Toasty Coconut Jam Cookies

My sister started eating a paleo diet about a year ago, and since has come up with these amazing new things to try. And while I have not switched my daily consumption of things much, I had included some of the new and interesting things my sister introduces me to. A few months back she came up to me and stuffed a spoonful of coconut oil into my mouth… And it tasted like sunshine. It was coconut!!! Well… since then I have been a bit obsessed with coconut. I drink coconut water after my runs, run coconut oil on my feet, and generally just like coconut anything.

I made shredded coconut cookies a few weeks ago, and then became obsessed with the idea of peach jam on the tops of the cookies. I’ve read a few dozen recipes on shredded coconut cookies, so I can’t honestly say where I got this recipe from. It’s an amalgamation of everything I’ve read… and most importantly I included the whole egg in the batter as opposed to just egg whites as many recipes call for. I find that using only the white or yolk of the egg is wasteful so I try to avoid recipes like that.

Toasty Coconut Jam Cookies (inspired from a bit of this and that all over the web)

  • 2 1/2 cups of unsweetened coconut flakes*
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of jam (I used a thick apricot jam)
  1. If your coconut are large flakes like mine, run it through your food processor until it is a bit finer. I usually work in two batches. One I leave a little larger, and the other I zip in the food processor a little bit more for a finer grain. I measure my coconut after I’ve processed it.
  2. In a bowl, stir together egg and sugar
  3. Add coconut and stir until the egg/sugar mixture coats the coconut and forms a loose ball.
  4. On a parchment sheet, arrange scoops of coconut. I use a tablespoon and pack the coconut into the spoon tightly before gently tapping the mound out on the cookie sheet.
  5. Using a 1/4 teaspoon scoop, dollop jam onto the center of the coconut mounds
  6. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes. My oven runs a bit hot, so I baked for 18 minutes.

These cookies keep well in the refrigerator for a week. I packaged mine in little cellophane bags and presented them to my grandmother a week ago. They are just soft and just sweet enough to be perfect for grandmothers that are health conscious like mine.

It also occurs to me, that a little chocolate covered almond tapped onto the top of the coconut mounds might be an excellent alternative to jam. However, I would bake the coconut mounds just a minute or two less to let the coconut whiteness contrast more beautifully with the almonds.

* Alternatively, you may use sweetened coconut but I find this often sickeningly sweet. Plus… who knows what sugar is added?! I’ve also seen unsweetened coconut in smaller flakes called “desiccated coconut” – for whatever reason I find that label so unpalatable. The coconut I purchase is from Fresh Market, and comes in larger flakes. It’s quite a bit too big, so I spin it in my food processor for a finer grit.

 

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Lost and Found

I spend about 18 hours a day in front of my computer… and if not directly in front of my computer in the very near vicinity doing something with my computer. I’m a law student, so naturally I’m addicted to my computer and the internet. I often scroll through blogs and recipes, making note of the blog addresses so I can zip back and try the recipes. Occasionally, I’ll forget these amazing blog addresses and then I’ll spend the next boring class charging through hundreds of blogs and recipes trying to find that elusive recipe that I remember, but kinda don’t remember.

Anyway, I remember a year or so ago reading this amazing blog about this family that was traveling and eating roasted coconut. I also remember scribbling the web address down on some scrap of paper… and then promptly forgetting it. Anyway – I recently re-found the excellent blog and the even more brilliant recipe for roasted coconut. See Yummy Supper for excellent pictures, stories, and recipes.

So, I bought two coconuts with the intention of making these roasted coconut strips in my oven. One of the coconuts was horribly rotten (thanks a lot you stupid Safeway!) and the second (and organic from the Fresh Market, my new favorite store) coconut was just wonderfully fragrant and beautiful. Of course I spent about 30 minutes trying to figure out how to open that coconut without breaking my counter. I whacked it a bunch with my rolling pin (sorry baby, those dents aren’t coming out are they) and then poked it some with a chopstick before I finally cracked that baby open.

After prying those little strips out of their shell, and roasting them under the broiler for 15 minutes… I had these piping hot strips of coconut. Delicious!!!

After eating plenty of these toasted strips of coconut, I decided to take the coconut and turn them into cookies too. Kissed with macadamia and vanilla, these crumbly little cookies proved to be just the perfect thing to stave off cloudy winter days.

Coconut and Macadamia Cookies (adapted from a shortbread recipe I found here)

  • 1 1/3 cup of flour
  • 3/4 cup of good quality butter (Kerrygold or Smjor are my current favorites)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/2 cup of toasted coconut (unsweetened)
  • 1/2 cup of macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  1. Place macadamia nuts in a plastic bag, whack a couple times with your poor rolling pin (at least, mine has been having a rough couple weeks. It’s dented from the coconut, stained from the pomegranate, and now being willy nilly used to smash nuts)
  2. Shred roasted coconut with a microplane for fine flakes, or a large box shredder for thicker flakes.
  3. Spread macadamia and coconut on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast at 325 degrees for 10 minutes, or until golden and fragrant. Allow to cool completely before adding to cookie dough.
  4. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Add vanilla.
  5. Stir in flour, coconut, macadamia, and salt.
  6. Bake at 375 for 7-8 minutes, or until just golden brown at the edges.