I have a half enforced rule in my house that we don’t buy junky snack foods. Crisps, cookies, chocolate bars – all the processed treats of my youth – banned. Between me and my boyfriend, who both have a tumultuous relationship with food, it’s just better to not have it on hand; that way if a craving occurs, there’s no instant gratification option available. However, on occasion my sweet tooth rules the roost so much so, that when there is nothing in the house to satisfy it, my mind assumes that the only logical solution is to bake something. And that my friends, is how today’s chocolate, coconut and walnut cookie creation was conceived.
I used this recipe:
¾ cup of plain flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
113g unsalted butter (room temp)
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large, free range egg
¾ cup desiccated coconut
½ cup chopped walnuts
The original recipe (link) asks for ½ a cup of chocolate chips too, but alas, my cupboards could not stretch to such luxury, so there’s a good chance this batch weren’t quite as delicious as they could have been, but still…
First and foremost, I set the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and lined two baking trays with greaseproof paper. As a child, I always neglected this step, my eager little head in too much of a rush to get to the good bit – the mixing and sieving and making a mess for my poor mum to clean up. As you might imagine, this lead to some pretty damn poor baking creations. Take it from Lucy (age 8), always get the boring bits out of the way first.
Next, I mixed the flour, cocoa, bicarb, baking powder and salt into a Barbie pink bowl. (Barbie pink colour not necessary.) At this point I also combined the ingredients with a fork – handy, as I also forgot to sieve my cocoa – the fork technique breaks up a lot of the bigger lumps.
I then added both types of sugar and the butter (cubed) into the bowl of my standing mixer. My mixer is by Andrew James – I’m a recent graduate in my first post uni job – my KitchenAid dreams will have to wait until my bank balance has recovered a little. I then used the whisk attachment to beat these on mid/high speed until the ingredients were soft, fluffy and smelling like heaven.
At this stage, I added the egg and vanilla extract to the sugary buttery mix, and then whipped the whole lot together using the stand mixer again. Just a little tip, it’s always worth cracking your eggs into a separate bowl before you add them to any other ingredients. This way, if you’re unfortunate enough to come across a bad egg, or even if you just drop a bit of shell, you haven’t wasted any other ingredients.
Next, I added in the flour 1 tablespoon at a time. Once everything in this bowl was combined, I used a big spoon to mix in the coconut and walnuts. Don’t bother trying to use the mixer to mix these in – the walnuts will cause havoc and it’s just not worth the fuss. A bit of elbow grease is all you need.
Now for bake. I found this recipe to be quite unusual, because it didn’t require the cookie dough to be chilled. It’s usually cookie baking 101 to chill the dough, at least for a little while before baking. As I once read – it helps the flavours get to know each other. Both cute and disturbing imagery depending on how you think about it. I decided to do a bit of ‘sperimenting. I baked half the cookies straight away, and chilled the other half of the dough overnight and baked the next morning. I suppose it depends on personal preference, but the cookies baked straight away were a lot more thin and chewy, whereas the chilled dough gave a more soft but crunchy cookie. I definitely preferred the latter. To each their own though.
Either way, the end result kind of tasted like a cookie version of a Bounty bar. I’m sure that will divide opinions, but for me, not a bad little bake considering it was derived purely from ingredients I happened to have in the house.