Recipes so good it oughta' be a sin!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Lemon and Coconut Cookies

For the past few days I've been experimenting with some recipes. The first one I tried out was for a lemon cookie topped with meringue. This wasn't my recipe but one suggested from one of those recipe sites. Honestly, I wasn't impressed. I liked the cookie itself with its big bit of lemon flavor. The meringue part left something to be desired, though. It was far too chewy and not in a good way. It just tasted strange. I decided to scrap that recipe.

My next experiment was for a little Brazilian cookie made with what we call Masa Harina de Maiz here in the Southwest. It's the corn flour used to make tortillas and all sorts of other dishes. I have to admit the cookie was interesting. Sort of like eating a really sweet cornbread in a cookie form! However, I had trouble wrapping my mind around people gobbling these up with coffee or dipping them in chocolate. So, I decided to reach out to my sister-in-law, Jan Costa who spends a lot of time with her husband and his family in Rio. Jan assures me the cookie I was attempting is delicious and she loves to get them at the farmer's markets in Rio. I still am not convinced the recipe I had was correct so I'm awaiting the real deal from her mother-in-law's cookbook! We'll revisit after I hear from the kind folks in Rio! (Olá, Cecelia! Obrigado pela ajuda!)

So, in the meantime and while awaiting the start of the Packers vs. Browns, I decided to whip up my own little recipe. I had lemon I wanted to use and also some coconut that I had let dry out thinking I might do an English tea cookie. Seeing both in the pantry I decided to combine them because nothing makes me happier than lemon AND coconut!

This turned out a great little cookie. I love the big hit of lemon flavor that is almost like a lemonade taste in the cookie. Combined with the subtle coconut flavor it is delicious! The use of pulverized coconut in place of some of the flour in this recipe also turns our a really chewy (in a good way) cookie - reminiscent of a coconut macaroon in some ways. I'm going to be hard put not to eat all of these while watching the game and waiting for Michael to get home from work!

: Lemon Coconut Cookies
: A big hit of lemon flavor with a subtle coconut flavor in a chewy cookie.

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbs. lemon juice
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup dessicated and ground coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 cup turbinado sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 375° and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add lemon juice, zest, and egg and beat at medium speed just until combined. Add ground coconut, flour, salt and baking powder and mix on low speed until dough comes together.
  3. Place turbinado sugar in shallow bowl. Using a 1.5 tsp. cookie scoop, scoop the dough by into balls. Roll each ball in the sugar and place on cookie sheets. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes or just until edges are beginning to brown. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Makes about 3 dozen small cookies.

If you cannot find dessicated and ground coconut in your grocery store or specialty food store it is easy to make. (see note)

NOTE: Take packaged shredded coconut and allow it to dry in a bowl covered loosely with a towel for 24-48 hours (depending on the humidity in your area). Once the coconut has dried place in a blender or food processor and process until the coconut resembles a fine meal or powder.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 10 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 3 Dozen Cookies
Culinary tradition: USA (General)

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