Chewy Coconut-Lime Sugar Cookies

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A few weeks ago, one of my girlfriends sent me The Hater’s Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalog, and I could not stop laughing at it. Seriously, what was the thought process behind some of these kitchen things? “You know what would make the task of peeling potatoes more enjoyable? Wearing some stanky, wet gloves that say POTATO on them!” And, like, a waffle batter dispenser? That’s the kind of thing you spend $30 on, use exactly once, then sell at a garage sale 12 years later for 50 cents.

Hidden in all the snark — specifically, hidden in a send-up of WS’s “Panini Spatula,” which retails for $19.95 — were some legitimate words of wisdom:

By the way, you should know that any kitchen utensil designed specifically for one kind of food or meal is essentially useless: a panini spatula, a fondue pot, a steak tartare fork. Unless you plan on eating raclette four days a week, you don’t need any of that shit.

Pretty much. I thought about that when I was zesting the limes for these cookies with my zester — on the one hand, I could have made zest just as effectively with a hand grater, box grater, or any number of other kitchen tools…but on the other hand, the little curly-Q pieces produced by the zester were so much prettier. Sigh.

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CHEWY COCONUT-LIME SUGAR COOKIES (recipe from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures)

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar, plus 1/3 cup for rolling
2 oz cream cheese (4 tbsp), cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup shredded coconut, chopped fine (sweetened or unsweetened)
1 teaspoon lime zest
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and still warm
1/3 cup vegetable (or canola) oil
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon lime juice

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat two foil-lined baking sheets with cooking spray.
2. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, coconut, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar, lime zest, and cream cheese in large bowl (no need to stir them together yet). Put remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a pie plate and set aside. Pour warm butter over cream cheese mixture and whisk to combine (mixture won’t be completely smooth yet). Whisk in oil, then egg, then milk and lime juice. Mix until smooth. Use a rubber spatula to fold dry ingredients into wet, until a soft dough comes together.
3. Portion dough onto prepared baking sheets with a cookie scoop, using about 2 tablespoons for each cookie. Working quickly (to avoid flat cookies), roll dough into a ball with your hands, then roll in the sugar and place on baking sheet. Use the bottom of a glass to flatten the dough balls into discs that are about 2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with remaining sugar.
4. Bake cookies, 1 tray at a time, for about 10 minutes, or until the edges are set and beginning to brown. The tops will be puffy and slightly cracked. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes then transfer them to the rack to cool completely.

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Ahhh, these cookies were right up my alley — perfect consistency, not too sweet, and with an interesting flavor combination. The original recipe called for sweetened coconut, but I could only find unsweetened, and it worked out just fine. I brought these to a work holiday party/Christmas cookie exchange, and everyone I talked to seemed to like them.

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