Cookies 9: Coconut

Coconut MacaroonsLast night's class was a model of efficiency (or maybe a model of simplicity): we were done in under two hours! Our first cookie was a macaroon, made with a standard recipe plus the addition of a bit of ground almonds and lemon zest. We only had dessicated coconut to work with, instead of the called-for shredded, so we adjusted the recipe by reducing the amount of coconut, and doubling the number of egg whites. Chef said to use cold egg whites, but I know that warmed whites beat to a higher volume. However, I suspect that we weren't after volume anyway, as we spent quite a bit of time mixing the other ingredients in. I was half asleep during the demo, so I made the mistake of mixing the almonds, coconut and zest over top the icing sugar, when we were supposed to beat the whites with the sugar, oops! We had to throw out the mix and re-measure everything. Using a medium-sized scoop, we placed wet spheres of batter on a baking sheet. When they were baked and cooled, we dipped the bases in some melted coating chocolate. These cookies suffered from too much lemon flavour, to the degree that they tasted phony. A Microplane zest really releases the oils from citrus peels, so I would cut back to half a lemon next time. But the macaroons were soft in the middle and rich with coconut flavour.

Apricot Coconut CookiesOur next cookie featured quick oats, orange juice and chopped dried apricots in addition to coconut. This batter was a bit drier than the previous one. We formed and baked the cookies in the same way as for the macaroons. What a great cookie. I like the chewiness from the oatmeal (though I usually like the oats ground up) and the tanginess from the apricots. One of the best cookies we've made.

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