Tuesday, March 31, 2009

{TWD} "You Put the Lime in the Coconut" Thins

This week's Tuesdays With Dorie recipe is Coconut Butter Thins, made with lime and macadamia nuts. Raise your hand if that recipe made you think of the Harry Nilssen song "Coconuts." Yeah, me too! Especially the Kermit version:




(or listen to the audio file)

I had Nilssen's song running through my head the whole time I was baking these cookies!

n.o.e.'s notes:

- I baked this recipe strictly by the book. (Well, I did use vanilla paste instead of extract, but I hardly think that counts as a change in the recipe.)

- Rolling dough inside a zipper bag is such a fun tecnique! I have used it before - it works great for freezing dough. Then you can pull out a frozen sheet of cookie dough and shape and bake.

- I figured there might be some really cool way to bake these in a different shape or in a pan or something, but I was in directions-following mode. I introduced some artistic tension by lining up my fork tines like dominos for some of the cookies and on the diagonal for others. That's right. I live dangerously. (I just realized that I could have made an "X" with the tines. Maybe next time.)

Check out the different tine patterns! These two cookies didn't spread very much.
- I baked the cookies at 315 degrees for 8 minutes, then turned the cookie sheet and baked them for another 8 minutes.

- I baked the first cookie sheet right after cutting the cookies. Some of the cookies spread pretty much.

- I refrigerated the other cookie sheet after cutting the cookies, to see if I could reduce the amount that the cookies spread. But the 2nd batch spread just as much. Or more. On each sheet, some cookies spread and some didn't. The spreading seemed pretty random, really.

See how much these spread?
the verdict:
Warm from the oven, these cookies were delicious: chewy, yet melt-in-your-mouth rich. The coconut didn't stand out but gave the cookies a great chewy texture. Every so often I could notice a piece of nut.

With their copious amounts of butter the cookies were a great Fat Tuesday indulgence (this was the last of my pre-Lenten baking). I tasted one. . . well, ok, three. Then I popped them right into freezer for later. I'll have to say that I'm glad I made no changes to the recipe - the recipe is pretty fantastic just as Dorie wrote it.

The cookies chilled in the freezer about a month before I pulled them out to serve to our book group. One of the guys, JT, an avowed coconut hater, was deeply suspicious of the cookies. But he could not detect the coconut (although he tried) and actually thought the cookies were pretty good. His wife AT was the only member of the book group who didn't care for the cookies. She said she'd rather have shortbread OR a coconut cookie, but not a hybrid. (I know just where she's coming from. That's exactly how I felt about the Chocolate Gingerbread. and the Twofer pie.)

The other tasters thought the cookies were yummy. I have to confess to eating a corner of one, and I can report that they are definitely not as good after being frozen. The chewiness seemed more pronounced, and the melt-in-the-mouth butteriness was less evident.

I also shared them with my mother and brothers and my two daughters (who happened to be home last weekend.) Reactions tended to be positive, if brief (my brothers: "good," said B. "nice," agreed M.) (my daughters: "understated," said A.L.E. "subtle," agreed J.D.E.) (my mom: "delicious," then added, "rave review")

Jayne of The Barefoot Kitchen Witch will have the recipe for Coconut Butter Thins on her blog, or you can find it on page 145 of Dorie Greenspan's book Baking From My Home to Yours. You can see lots of other cookies by visiting the TWD blogroll and clicking on each baker's blog.

33 comments:

Karen said...

Looks like yours turned out really well! Nice photos. Glad the coconut hater liked them too!

mike said...

Nice and square. I hate you. :)
They look fantastic! - just like Lorna Doones. Good enough to buy at the store. I could barely detect the coconut - I'm glad those that "hate" it can't detect it. Nicely done Nancy!

Jessica said...

OK, I'm going to have that song stuck in my head all day today but that's not so bad, it's very cute! I'm so glad that these went over well with all of your taste testers. I loved these cookies!

Marthe said...

Your cookies turned out perfect. I want square shortbread cookies too!!! I did however like the look of mine: they looked a bit lacy!

Peggy said...

Nancy you HAVE to read my post this week! Great and brilliant minds think alike! Your cookies are so thick and square and beautiful. Mine are thinner I think. We loved these.

myfamousrecipe said...

This could be the beginning of an important new trend in the art world -- creating artistic tension via fork tines in cookies. I love it!

Leslie said...

Nancy, these look great! I know you're not the #1 coconut fan so I'm glad you tried these anyway. I would love to figure out how to avoid the spread, maybe fiddle with the oven temp?

Cathy said...

I love that these cookies seem to be converting coconut haters left and right. Maybe that is attributable to the fact that you can't really taste the coconut. Clearly your tasters loved them so much that they could hardly get the words out. I love your fork tine art -- I think you are on to something there. Your cookies look delicious, and your photos are beautiful!

Audrey said...

I like coconut, but then again I sensed texture rather than taste. And it's probably good that you were in directions-following mode, as these didn't seem to be well-behaved when people went crazy with cookie cutters and such. But, oh... "artistic tension"? I wish I'd thought of saying that! :) Anyway, it worked! They look wonderful!

farah said...

Gosh, yours look perfect, great job! I really liked how it was so easy to prepare and then you get such a great tasting cookie. Shouldn't everything be like that :)

rainbowbrown said...

Ah hah. Kermit...

dharmagirl said...

i love that song:) your cookies look fabulous. i can't wait to make these--a weekend bout of illness has put me off most food stuffs and prep for a few days, so no baking for me.

pinkstripes said...

Your cookies look fabulous. They were a big hit at our house. We loved them.

bakingwiththeboys said...

Good thing you enjoyed them. Fat Tuesday is not the day for middling desserts (or anything else).

chocolatechic said...

Fabulous looking cookie.

Amy said...

HA!! I love the Kermit clip! These look great- great pictures!

-Amy
www.singforyoursupperblog.com

Cakelaw said...

Lovely cookies Nancy - LOL at the coconut hater who was disappointed not to find the coconut.

Pamela said...

I have to agree with you about the spreading to be very random on the cookie sheet. It was strange. Your cookies look great, though! I really loved these and I'm eating the last 2 as I write this. :o)

angela@spinachtiger said...

Your photos look great. Hard to make these cookies photo. My husband loved them. They are soon to be gone.

Jess said...

How strange that some spread, some didn't...all of mine did! Yours look fantastic.

Flourchild said...

Great looking cookies. I really liked this recipe alot!

Tracey said...

I love the video clip. Nice job on the cookies. Glad you enjoyed them! They were just ok for me.

Elyse said...

These cookies look delicious! I love that the coconut adds a bit of chew to these buttery disks. Sad that they don't do as well after freezing. However, it sounds like they were a huge hit!!

Carol Peterman said...

My husband does not like coconut and he ate one before he knew there was coconut in them, and didn't seem to notice it at all. I was surprised at how subtle the lime and coconut were, but the coconut added a nice texture. Really pretty photos!

Amanda said...

Well they look gorgeous! I liked these cookies more than I thought I would. I keep nibbling at them LOL

Teanna said...

I love that these cookies converted even the most skeptical coconut haters! Your cookies look gorgeous!

leanne said...

I had a coconut converter too. Loved these cookies. Jealous you still have some in the freezer

Sweet Charity said...

Thanks for the song!!! I've got a huge grin on my face... Aw! I love Kermie.
Your cookies look delicious! Even though I'm still on breakfast, I'd love a couple of those to dunk in my tea!

Carla said...

Looks great! You can't even see the holes on mine anymore. That's how badly they spread :(

Maria said...

I am loving these cookies! Nice job!

TeaLady said...

Mine spread a little, but it was rather random. And I couldn't detect the coconut, but I liked the flavors blended. These were pretty darn tasty. Yours look just right.

Di said...

Your cookies look great. And I love the Muppets! =) I might finally get a chance to make these cookies this weekend, though I'll leave the coconut out (really can't stand it).

Kayte said...

I did not get these made before we left town on spring break, but after reading your post, I am so going there asap. Yours look wonderful...the kind of cookie just begging to be lifted up and tasted! Very pretty the way you marked them with the tines.