Suzi's Blog

No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies with Coconut and Oatmeal

2013_06_06_1343

I first blogged this recipe three years ago. It’s a childhood favorite that I keep returning to.  This time, though, I used one of the options: adding a cup of shredded coconut. A very good cookie was elevated to sweet perfection.

This cookie recipe has three special features. No baking. No flour. No eggs. For someone with food allergy issues, this may be just your treat. If you are “baking” with kids and want something fun and safe, there is no more delicious cookie than this one. Parents will have to boil the sugar and dairy part, but children love to stir up the oats at the end. With no baking, they just have to spoon the batter out and wait just a few minutes for the batter to dry. The batter is sticky so children will have to be instructed to periodically lick the spoon. In my experience, that is not a major problem.

I had this cookie a zillion times as a kid. I grew up, went to college, moved away, and for thirty years had this fond memory of some cookie that did not have to be baked. But I had no idea what it was. Fifteen years ago, while browsing through a bookstore, I opened up Cookie Time by Marilyn Miller Wasbotten. This fond memory was on the first page I looked at.

You should let the mixture cool just a bit if you are going to add chocolate chips if you want them whole; they will immediately melt if you have just made the syrup-oat mixture.

Nuni’s No-Bake Cookies

Yield: 40 cookies

Ingredients:

2 cups sugar
¼ cup [2 ounces] butter
¼ cup cocoa
½ cup milk
3 cups uncooked quick rolled oats
½ cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional: 1 cup of nuts, raisins, chocolate chips or shredded coconut

Preparation:

Stir the sugar, butter, cocoa, and milk in a saucepan and cook until the mixture comes to a good boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over the oats, peanut butter, and vanilla. Add optional ingredients. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a cookie sheet lined with foil and let cool.

Source: Cookie Time by Marilyn Miller Wasbotten

Photo Credits: Canon T2i, EFS 18-55mm macro lens, F/5.0 for 1/20 second at ISO 400.

Coconut Joys

Editted 2013_02_03_0483

 

I have a new proof for the existence of God. It would take such superior designer to come up [and conceal] two very distinct but two very complex nut foods. Foods that are encased so deeply you cannot believe how people ever figured out to use them.

There is coconut, of course. And then there are the cacao pods which are transformed into chocolate only through a series of steps that impossible to have ever been devised. But thanks, perhaps to a gracious God, they were revealed. There are no chocolate atheists.

The combination of coconut and chocolate can be sublime. What better vehicle to transport those flavors to you than a perfect French meringue. I do mean perfect.

As soon as Suzen saw the title, Coconut Joys, she was onto this recipe. Surprisingly, I was entrusted with making them. And this only because in the brilliant new book Meringue by Linda Jackson and Jennifer Evans Gardner there is the technique for perfect meringues.

You’ll want to use very, very fresh coconut flavor here. So, that half-used package of coconut from last spring that is sitting on your shelf? Use it for the photo. That’s what I did.

Instead of using full-sized chocolate chips, the use of mini-chips here reinforces the daintiness of the cookies.

These are easy to make — 15 minutes. And long to bake — 3 ½ hours in your oven. It’s a weekend treat. One you could use, say, to teach your children to be patient. [Or yourself.]

One thing about meringues. If it is raining out, don’t even think about it. Humidity is the mortal enemy of meringue, so wait for sunshine.

Coconut Joys

Yield: about 40 small cookies

Ingredients:

  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ cup superfine sugar
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chopped almonds, optional

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 200°F. [Yes, 200°F]

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites and cream of tartar, increasing speed to medium-high until soft peaks form. Add superfine sugar and then powdered sugar, about a tablespoon at a time. With a rubber spatula, very gently scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl because the powdered sugar is so lightweight it will fly up and stick to the sides of the bowl. Continue beating on high until peaks are stiff and glossy. Reduce to low and add vanilla, coconut, chocolate chips, and almonds; beat until combined.

Drop by well-rounded teaspoons onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, about 1 inch apart. Bake for 90 minutes. Turn oven off and cool meringues in closed oven for 2 hours or until dry to the touch.

Cool completely before removing from baking sheets. Store in an airtight container.

 

Source: Meringue by Linda Jackson and Jennifer Evans Gardner