Phase II – Coconut
When I think of coconut several things come to mind. One is Harry Nillson’s song Coconut, which reminds me of an idyllic vacation in Puerto Vallarta a lifetime ago.
A great coconut memory is Floogie’s Swap Cafe’s coconut cake, man I miss that guy and love his cake, he only made it for special people for special occasions. If you are amongst my loved ones I will make it for you but I promised to never share the recipe.
Of course we all remember Mounds and Almond Joy’s from Halloween. My sister and I would scour the neighborhood with huge pillowcases full of candy and very occasionally we would trade a few pieces. I wasn’t so fond of Mounds and Almond Joy but loved their chocolate. Sees Candy has a great coconut candy (remember Lucy? Blech! Coconut!!!). Unfortunately it looks very much like the dreaded marzipan candy so usually it was a Blech! moment. Only Granny new for sure which was which and I think she really liked the coconut ones because we never did find them most of the time after she “helped” us decipher our precious box of Sees from Grandpa.
One exception is the Snowball, I never did like those, they were such an odd color of pink and were kind of flabby, especially after being squashed in your backpack all day in the hot sun, (shudder shudder).
So now that I’ve grown up (hah!), I really love coconut, and when I began the Biscotti Experiment (BI) Susan really came through with the coconut biscotti recipe. This has to be one of the most delicious and delightful cookies I have ever munched on. They are crunchy, coconutty but not overly sweet and just oh so delicious. You must just drop everything and make this recipe.
These start out the usual way, creaming the butter and sugar, adding the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla extract, then slowly mix in the coconut, then the flour mixture. The dough is done.
In a horrific and highly unusual lapse of pantry management, I ran out of eggs and only had one jumbo egg. Fortunately the recipe swap TNT (Tried and True) Kitchen Tips section came to the rescue and I substituted an egg with 2 T of corn oil and 1 T of H2O. It worked pretty well but the dough was rather dry, so I added a little more water until it was workable. However, when it baked it really spread out and went bloooogh. The cooked loaf was thinner than I had originally intended but the cookie flavor and crumb was not affected and they still cut nicely into biscotti shapes. Did I mention the joys of laignappe, the warm crusty ends of the loaf that you just can’t double bake are there for my snacking pleasure, dipped in a nice cup of Yorkshire Tips Gold tea. ahhh. Why don’t I bake more often?
When they were done and crisp I melted that gorgeous bar of chocolate and began dipping the cookies. Now, technically, a bar of chocolate should coat an entire batch of cookies, but this chocolate is so darn tasty, I just kept dipping a spoon in there and, slurp! Then I got to lick the bowl. Naughty, naughty!
Next time I am going to add some toasted slivered almonds, for that true Almond Joy feeling, cause (and I just have to say it) sometimes you feel like a nut!
1 cube unsalted butter
1 c sugar
2 t vanilla extract
2 c sweetened flaked coconut (a bag is 2 2/3 c coconut, and I added the whole bag)
2 c flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
a bar of good chocolate for dipping (I used Green & Black 70% cacao dark chocolate)
Preheat oven to 350.
In an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light. Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix well.
On low speed, add coconut. Gradually add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Divide the dough into two loaves about 1 1/2” high, dusting with a little flour if sticky. Place loaves on cookie tray lined with a Silpat or parchment paper.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool enough to handle. Cut diagonally into ½” slices with a bread knife and place back on cookie sheet cut side up. Return to oven and toast for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned and completely crisp. Cool and dip in chocolate if desired. And I must say, you really should desire to dip them in chocolate. Click here for complete directions on how to melt the chocolate.
Here is the link for the original recipe.
The night I finished these, I had a delivery from Sneaky’s Underground BBQ and gave a packet of them to Pat as a thank you. Hope they liked them! I sure enjoyed their spicy slow smoked ribs and North Carolina sauce. The biscotti was a perfect end to my great meal.