled in volume.
Dough: In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine starter, eggs, sugar, flour and honey. Fit the mixer with a dough-hook attachment; mix on low speed. Add salt. Mix until dough comes together, pulls away cleanly from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball, about three to four minutes. Add softened butter one tablespoon at a time, waiting to add more until the last bit is incorporated. When all of the butter is added, you should have a soft, smooth, shiny dough. Place it in a greased bowl, cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, let the dough sit in a warm place for three hours—it should come to room temperature and have risen slightly. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough approximately a half-inch thick. Cut doughnuts with a cookie cutter (HotChocolate’s are two-inch circles); cut hole in the middle of each doughnut using a smaller cookie cutter and set aside to rise in a warm, draft-free space until they’ve risen and are slightly puffy, about 30 minutes.
Ganache: While doughnuts are rising, make ganache. Roughly chop chocolate and place in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside. In a small sauce pot, bring heavy cream to a boil. Pour over the chopped chocolate, coating entirely. Let sit one minute, then whisk cream and chocolate together to form a smooth, shiny ganache.
Attach a deep-fry thermometer to a heavy pot, and heat about three inches of canola frying oil to 350 degrees. Fry the doughnuts two or three at a time, about one minute per side, until golden brown. Remove from oil, drain on paper towels and toss in granulated sugar to coat while still warm. Serve warm with a small bowl of chocolate ganache (or jam) for dipping. Makes about 35 doughnuts.
Chef Mindy Segal, HotChocolate, Chicago