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Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Crunchy Coconut Cookies

Who does not like cookies? Few would answer in the negative. Yet so few of us have time to bake. I have good news for the busy ones and for the ones who keep busy with baking. You can buy these cookies from A Pretty Talent (or place an order if they're out of stock), or you can follow this easy recipe and bake them yourself! You can buy the home-baked cookies here. First, I have to admit that this is not my own recipe. Usually I adapt a recipe to my own liking, but this one is so perfect that I have not dared change it. The book I found the recipe in is titled Bak met Gemak 101 Resepte and I bought it from Boeke op Uys. They have an awesome range of children's books that any child could get lost in as well.

Here is the recipe:
250 g butter
250 g margarine
5 large eggs
10 ml vanilla essence
100 ml peanut butter (I prefer chunky)
4 cups wheat flour (1 litre)
10 ml baking powder
2,5 ml salt
10 ml bicarbonate of soda
4 cups desiccated coconut (1 litre)
4 cups oats (1 litre)
4 cups poppes rice (1 litre)
Now let's get baking. A word on butter and margarine. The original recipe calls for butter only and this is how I baked it for a very long time. Then I read somewhere that using half margarine and half butter would give you better results, but still maintain the great butter taste. I tried it. It has definitely improved the consistency of the mix, without doing any damage to the taste. Choice is yours as always.

Cream 250 g butter, 250 g margarine and 4 cups sugar in a bowl, using an electric mixer.

Add 4 extra large eggs (or 5 large eggs) and mix well.

Add 10 ml vanilla essence and 100 ml peanut butter and mix well.

Now put a sieve in a second bowl and mix your dry ingredients. I believe very firmly in sifting to loosen the granules of the dry ingredients. Sifting will aerate the mixture.  Add 4 cups of wheat flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, half a teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda. Sift the dry ingredients.

Now you will have to get a really large bowl. You can of course always half the recipe if you want to bake smaller batches. I would not recommend increasing the recipe, since it will take a long time to roll all the little balls and your mix can become very dry and difficult to work with. Rather make a second batch while the first is baking if you want to double up.  In a very large bowl, mix 4 cups of coconut, 4 cups of oats and 4 cups of popped rice. I don't often push brands in recipes, but I love the Pick N Pay No Name Brand of popped rice for these cookies.

I you did not mix your dry ingredients in the big bowl, you can now add the sifted mixture and mix all of the dry ingredients well before adding the wet ingredients.

Add the wet ingredients. You will have to mix this in by hand, unless you have a huge mixer. You will know it is ready when the mixture can be formed into a ball as illustrated.

Spray a baking tray with non-stick spray. Roll small balls in your hands and squash them a little before placing them on the baking tray. Place them a little apart, because they will spread. You should preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Put them in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes.

See how they have spread when I take them out?

Place them on a wire rack to cool.

Time to munch! This recipe will make approximately 24 dozen cookies depending on the size of the balls you roll.

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Remember to keep nurturing your TALENT for making PRETTY things.
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