Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Coconut Cookies (Recipe)

And so it begins…my unyielding mission to find the next great culinary creation!

For my first delicious dessert, I decided to go with something light and fairly simple. I have always loved both meringues and coconut, and so when I stumbled across a recipe for coconut cookies, I thought “this is it!”

After examining the list of ingredients, I was also quite thrilled to see that I was only missing one thing…corn flake crumbs. Perfect...but wait, “what exactly are corn flake crumbs?”, many of you are probably asking (or at least I did). Well, as it turns out, they are somewhat difficult to find in your local grocery store, and so I headed straight to the neighbourhood organic shop. So there I was searching row by row…first in the bulk section, then in the baking section, then in the cereal section…“where are these damn corn flake crumbs!!” Finally, I decided to swallow my pride and ask for help (like many macho men, I have an aversion to asking for directions, which I’ve noticed also translates to asking for help in the grocery store). But when I did, the nice grocery boy kindly led me over to the bread section (ahh I should have known that, I thought!). And there they were…Corn Flake Crumbs…just like the recipe called for! I was a little taken aback however by the thick coating of dust on top of the box, and the picture of a chicken leg on the front. Am I making poultry or a dessert? Oh well, five dollars later and I was back at home, eager to start baking!

After I laid out all of my ingredients, I realized that I had unsweetened coconut flakes, instead of sweetened. Hmm…well nothing a little extra sugar can’t fix (or so I thought)!

The ingredients
So the first step of the recipe called for me to combine 3 egg whites, 3/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 tsp of cream of tartar. So to compensate for the unsweetened coconut flakes, I decided to add 1 cup of sugar…this won’t make a difference, right? So after separating the egg whites from the yokes (with my hand dandy little egg separator), I combined all of the ingredients in my big green bowl! 

Isn't it cute?
The recipe then said to whip everything together with an electric beater…but if the baker were up for a challenge, a wire whisk could also be used in its place. Well I am always up for a challenge, so I grabbed my whisk and away I went! I only needed to whip it until soft peaks formed…how hard could that be?

10 minutes later, my arms were killing me, and there was absolutely no sign of any peaks!! TouchĂ© egg whites, you got me there…so I reached for my electric hand mixer instead. This should be easy now!

Well another 10 minutes later and my mixer was overheating from exertion, but still no sign of soft peaks! What was going on?? Could it be the extra sugar I added? Perhaps…so I decided to add another egg white to offset the excessive sugar. But much to my dismay, my cute little egg separator failed me, and I let a big blob of egg yolk slip into my bowl! Oh no!! I quickly reached for a spoon to retrieve the yellow gloop, but it sneakily dispersed throughout my egg white mixture. Hmmm, no biggie, right? I decided I needed to pull out the big guns and I reached for my double-headed hand mixer. A couple minutes with this thing, and I should have firm peaks!! Oh how wrong I was again. Another 15 minutes later, and my egg whites were still runny, without a glimmer of imminent firmness! Well at this point I decided to give up on the soft peaks. It clearly was not happening for me. Were soft peaks really dependent on the success of this recipe? I would like to think not.

As you can see, no peaks!
So I moved on to the next step…fold in 1 cup of sweetened coconut flakes (or in my case unsweetened) and 3/4 cup of the infamous corn flake crumbs. And I did just that. Success. 

My finished batter...doesn't seem quite right though!
After this, I was meant to drop the cookie mixture into little balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. However, my somewhat liquidy mixture made it difficult to form balls, so instead I dropped mini pancake shaped circles on my pan. I was able to make two batches of 8 cookies, which I baked for 17 minutes each in the middle of my oven at 350°.

As soon as I took the cookies out though, I knew something had gone wrong! They looked absolutely nothing like the picture on the recipe.

My cookies
The picture from the recipe
But after they cooled, I decided to give them a try. And much to my surprise, they were actually quite delicious. It was very light and spongy and just sweet enough. The texture was similar to a meringue, but it was shaped more like a sugar cookie. (Obviously if you don’t like coconut though, these cookies are not for you). I then shared my creation with my family and friends, who also found them equally delicious!

PS. After my issues with the egg whites, I researched to find out what went wrong. Apparently, the extra sugar and the egg yolk prevented the formation of any peaks! Also, I may have added the sugar before the whites were partially beaten...oops...well I have definitely learned some valuable baking lessons as a result of this recipe!! 

Verdict: Pleasantly surprised

Rating: 6.5/10 

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Baking Time: 17 minutes (per batch)

1 comment:

  1. I did in fact eat several of these cookies and they were absolutely delicious :)