Saturday, July 17, 2010

Choco-Coco cookies and using fresh coconut

Nutmeg and I made another batch of Grandma's Frost's chocolate chip cookies this weekend. A few weeks ago, Nutmeg said she wanted to try a real coconut. They picked one up at the store right away, but we didn't get around to cracking it open. Earlier this week, we finally did and it was rotten. We tried one of those easy to crack ones--I think they cut all the way through then glue it back together. We should have opened it immediately. So last weekend, Nutmeg and I got one and cracked it open on Friday.

We grated a cup and replaced the nuts called for in the recipe. I think they are FABULOUS with coconut. Eric thinks they are okay but nothing special. Nutmeg likes them, too. I almost threw in some dried pineapple, but these were mostly to send along to the beach house and I thought just coconut might be weird for some people. Next time!

A few coconut tips
  • Don't let a 5 year old grate. She sliced her thumb knuckle quite quickly. :(
  • Eric started with a drill top open a hole to drain the coconut water. He used a very large bit, but that meant we only needed one hole. Neither Nutmeg nor I liked the coconut water.
  • Then he cracked it open with a chisel and hammer. Did not see that tip anywhere online. Much easier than with a hammer alone and didn't need a towel to keep the bits from flying around.
  • Place the pieces attached to hull on a cookie sheet and put in a 350 oven for 15 minutes. They will be easier to pry off the hull now. I let them cool for about 5 minutes; they were still hot so I had to hold the shell with a towel while I pried the coconut meat off. I used a small paring knife to get between the meat and the shell.
  • Then I used a vegetable peeler to get the brown inner shell (?) off. It was so easy with a peeler. Except my hands cramped so it took me a few hours off and on (maybe 30 minutes hands on, if that).
  • I used the smallest holes on my box grater. Never used these before but they are the perfect size for coconut.
  • I considered toasting the coconut, but Nutmeg said to put it in raw. I wasn't sure that it would matter in cookies anyway.
I also used the coconut in 7 layer bars and hope to make granola soon with the rest of it.  I might make another batch of Choco-Coco cookies, too; I sent all but 6 (and the two or three I had right away) along to the beach house.

I wish we lived near coconut trees. I really enjoyed having fresh coconut. So much nicer than the dried stuff from bags in the store. :(

Oh, and for some reason 15 minutes at 350 was a wee bit too long this time. Nearly burned the cookies. Perhaps it was the pizza stone--I put the it on the bottom of the oven this time, as it had preheated and I had nowhere to put it in the kitchen. Sometimes I leave it on the rack. I'll have to keep note of how it affects things.

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