My obsession with coconut is out of control.
Having detested the stuff for years, I’m not sure what the turning point was, but I can now hold my hands up and admit , ‘I am a coconut addict’.
I wander round Planet Organic or Whole Foods adding coconut treats to my basket at a rate that is a little frightening at times. It’s like my eyes deliberately seek out the word coconut on packaging and my hand has a mind of it’s own and reaches out and drops items in the basket.
I stumbled across amazing baked coconut chunks on my last visit to Richmond’s Whole Food branch a couple of weeks ago. Delicious chunks of coconut flesh drizzled in honey and baked into crunchy pieces of heaven. Simple but just what you need when you fancy a treat but don’t want to follow it with the usual guilt!
Serendipitously I came across Coconut Chocolate -Snowconut ‘frozen yoghurt‘ when I was doing the weekly food shop. Kind of wishing I hadn’t now as every time I go to ‘check-out’ the trolley, there it is sitting there in all its glory in the ‘have you forgotten something’ reminder section. Coconut and chocolate in frozen yoghurt, again, simple but delicious. Back in the (virtual) basket it goes!
All the recipes that I’ve been adding to my ‘must make these soon list’ have coconut at their center and the only thing preventing me from making them all is a lack of time. Don’t worry, you don’t need to get the violins out, I will get around to making them all eventually. And hopefully I’ll even be able to tempt you to have a go at making them too.
After the Snowcocnut frozen yoghurt incident I started googling coconut sorbet / frozen yoghurt / ice cream recipes. I’ve got an ice cream maker and it’s been far too long since I’ve used it and what with the recent better weather, I became obsessive about finding the perfect recipes Then of course the talented ‘Little Loaf’ beat me to it and posted these amazing coconut magnums which of course now I want to make those too!
A few weeks ago I made this cinnamon buckwheat granola which is mixed with toasted coconut. On toasting the coconut flakes I discovered that really it’s just the perfect snack… straight from the baking tray if you like. It’s like eating crisps, once you start the packet you just keep going. In fact, it makes me want to go bake some more right now just thinking about it.
And now I’ve got breakfast on the brain I have to tell you about Ella’s coconut porridge, which has got to be my favourite recipe from her cookbook. Creamy with the full fat coconut milk, totally indulgent and a great way to start the day. Go make it; honestly, you’ll be as obsessed as me in no time.
Then just a week ago, this recipe from the ‘A sweet spoonful blog’ hit my inbox for coconut cherry cookies. It was like the coconut gods were taunting me as they knew I was about to go on holiday so there was no way I was going to have time to make them before I went. Which meant of course I spent 10 days thinking about them and promising myself I would make them the very next day after I got home.
Which is exactly what I did!
The recipe actually originates with Anna Jones who wrote ‘A Modern Way To Eat’, another cookbook that is on my list to buy.
The cookies are jam packed full of coconut flavor and have that slightly under baked dough centre which I love. They are crumbly due to the lack of butter and eggs but I don’t think this detracts from the enjoyment of eating them. Just be prepared to mop up the crumbs afterwards.
The raisins are plump and chewy, the oats and flakes of toasted coconut provide a little crunch and texture, but the coconut flavor really steals the limelight in a delectable subtle way. Even if you’re not the massive coconut fan that I am, I think these might still just win you over.
Coconut oatmeal raisin cookies
Makes 12-15 Cookies
50g unsweetened coconut flakes (not desiccated coconut)
125g coconut flour (or spelt flour)
50g rolled oats
75g light brown sugar
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp baking soda
125g coconut oil melted
2 tbsp maple syrup (can substitute for agave nectar)
75ml water (this was not called for in the original recipe but I felt the dough was too dry to come together so added it)
Note: you could substitute the raisins for other dried fruits or some nuts like pecans if you’d prefer.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line two baking trays with baking parchment.
Spread your coconut flakes into a single layer and toast in the oven for about 8 minutes but every few minutes, make sure you turn them over or they will burn on one side.
Add all your dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.
Add your maple syrup to your melted coconut oil and mix well.
Add the coconut oil to your dry ingredients and using a wooden spoon or kitchen aid mixer, mix well until your ingredients are well combined.
Add 50ml water and mix well.
The mixture may appear a little crumbly but should hold together to form one large dough ball.
If needed add the remaining 25ml water so that your dough comes together – I felt it needed it.
At this point you can either make the dough into a sausage shape (rolling pin size) and freeze the dough and just cut slices of the dough as you want to bake the cookies and keeping the rest for another time.
Or in my case, you just bake them all in one go. Make balls of dough with your hands (about golf ball size) and place on a baking tray with a good inch between each dough ball so that they have room to spread on baking. Press down gently on each ball so that they are slightly flattened on top.
Bake the cookies for about 12-15 minutes. Keep an eye on them as you don’t want to over bake them.
They will be quite soft still – this is perfect! They will harden up on cooling, so under baked is far better than over baked.
Leave the cookies to cool on the tray for 10 minutes before moving them to wire rack to cool completely.
They’ll keep in an airtight container for a few days.