Monday, 23 December 2013

Snow Storm Cookies

Oh, Canada, land of the perpetual snowstorm… I like snow, it’s very pretty when it falls and makes everything look like an iced gingerbread house. The old brownstone buildings in my neighborhood do!

However, when you get all but snowed in your apartment because 30 odd centimeters of the stuff decide to plop on your city almost overnight… yeah, not the most practical situation… But this massive snow storm turned into a source of inspiration: you see, I had this sudden craving for cookies, and when I realized that getting to the grocery store was going to be almost as epic as climbing the Everest, given the unplowed sidewalks, I thought to myself: “Hey! Lazy ass! Make your own damn cookies if you want them so badly!” Sometimes, a little self-inflicted kick to the backside is necessary to get me baking, but I never regret it!

These are not just snowstorm cookies because of the current weather: they also contain a sprinkling of delicious snow-colored ingredients that make cookies worth living for: white chocolate and coconut flakes.

I know, I know: white chocolate is not technically chocolate, it’s mostly sugar, with barely any cocoa in it (if at all). I don’t really care. Sometimes, a sugar fix hits the spot. The coconut is there both because it’s pretty and looks like snowflakes, but also because it gives that sweet hint of exotic flavor, just to remind us that the snow will eventually melt and we won’t have to dress like Siberian yak hunters to go to work.

I found the recipe on Tracey's Culinary Adventures.

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg and then the vanilla.

With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients, beating just until combined. Stir in the white chocolate chips and coconut until evenly distributed.

Using a small cookie scoop, portion the batter onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart.

Bake for about 9 minutes (rotating the baking sheets halfway through) or until the edges of the cookies are set (the centers may look underdone - don't overbake!).

Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the cookies cool for a few minutes then remove the cookies to the wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with all of the dough.

Yeah, so I don't have a cookie scoop - I didn't even know that existed until I read the recipe (FYI, it's basically a small ice cream scoop. Doh!), so I just made little balls of dough with my hands and flattened them slightly before putting them on the baking sheet. Speaking of the dough, don't freak out if it doesn't look wet enough. Maybe it was because it mixed all my ingredients by hand instead of using my stand mixer (which still hasn't been unpacked), but it wasn't sticking together until I went in there and made each little dough ball by hand. Go figure. It's important to let the cookies cool off completely before eating them or putting them away. If you want them to be chewy, they have to still be soft in the middle when you take them out of the oven. Patience, young gluttons, patience! They are so worth the wait!

Chewy, sweet cookie comfort… Nothing like a good book, a steaming cup of tea and some delicious cookies on a cold December evening. And those were some good cookies! They had that perfect pale gold hue, just enough sweetness and that great moist texture... Irresistible!

This recipe makes about 20 cookies (the original recipe says 30, but I guess I like 'em big), so as you can imagine, I didn’t eat the whole batch. The Holidays are all about sharing, so I made a few happy camper: I brought a bunch to work, turned around for a minute and the Tupperware was empty... so I went back home and made another batch...

Have a very merry Xmas my darling readers! I hope you have a very good time and lots of very good food! xxxxx

Update: My colleague Nicole fell in love with this recipe and has been making a batch almost every week since the Holidays! However, she makes it with semi-sweet chocolate chips, instead of white chocolate chips. Of course, dark chocolate and coconut go very well together, and her cookies are the bomb! It makes me very happy when people enjoy my recipes, and it makes me especially happy in Nicole's case, as she often brings some cookies to work and gives me one! Miam!

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