December 10, 2012
I love coconut with a love that’s normally reserved for small children and animals.
I blame two people.
First is Peter Paul, the man behind Mounds and Almond Joy.
Second is my mom, the woman who kept our home stocked with Mounds and Almond Joy.
No matter where she tried to hide them; in the freezer behind the bag of peas, in the cupboard behind the boxes of Jello, or in an old purse on the top shelf of her closet behind a stack of cardboard shoe boxes. Did she think she was dealing with an amateur? Please.
Almond Joy has nuts, Mounds don’t because…
sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t.
Born out of my unnatural love for coconut the first flavor adaption I ever made to Georganne’s Vanilla Variation were toasted coconut cookies, and while they were coco-mazing, I wanted to make them better which could only mean one thing . . . more coconut!
In this version I begin by taking sweetened shredded coconut and running it through the food processor for about twenty seconds until it’s coconut mulch. The only reason I do this is to minimize having shreds of coconut to contend with when cutting the dough into shapes.
After mulching the coconut I divide it evenly with one part being toasted and the other part going into the recipe as is. The toasted coconut adds an extra dimension of color and bite to the cookie along with a nice toasted flavor. The white coconut gives the cookie a nice soft chew and provides the sweet coconut taste.
The other source of coconut is from a small amount of canned cream of coconut. Cream of coconut comes in cans that can be labeled either sweetened or unsweetened. I use sweetened cream of coconut which is to coconut what sweetened condensed milk is to regular milk. It’s super-sweet and super-intense in coconut flavor. It’s often used in mixed drinks so chances are you’ll find a few cans wedged between the powdered margarita and daiquiri mix at your local grocery store. If you don’t want to bother with cream of coconut you can replace it with a little of LorAnn’s Coconut Emulsion. I just prefer the added richness and extra hit of real flavor that comes from the cream of coconut.
And here’s a tip in using the cream of coconut. Because the contents of the can will have separated be sure to stir them together until blended before pouring out the amount needed for the cookies. And then lick the spoon and enter into a moment of coconut bliss.
I love making snowflake cookies. Doodling a design is easy and it’s a great excuse to pull out all the glittery disco dust and sparkly sanding sugar.
Coconut to the Third Power Cookies
1 cup softened butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup cream of coconut or 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoon coconut emulsion
3/4 cup mulched toasted coconut
3/4 cup mulched sweetened coconut
*4 – 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
*If you replace the cream of coconut with emulsion cut back on the flour by about 1/4 to 1/3 cup flour to compensate for the lack of added liquid.
…..Preheat oven to 360 degrees.
1. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together.
3. Add in the eggs, vanilla extract, and cream of coconut or coconut emulsion until well-blended.
4. Add in all the coconut and mix together.
5. Add in the dry ingredients one cup at a time until the dough is fully incorporated.
6. Roll out the dough on a lightly-floured surface to the desired thickness. Place the cut cookies onto a parchment or silpat-lined cookie sheet and bake on the center rack of the oven for 8-12 minutes. Baking time will be determined by the thickness and overall dimension of cookies.
7. Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet before moving to cooling rack.
* This recipe is adapted from Vanilla Variation by Georganne (LilaLoa)