Happy isn’t hard for me. I might even take happy for granted. I wake up in the morning and I’m genuinely stoked about the possibilities the day brings. I have thoughts that make me smile when I’m sitting alone in my car. I like rainbows and kittens, well… you get my point.
Today I shared a meal with a dear friend who isn’t so blessed in the happy department. She’s been struggling in recent months. She’s lost her happy. After dinner, as we sat lingering in conversation, she told me that she couldn’t think of one thing that made her happy anymore. I was totally floored. I didn’t know what to say to her. In vain I tried to name things and places that I knew she liked. None of it worked, she just shook her head no. It breaks my heart, but I know that I could recall fun things we’d done together until I was blue in the face. Her happiness needs to come from the inside.
It got me thinking about happy.
What makes you happy? What thoughts make you smile when no one else is around? What makes you happy to get out of bed in the morning? Share. I want to know.
On my list of the many things things that make me happy: Crispy Toasted Coconut Cookies.
If happy has been elusive lately, give these buttery and crispy cookies a spin. Who knows, they might just be the break in the clouds.
Crispy Toasted Coconut Cookies
adapted from Big Fat Cookies
1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Spread the coconut on a baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes stirring once, until the coconut becomes evenly golden. Watch carefully, as the coconut can darken quickly toward the end of baking. Set aside to cool. Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into a medium bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and brown sugar until smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extract and mix until blended. On low speed, add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Use a large spoon to stir in the toasted coconut.
Divide the dough into two portions and pat into a flat rectangle. Cut two large sheets of wax paper, and roll out the portions of dough between the wax paper into a 7 x 12-inch rectangle, about 1/4-inch thick. Remove the top piece of wax paper. I used a round cookie cutter to make cookies, but you can also trim the edges of the rectangle and make rectangular cookies by cutting the dough into 9 rectangles.
Lift the cookies off the wax paper and transfer to the parchment lined baking sheet. If you have trouble lifting the dough, place it in the fridge for a few minutes to harden and then transfer to a baking sheet. Bake one sheet at a time until the edges and bottoms are lightly browned, about 12 to 15 minutes.
Enjoy! Find your happy!