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Sometimes you just want a plain cookie

Having come through the Holiday Season(tm) here at Chez Siberia (where, for the last couple of weeks, thanks to Polar Vortex – now there’s a name that needs to be registered – it’s been more Siberian than we’ve had in a very long time) mostly intact, I received a request from the DH for ‘a plain cookie’.

No chocolate chips, no oatmeal, no raisins or other dried fruit. No weird layers of unidentifiable stuff. No frosting. No peanut butter.

Now, that’s a challenge for sure. Your dear Aunty was left feeling that all I had to work with was shortening and sugar and not much else. Shortbread, perhaps?

Well, no. I got the DH to admit that he wouldn’t mind the inclusion of coconut but he did NOT want coconut macaroons.

Well, scrabbling around the seemingly hundreds of cooking and baking books that I have laying around here, I came across.. well, actually I came across nothing. No such thing as a plain, ordinary cookie that just so happened to have coconut thrown into it. So, I modified a different cookie recipe I have and frankly, they turned out rather nicely and were gobbled up by anyone within reaching distance.

Plain cookies with coconut

1 stick of butter (unsalted)
1/2 cup of veg. shortening
1 cup of white sugar
1/2 cup of dark brown sugar (because that’s all I’ve got and frankly it has such a strong flavor that I can’t use it by itself; if you, on the other hand, have light brown sugar, then use 1/5 cups of light brown sugar)
2 eggs
1 tsp of almond flavoring (if you only have vanilla, then use 3 tsp. of vanilla. Almond flavoring is very strong)
3 cups of flour (now, I did it with 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of almond flour, again because I have it around)
2 tsp. of baking powder
1 cup of dried coconut (flaked would work well also)
a little liquid of some sort (I used some juice I had in the fridge but anything will do)

Mix everything up together and put, by spoonfuls on a greased cookie sheet. Press down with a fork dipped in water.
Bake at 375 degrees F. for 6-8 min. You want the edges to be brown.

The almond flour gave these a rather sandy texture which people seemed to like; if you are using just regular ‘all purpose’ flour, you probably won’t get that effect; you may even need to throw in a little extra flour to make sure they are not too wet when you spoon them onto the baking pans. This recipe made, for me (because I make BIG cookies) slightly more than 3 doz. If you use a smaller spoon or are more delicate with your baking pan applications than I am, then you could probably get 1-2 doz. more. They are crispy when they come out. The coconut makes them a bit chewy.


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