Caution – for just the recipe, skip reading the blog and go to the last paragraph ….
Last night I brought a small tray of cookies to our Bible study on Galatians. Several commented on how tasty the cookies were and a couple people wondered how I made them. I decided the quickest way to share how I made the recipe was to put it on my website’s blog.
I’m calling them Chocolate Coconut Yummies since I have the privilege and responsibility of naming what I help create. I don’t know if another recipe already has that name, but I’m not going to “Google” to find out because we chose names for the children we created and others have their names, too. Naming my recipe seemed rather trivial to me, whereas naming our children happened after hours of consulting meanings in books. Okay, on with the recipe and off this rabbit trail – no offense to rabbits.
You’d think I could just list the ingredient and the steps for making the recipe. That’s what I’d expect if I liked the cookie pictured, so if you just want the ingredients and not the paragraphs, skip to the “asterisk” below … You’ve been warned that I can digress. It’s a blog, right? Humor me.
Recipe ahead, but hang in there. I don’t know if it’s because
- I like to at least evaluate “facts” before accepting them, or,
- if like all of us who exercise our freewill and acknowledge we start out rebellious by nature,
- or for me, also serious, because of a more recent gentle Holy Spirit chastisement while reading Proverbs about having a contrary disposition, but I tend to adapt recipes.
Whew! You thought I was really going to spill my guts and sins right here on the page, right? Actually each of those attitudes can be a sin, but I’m pretty confident changing a recipe did not even raise God’s eyebrow as He lovingly continues His care of me.
So, on to selecting the recipe. I thought I’d make a gooey, cheesy dip for crackers I’d “liked” on Facebook. That would have meant to a trip to the store. Hmm. Second thoughts. For some reason, I’ve managed to
horde no, make that, wisely purchase when on sale, about six or so cake and brownie mixes. Would not my better choice be to make one of those? I had the eggs and oil those mixes call for, so now it was just narrowing the selection. I had two German Chocolate Cake mixes. Aha! Decision over. I’d use one of those!
Why make a cake for a group that likes finger food when you can use the mix and make a cookie instead? Obviously, Pillsbury knows independent people like choices. On the narrow side of the box was a recipe for “Chocolate Fudge Drop Cookies.” I decided to make those. . . with some variation. I turned the oven on to 350 to start preheating so when all my other decisions resulted in something to put into the oven the ding would have rang. Or rung. Dinged.
Here’s what I emptied into my large metal mixing bowl– but I didn’t use a mixer:
1 Pillsbury’s Moist Supreme German Chocolate Flavored Premium Cake Mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
These ingredients mixed like extroverts at a party. My dad thought everyone at a party should feel like they had a good time, so when Pillsbury suggested I use favorites like white baking chips and frosting, I sighed. Who in my cabinet felt left out? Aha, I drug out the shy shredded coconut and the chunky English walnut halves. (I know why I buy pecan halves – perfect for pies and for placing just so on certain other foods, but why I buy English walnut halves baffles me. I nearly always break them into smaller pieces when I use them. Maybe it’s a control issue – I get to decide how small or large the pieces are. Man, lots of confessions go along with cooking, right? Cooking/baking is good for the soul.)
Thus and therefore, I added a couple good pinches of shredded coconut and I kept breaking and adding the nuts until I thought every cookie would have at least a nut to crunch as it was eaten. Why? I consider how each piece will taste. I firmly believe in letting others “go first” because that’s the polite thing to do. I trained my children that when they split a candy bar, the splitter got last choice of the divided candy bar. When I’m adding cheese or pepperoni or whatever to whatever I’m making, I make sure that if I get the last piece, it is as good as the first piece. So, really, I suppose, if you analyze this action instead of going ahead with the recipe, you’ll decide I’m just always looking out for myself. It does keep peace a little longer, though, if you only have one candy bar and more than one person hoping to eat it; require the divider to choose last.
Back to the baking process. I just used my slotted metal spoon and stirred the coconut and walnuts into the cookie dough. They all got along as though they were made for each other. Once their friendship was established, I used two iced teaspoons – intentionally chosen so the cookies would be only a little over an inch across.
Choosing the size of a cookie is a significant decision. I made mine small. That way, if someone picks a cookie and is disappointed, in just a couple bites, it’s over. And, conversely, if the cookie is a delight, choosing to eat a second one because they are so small requires but a tinge of guilt even for dieters. Amazing how much reasoning goes into baking and freewill goes into eating.
I didn’t, did not, spray my cookie sheet. The directions didn’t say to. I hoped the secretary hadn’t forgotten to type it. Actually, my cookie sheet that took the most heat for this project has nice little rubber “grips” to prevent burns to fingers through potholders. It’s made by Kenmore. It’s the sheet-cake/jelly-roll size baking pan. And, full disclosure, the recipe made enough cookies that I also ended up using a well made, fairly thick pizza pan.
If you’re new to baking, it’s best to have either those expensive pans that have air between the layers of the cookie sheet or have the thicker metal bottoms to the ones you’re using or your first batch of cookies might end up being burnt. (If that happens, you praise the Lord someone gave you an old-fashioned metal shredder/grater designed for cabbage, carrots, and the like, but an excellent way to remove burnt cookie bottoms if you wait until they are almost cool and work the grating. Just be sure to get rid of the burnt crumbs before announcing the cookies are ready.) Ah, shucks, even deceitfulness can creep into our lives so easily. It’s no wonder there are whole movements urging us to just eat food the way God made it rather than try to mix things up!
Caution – cookies maintain their shape as they bake, so have them the size you want when you put them into the oven. Mine are slightly less than an inch thick. I think this made about three dozen little cookies – I didn’t count before they began disappearing.
So, we are ready to drop mounds of cookie dough by teaspoon an inch apart onto their baking sheets. (Listen, gals and guys, I do not have any experience with those newer cooking sheets what are silicone or something and that twist and turn and prevent burn, etc… but I’m not saying you can’t use them. Those may be the best thing to use, but I don’t have any of them and remember, the reason I’m posting this on my blog is to tell you how I made my cookies, right? At our house, we tend to use things until they wear out or are no longer useful. My stainless steel cooking pots, thick pans, and my husband’s clothes tend to last a very long time until declared “shot”. You should see his shirts and socks that are under his protective custody! He likes to ask, “Do you know how long I’ve had this shirt? These socks?” and though I have been married to him for decades, the answer keeps changing as the years go by! You’d think I’d get that number memorized because I hear the question a lot. I used to say, “Ten years” but it’d be eleven, or fifteen, or whatever. Can’t tell if it’s my memory or my math at fault here, or his protective custody of shirts with frayed collars and tube socks with holes that he can turn so they aren’t on his heel. 🙂 Love my good man, though.)
Now, the cookies are to bake about eight (8) to ten (10) minutes – until “their edges are set”. Set the timer because you know you are going to be distracted. Do it. Another question to answer is: “Do you trust your oven to behave during the baking process?” The correct answer is mostly likely, “Don’t.” Get nosey. You wouldn’t just ignore your children, regardless of age, if things got strangely quiet. Peek at them from time to time. I baked my cookies ten minutes and my oven earned a high mark for compliance. The cookies are kind of soft to the touch so DON’T move them off their baking sheet yet. Let them cool a couple minutes. Loosen them with the narrow metal spatula after they’ve cooled a bit.
I decided they looked interesting but needed an accessory of sorts, so I rummaged through my cabinet and spotted my white almond bark baking bars. For these cookies, I used two cubes which I microwaved bit by bit, slightly over 90 seconds for my microwave (ovens vary). I stirred them to be sure they were melted. I experimented and dabbed a little bit on top of a few loosened cookies. I was getting bored with spending too much time on the cookies, so I thinned the white chocolate a bit by adding a teaspoon or so of milk. Professional kitchens would probably say, “Thin to taste” or “Thin to desired consistency” so though that might be borderline plagiarism, I’ll suggest you do that, okay? Now I could simply pick up a cookie and dip it into the frosting, give it a twist, and put it onto the tray I was taking to the event.
However, I rushed my warm cookies into their emergency room, also known as the refrigerator, for a handful of reasons: 1) to let them finish cooling without glazing the entire cookie with frosting, 2) to help them finish setting up, and 3) to keep them free of fingers or other things that might interfere with their scheduled appearance at the Bible study a couple hours later.
So, that’s what I did to create the cookies for last night. Bloggers generally like to have some feedback, so here’s where I invite you to make comments below. Hmm. Did your parents remind you that if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all? Mine did. Just saying. But since we live in a free country, please remember that I’m am in no way insisting you have to like this cookie…or this blog. You’re free to have your own opinion about this cookie, and in fact, about other cookies and blogs, too. My cookies don’t have feelings. They won’t be offended if you adapt the recipe – alas! I did, so adapt away if you wish. I do hope you enjoy the cookies and the friends they help you make if you do go ahead and bake the cookies.
Thanks for stopping by. As promised – the short, straight, no frills recipe is as follows: AHA – the “asterisk” for those who want just the facts, the straight recipe:
Set oven to 350. Makes about three dozen one-inch cookies.
Mix together – 1 Box of Pillsbury German Chocolate Cake Mix, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, and two large eggs. When well mixed, add about 1/2 shredded coconut and 1/2 cup chopped English walnuts. Mix again until it’s all bonded.
Drop by teaspoons onto a cookie sheet, keeping the cookie mounds about an inch apart.
Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cool a couple minutes and then gently help them off their baking spot. Dip them into the icing of your choice or drizzle it onto the cookies.
Icing: 2 cubes of white baking chocolate microwaved until melted. Add 1 teaspoon milk and stir until blended. Cookies can be cautiously dipped into frosting or drizzled with frosting.