Downtown Rockland is perfect in December. Lighted wreaths on lampposts, couples walking hand in hand through gallery halls, friends in oversized sweaters drinking pints of beer inside warm bars. In the shop windows potential presents on display: hats, scarves, toys, books, and blankets. There are sparkly ornaments and pretty trees on the porches and visible through the windows of the many snug inns. Last Saturday was the Christmas parade, following a visit to Santa in Harbor Park and viewing of the iconic lobster trap tree on the hill overlooking the marina and, somewhat less picturesquely, the backside of the Time Out Pub, a bar so divey that I’ve still never even been inside.
These are the things, this is the stuff of life, community, character, charm: The quiet Farnsworth Museum with its Wyeth paintings and leather bound library, the cozy arty Strand theater, and Myrtle Street, yet another town bar so prone to bare knuckle, Gangs of New York style fisticuffs (I imagine) I only peek in during daylight. When did I get so square, anyway? With Violet in her stroller, all bundled up, we watched the small floats go by, all lit up, with twangy music blaring and kids throwing candy canes from flat beds. This place is the heart and soul of American life, bright with the spirit of the holidays.
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2 medium eggs
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon rum extract
- In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, coconut, vanilla and rum extract and mix to combine. Pour in dry ingredients, scrape down sides and bottom of bowl, and incorporate. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour. On parchment paper, form dough into 2 logs, about 12 inches each; wrap and pop them in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325. Prepare cookie sheets with parchment. Slice dough into coins. Bake 10-12 minutes, until brown with crispy edges. Cool on the baking sheet then move to a rack to finish cooling.