Coconut Lime Crunchies

For my sister’s All-Ivy League Fencing Competition (Part I), I wanted to bake her something special, and every time that I ask my sister what sort of cookie she’d like me to make, her answer is the same: “Something with coconut.” Not being a huge coconut cookie fan myself, I try to incorporate other ingredients so that the coconut is a complementary ingredient rather than the focal point.

These cookies are a variation on a grapefruit cookie made by Martha Stewart. I modified the recipe to use lime and added the coconut, which I think pair well.

coconut lime crunchies

Coconut Lime Crunchies
Grated zest and juice from two limes
1 c sugar
1 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c plain cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c unsalted butter, at room temperature (1 stick)
2 large egg yolks
1/2 c coconut

1. In a small bowl, mix the lime zest with 1 tbs sugar and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder and salt and set aside.
2. Beat the butter with the remaining sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add the egg yolks and beat until combined, then beat in the zest-sugar mixture. Add the flour in two batches, alternating with the lime juice, and beat until well-mixed. Then, stir in the coconut.
3. Turn the dough out onto waxed paper, shape into a log approximately 1.5″ in diameter, and freeze until firm, at least 1 hour or more.
4. Preheat the oven to 350oF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the log of dough from the freezer and slice into 1/8″ rounds. Place them on the baking sheets, spacing about 1″ apart. Bake 18-20 minutes, until the edges are lightly golden. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes about 40 cookies

Bounty Cookies

This fall, my one and only little sister joined the ranks of thousands of American college freshmen, as did my one and only girl cousin in my mom’s family. Now, from years of camp and college, I know that it is always a welcome surprise to receive a care package – especially a care package containing food. So, I promised them that I would bake for them. This cookie is for my sister, who requested something containing COCONUT.

Now, I have yet to find an actual cookie made with coconut that I really like – so I just invented my own, inspired by Bounty. Originally, I was making a recipe from the Gourmet Cookbook by Ruth Reichl for something called “Snowballs”, but when those ended up being just ordinary macaroons, I decided to spice things up a bit by encapsulating them in chocolate dough!

bounty cookies

Bounty Cookies
For the coconut part:
3 c sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 large egg whites
2 tsp water

1. Preheat the oven to 350oF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Either finely chop the coconut or pulse it in a food processor until it finely chopped. Place in a bowl and stir in the sugar and salt until they are well mixed. Then stir in the egg whites and water until well mixed.
3. With damp hands, scoop 1 tbs. sized mounds of coconut. Roll into balls and place on the baking sheets, about 1″ apart. Bake 13-15 minutes, until the balls are puffed but not coloured. Slide them on the parchment onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the chocolate part:
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
3 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/2 c softened butter

1. Preheat the oven to 350oF and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a double boiler over gently simmering water, melt the unsweeteened chocolate. Let cool slightly, then beat into the softened butter until well-blended. Beat in the sugars until they are well-mixed in, then add in the flour and baking soda.
3. Take out a tablespoon-sized lump of dough and pat it as thin as you can between your hands,about 1/16″ to 1/8″. Place a coconut ball in the middle and pull the dough up around it so that it is completely encapsulated. Put the chocolate covered coconut ball on one of the prepared baking sheets. Repeat until all of the balls are covered, spacing them about 1″ apart.
4. Bake for abouut 10-12 minutes, until the outside of the dough feels firm. Remove from oven and transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes about 30 cookies

Kitchen Sink Cookies

Yes, that’s an odd name but these really do have “everything but the kitchen sink” in them. I started by reading a recipe for “Chewy Chocolate Coconut Cashew Cookies,” which I eventually managed to mutate into “Pecan Butterscotch White Chocolate Coconut Cookies”. I really wanted something with butterscotch and toasted pecans (I’m literally so in love with them that I make them and freeze them), but I ended up basically opening my cabinets and tossing stuff into a bowl.

kitchen sink cookies

Kitchen Sink Cookies
2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c brown sugar
3/4 c granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 c sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 c butterscotch chips
1/2 c white chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli, woot woot!)
3/4 c chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350oF. Toast the pecans on a baking sheet 8-10 minutes, or until fragrant. Set aside to cool. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour and baking soda.
3. In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until creamy. Add the vanilla followed by one egg at a time and beat until light and fluffy.
4. Stir the flour mixture into the larger bowl. Stir in coconut and pecans, followed by the pecans and white chocolate chips.
5. Drop heaping round tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake ten minutes or until cookies have spread and are done on the outside and a bit moist on the inside. Cool about a minute on baking sheets, then move to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes about 2 dozen

Coconut Macadamia Nut Cookies

I was shocked to learn that many people don’t like coconut.  I like coconut so much, that on a recent venture to Grand Cayman, my friends and I actually managed to get a coconut out of a tree to eat.  The ingredient that thew me in these cookies, which I think have a somewhat Hawaiian theme, was the macadamias, which my local grocery store apparently does not carry (yet I think they stock every Goya product known to mankind…go figure.).

coconut macadamia cookies

Coconut Macadamia Nut Cookies
1/2 c plus 2 tbs salted macadamia nuts
2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick (1/2 c) butter
1/2 c vegetable shortening
1 c sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbs lime juice
1/2 c unsweetened shredded coconut, plus more for sprinkling

1. Preheat the oven to 325oF. Spread the macadamia nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast them about 10 minutes, or until they are light golden and fragrant. Let them cool, then halve about 22 of the nuts. Finely grind the remainder and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in the 2 eggs, vanilla and lime juice. Add the flour mixture, ground macadamia nuts and coconut. Mix on low speed until just incorporated.
3. Turn the dough out on to a clean work surface and shape into an 11-inch log, about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
4. Preheat the oven to 350oF, and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the dough log from the refrigerator. Using a sharp knife, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Place on baking sheet.
5. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining egg with 1 tbs water. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the top of each cookie with the egg wash. Sprinkle with some coconut and press a macadamia nut into the center.
6. Baking until the edges are golden and the coconut on top is lightly golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 44 cookies