After having made loads of white chocolate and spicy cookies recently, I felt it was time for a change. I looked in my cupboards full to the brim with various lovely ingredients, and the coconut was jumping out at me. Not sure why, I haven’t even had a Bounty recently, but the coconut was definitely calling. “Use me”, “Pick me”, “You know you want to” (Yes, sometimes ingredients talk to me. Yes, I am weird and in need of professional help.)
So, What goes beautifully with tropical tasting coconut? The tart bite of a cranberry, and something else… It needed something else. So while trawling the net in search of a recipe that would speak to me as the coconut had done, I came across one for coconut, cranberry chews. This recipe did call for orange zest, a slight problem as I had no oranges in the house at the time. However, in a sort of ode to the cosmopolitan, I though lime would go just as well, if not better. I do generally have limes in the house due to my love of a certain Brazilian cocktail called the capirhina which calls for fresh lime juice (maybe I should include my capirhina recipe as well for those feeling daring today).
So, in went a lovely heaped tablespoon of lime zest and a good squeeze of juice for good measure. And voila, beautiful, creamy, cranberry bejewelled, lime zest speckled, gorgeous dough.
Baking the cookies I tried 2 methods. Rolling the dough into balls and dipping in coconut before baking. And rolling into balls and then slightly flattening them before coconut dipping and baking. Personally, I preferred the rolled and baked versions over the flattened ones as they came out plumper and chewier, whereas the flattened versions had crispy edges and weren’t quite so moist. But thats a personal preference, so feel free to roll, flatten, fatten, and bake in any way that you choose.
Coconut Cranberry Chewy Cookies
About 1 1/2 cups (3/4 lb.) butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon grated lime (or orange) orange peel
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups dessicated coconut
In a large bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat 1 1/2 cups butter, sugar, orange peel, and vanilla until smooth.
In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter mixture, stir to mix, then beat on low speed until dough comes together, about 5 minutes. Mix in cranberries and coconut.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place about 2 inches apart on buttered 12- by 15-inch baking sheets.
Bake at 350° until cookie edges just begin to brown, 8 to 11 minutes (shorter baking time will yield a chewier cookie; longer baking time will yield a crispier cookie). If baking two sheets at once in one oven, switch their positions halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then use a wide spatula to transfer to racks to cool completely.
My Brazilian Capirinha
Warning: This cocktail packs a punch!
Juice of 1 juicy lime (reserve the squeezed lime remnants)
2 heaped teaspoons golden caster sugar (or more, depends on your taste. But not less)
1 to 1.5 shot glasses of cacacha (its strong stuff, start with 1 if you haven’t had it before)
loads of crushed ice
Mix, either with a cocktail shaker, or the old fashioned way with a teaspoon, the cacacha, lime juice and sugar. Mix it really well until all the sugar is dissolved. Then throw in a couple of pieces of lime (either the squeezed ones or new, fresh ones) and top to the brim and beyond with loads of crushed ice.