Roll and Slice Christmas (Or Anytime) Cookies
by Kara Kimbrough
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup finely chopped maraschino cherries
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, for rolling
In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until combined and creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract on high speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed, and continue to beat until fully combined. On low speed, beat in the flour and salt until combined. The cookie dough will be thick and slightly sticky. Switch to low speed and beat in the cherries until combined.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and, with floured hands, divide or cut into two. Shape each half into an 8-inch log, about 2-3 inches in diameter. Roll each log in the shredded coconut. Tightly wrap the logs in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours; up to 5 days. Chilling is mandatory for this cookie dough.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
Slice each log into 12 equally thick cookies and place cookies on baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
Bake the cookies for 13-14 minutes or until brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make Ahead Instructions: You can make and assemble the cookie dough logs and chill in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Cookie dough logs freeze well too, up to 3 months. Allow the logs to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake.