Mom: "I thought of you today." I'm thinking she found a mess I made years ago or a cute holiday ornament of some kind. "I found a very long red hair of yours woven into my clothes. Isn't that weird? It's like your hair never moved out or something." It's true. I do shed a lot. That's not where the name for these cookies come from though. Not even a little bit.
The strange name comes from the orange zest and coconut topping; it looks just like hair. These are probably one of my mom and I's favorite cookies. The cookie is so soft and cake like. The top part develops that sticky, gummy layer that really moist cakes get. Then it gets a layer of frosting and coconut with a hint of orange. Seriously, they are so good it's stupid.
I realize not everyone loves coconut. As shameful as that is, you can easily make these without the coconut topping. It makes the name a bit more ridiculous but only mildly less delicious. If I am taking these somewhere, I'll make about half with and half without coconut to please everyone's dessert preferences.
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of sour cream (plain yogurt works well, too)
1/2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups of flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Cream Cheese Glaze (see below)
2 cups of coconut
zest from 3 oranges
Combine the first six ingredients and mix them together well.
Then add in the remaining dry ingredients and mix just until it's combined. The dough should look like a really thick cake dough. Don't be tempted to add more flour, the dough is supposed to be super sticky.
Spoon the dough onto a well greased cookie sheet. Try to spread them out pretty well, they do puff up a lot! Bake them at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or just until the bottom of the cookies have browned slightly.
While the cookies are baking, go ahead and assemble the cookie toppings.
Cream Cheese Glaze
4 oz cream cheese, softened (1/2 package)
4 oz butter, softened
2 cups of powdered sugar
1 to 2 teaspoons orange juice
zest from one large orange
Combine the softened butter and cream cheese until they are well blended. Slowly add in the powdered sugar. I add the full 2 teaspoons of orange juice as I like the glaze a bit more runny. For a thicker consistency, just add a little less. Then add in the orange zest.
Take the coconut and place it in a bowl and mix in the remaining orange zest.
Time to assemble! This is how the cooled cookies should look. Make sure they are totally cooled before frosting.
Smooth over the frosting so it creates a thin layer. If you are making non hairy cookies, you can just stop here.
Supreme deliciousness can be achieved with a sprinkle of the coconut and orange zest mixture. I do this over a plate and encourage the coconut to stay on with a squishing / pressing motion. Some will fall off, but you can easily dump the coconut remnants back into the bowl for the other cookies.
Store these in an airtight container in the refrigerator as soon as they are done receiving their hair. These cookies will spoil very quickly if left at room temperature.
Transporting them can be troublesome but there are a few different solutions. If you are able to plan ahead, you can freeze them in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Then, they can be stacked on top of one another in a large container. You can also place them in an airtight container with a layer of wax or parchment paper on top. Then continue to layer.