Dec 13, 2012

Caramelized Coconut & Ginger

Listen up people. In December, everything is very straight forward. There's no rocket science here and no need to complicate life more then it already is. For that in the festive month of December, thou shall bake, eat, share and blog about cookies 


(goodness that came out like something straight out of a religious book now didn't it )


Anyway. The truth of the matter is that you just need to take a look at all the culinary magazines and websites out there and you'll come to realize there is one item that hijacks the food pyramid and indeed you guessed right, it is cookies- "holiday cookies" to be precise. 

And as much as they all look and sound delicious, as much as somewhere deep inside, sometimes I really don't want to be making a cookie that hundreds of others might be baking too. I want something unique, something personal. Something that would allow me to express creativity rather then merely following a recipe. And so that's where my Caramelized Coconut & Ginger Crumbly Cookies come in. Indeed, I dreamed this cookie up during one of my freestyle after-hours baking sessions.

Here's why I think my cookie is so cool. Primero,, I think that just like with chocolate, coconut is something you just cannot not like. Everyone I know loves coconut, and I bet you do too. Yes you, staring at your screen reading this right now. Segundo, on a scale of coconut awesomeness, the highest level is attained when caramelizing it. I came to discover this years ago when I bit into a  bar of white chocolate with caramelized coconut. My life never became quite the same ever since. Tercero, combine bits of golden coconut crunchy sweetness with a zing of fresh ginger all into a shortbread buttery kind of texture, and you my friend might be digging straight into a bite of heaven. Or so I hope at least, because that sure was my intention when I concocted this recipe up. 

Caramelizing coconut is a piece of cake. You need coconut, sugar, a pan and dedicating a few minutes on this -and nothing else- as the combination can easily burn if not controlled closely.
Because what you really want is this beautiful golden colour. Not burned flakes.
To make cookies that look like this. I wish you could just pull one straight out of the screen! 
Coconut & ginger work so well together!
Eat these cookies straight up or better yet- dunk them in tea!

Recipe for Caramelized Coconut & Ginger Crumbly Cookies
Makes approx 12 large cookies

180gr butter, softened
1 generous tablespoon of freshly grated ginger
60gr icing (confectioners) sugar
270gr flour
100gr coconut + 80gr sugar

Preheat oven to 160C/330F.

First off, place coconut and 80gr sugar in a pan on high heat. Keep mixing until the first speckle of golden colour appears. At that moment, immediately turn off heat and continue to mix on turned off stove until a beautiful golden colour is achieved. This should take about 3-4 minutes. When complete, transfer caramelized coconut on a dish and set aside. 

In a bowl, cream the butter, ginger and 60gr icing sugar together. Add the flour, mix briefly. Add the caramelized coconut and mix all together by hand. Just be sure to not over mix as you don't want to dry out the dough. Roll out dough and cut out shapes with a cookie cutter. Place cookies on baking tray.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove cookies and let cool. 

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