And some Homemade Coconut Cookies

 Some wonderful and happy memories of childhood stay with us forever. Often when we look back on them as adults, they can bring a smile on our face and for a fleeting moment make us all forget the humdrums of our every day life.

Passing by the neighborhood park can remind us of the countless joyous hours we spent with our siblings and friends. The little fights we had with our peers which seemed like a mini war in the making back then seems such a miniscule matter at present. But these are the moments and experiences which unknowingly strengthened our bonds with them.

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Another one of the fondest memories I can think of at the moment has to be the regular visits to the local bakery. I remember being immensely awed by the ‘colorful creations’ or rather ‘masterpieces’ that were on display. Every time I wanted a little bit of everything to be packed so I could be content for a while (read : a week). Back home, these ‘treasures’ would be stored in their respective cookie jars and during the process quite a few would disappear if my sister or I were nearby.  What I was not pleased with was these cookie jars were kept well above my reach!

The reward were worth the efforts to reach them. We would treat ourselves every day with different sizes, shapes, colors. When a so-called problem in school upset us, nothing like the sight of a cookie to brighten us up! Most of the break times in schools would be spent peeking in to a friend`s lunch box to see what fancy shaped jewels (read : cookies) she had.

The frustrating part would have to be when there remained just a single cookie and I and my sister had to justify why one of us deserved the lone cookie more than the other! While there were good sides to a ‘cookie’, there were some ‘darker’ sides too..They were something like a double-edged weapon.

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These innocent cookies were often used by adults to get work done from us, say to finish your pending homework or clean our room..well you get the drift.  And before you knew it, a week had passed by and it was time for another visit to the bakery.

We do not know when we out-grew our ‘cookie-age‘. Newer & fancier fast food joints, the movie theaters was what held our attention as we grew. Visits to local bakery became very occasional and then disappearing with time. The cookie jar that once had been under the lime light lost its charm in our eyes and was pushed far behind in the shelf.

A few years ago as my family and I were going on a long drive , the music blaring in the background sis and I caught a faint whiff of something very familiar that instantly brought in a rush of pleasant memories. A look outside revealed to us that we were in front of a cookie factory! It had been ages since we had bit into some fresh, sweet cookies.

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This long lost ‘friend’ of ours caught our attention for few minutes, discussed a few pleasant memories we had had with them and then we moved on to our destination. Back home I was once again reminded of our brief moment of joy on being brought face-to-face with something we so well associated with our childhood.

Set about mixing the flour, butter, sugar, shaped them into little rounds and off they went into the oven to be baked. Biting into these fresh, homemade, flavorsome cookies made us all feel we were kids once again – carefree and innocent! The cookie jar was full and contented once again and seemed to smile back…..

Coming back to the present (as the cookies have all gone now!), I just had to share these easy to make Coconut Cookies with you all.. My recent encounter with the ‘cookie’ which held a special place some ages ago made me realize we never fully ‘outgrow’ this phase. It is just pushed far behind, beneath all our everyday tasks that are far more important for now. This phase just waits patiently to be re-surfaced once again.
 
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What is Dessicated Coconut?

Desiccated coconut is a grated and dried (to the perfect moisture content) meat of mature coconut. This ensures a longer shelf life. They are crisp and white in colour. It has a sweet pleasant and fresh taste of the nut.

It can be used as a substitute to grated fresh coconut in household preparations or for baking biscuits, cakes, cookies, muesli etc. They may also be used as topping for sweet or savoury dishes. They may also be used in smoothies, salads, chutneys, pattice, gravies. They taste excellent even when used as coating for chocolate balls.

The sweetened coconut flake is commonly available at the market. When you buy, make sure they are clean and off white in colour and have sweet aroma of coconut. Do not buy if they have dirt content and avoid yellowish coloured. coconut.

To store : The shelf life of dessicated coconut is longer when compared to fresh coconut due to lesser moisture content in the former. Dessicated coconut can be stored in plastic bags and refrigerated for upto 6 months.

Source : Tarla Dalal

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Coconut Cookies

Easy to make chewy, coconut-y, addictive cookies!

  • Plain Flour/ Maida – 85 gms
  • Baking Powder – ¾ tsp
  • Salt – a pinch
  • Butter (at room temperature – 55 gms)
  • Dessicated Coconut – 40 gms
  • Castor Sugar or powdered sugar – 55 gms
  • Water – 2-3 tsp or as required

For the Glace Icing (optional)

  • Icing sugar – 85 gms
  • Hot water – 1-2 tbsp or as required

To decorate

  • Glace Cherries (halved)
  1. In a mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar nicely until light and creamy, about 5 mins or so. Use a hand whisk.
  2. Now sieve the flour, baking powder and salt into the creamed butter. Add the dessicated coconut. Mix once with a spatula and then with your hands to bring it together . Add a tsp or two of water to form a dough. The dough should not be very stiff nor too smooth.
  3. Preheat oven at 2000 C for 10 mins. Nicely grease a baking tray with butter.
  4. Shape the dough into small rounds and arrange them on the greased baking tray.
  5. Bake the cookies for 10 to 15 mins till done. The top will still be light and the base will turn a bit crisp & brown when done. Mine got done in just 10 mins. The top may seem slightly soft to touch but will harden on cooling. Cool the cookies completely on a wire rack.
  6. Store in airtight container. They stay good for a week atleast.

For the Glaze Icing

  1. Applying icing on top is purely optional. The cookies taste just as good without the icing too. I iced few of the cookies and left most of them plain and they stayed good for a week.
  2. You may apply the icing on the cookies to be served just before you serve too if you wish to serve them in a fancy way.
  3. In a bowl put the icing sugar, add some hot water to make them into a thick paste like and spreadable (not runny) consistency.
  4. Immediately apply the icing with a cutlery knife over the top of the cookies. They set over the cookies within a few seconds of applying.
  5. Keep one halved glace cherry over each of the cookie. Serve.

I did not measure the icing sugar-water quantity. Just mixed the two to get the right consistency and applied over just few of the cookies. We enjoyed the rest plain.
Always apply icing on completely cooled cookies.
After baking as the top of the cookies seem slightly soft to touch and will still be light in color, do not over bake. They will harden on cooling.

 
 

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