My first blog post is an interesting one and what sums it up best is my husband’s, CH’s, comment: “Why is your first blog post about baking….you don’t bake, you cook”. Let me explain! I am a tried and true cook and don’t get me wrong, I do bake, but it seems that I bake the same recipes, over and over. I find baking a bit tedious and precise and this is a problem because I am definitely an “add another clove of garlic” or “a bit more wine won’t hurt” kind of cook, so sometimes baking and I don’t always turn out well (ok…well, more often than not!).
BUT…that’s about to change. One of the reasons my blog was created was because I was truly inspired by a group of wonderful and talented cooks/bakers over at WC. They are truly an inspirational bunch and their creations, especially in the baking category, are incredible. So, when I was finally set to launch my blog, I decided to join their “What’s Baking” group to improve my baking skills, once and for all. I figured, if I was obligated to bake a new recipe once a month, I would have to get better at baking (right?)!
Just so it’s clear, “What’s Baking” is a monthly baking club of bloggers. Each month, the host blogger chooses a theme for the month and each of us must prepare a baking-related recipe that fits within that theme. The host blogger then summarizes what each of us made that month in a round-up post. So, be sure to check out what the other bloggers made this month too (I will post the link when it’s up!)
This month, Dunne’ over at With a Cherry On Top, is the host blogger. The theme she chose for February is “Baked with Love”. I’ve had many ideas, gone back and forth, but because this is my FIRST ever post, I decided to make it truly special and bake one of my Mémère’s (see About JBean for who this is and why she is important) recipes – Coconut Drop Cookies.
As I’ve mentioned, my Mémère has passed away, but these cookies still remind me of her and are very special in our family. My Mémère used to make these cookies by the ice-cream bucket but they never lasted long! In our family, they were referred to as “Mémère’s Cookies”. Just the smell of them reminds me of baking with her (but it can be concluded that I didn’t get her baking genes!). My brother played junior hockey and lived away from home – which I know was difficult (and not just for him!). My Mémère used to make him an ice-cream bucket of these cookies and send them to him, just so he could have a taste of home, and he was definitely the biggest fan of these cookies! I made a batch of these cookies with one of my friends over the holidays to surprise my brother, as it has been years since we’ve had them. I planned to wrap them and put them under the tree for him but I was too excited and gave them to him within an hour of me bringing them home! The look on my brother’s face as he opened them and realized they were “Mémère’s Cookies” was absolutely priceless and was truly the best Christmas gift. Needless to say, it was a cookie filled holiday and that batch didn’t last long!
So, in memory of my Mémère and my official submission to “What’s Baking” this month, I present my Baked With Love entry:
Coconut Drop Cookies
Yield: About 12 Cookies (depending on the size you choose!)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup margarine
- 1/4 cup milk (skim, 1% or 2%)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1.5 cups rolled oats
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper – set aside.
Combine rolled oats, cocoa powder and shredded coconut in a large glass or metal bowl. Set aside.
Place sugar, margarine, milk and vanilla in a large saucepan (although the liquid mixture doesn’t look like a lot, you need room for it to expand when it comes to a boil). Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-low heat and once the mixture reaches a rolling boil, set timer for 2 minutes. Do not stir or swirl the mixture while it boils, just leave it be! Once the two minutes have elapsed, immediately remove the mixture from the heat and combine with the dry oats mixture in the glass (or metal) bowl. Stir well with a wooden spoon to combine all ingredients.
While mixture is still warm, drop spoonfuls of the batter onto the parchment lined baking sheets (whatever size cookie you like – I usually do a very generous tablespoon). Place baking sheets in a cool place and allow the cookies to set. Once set, remove from the cookie sheet and enjoy!
Store the cookies in an airtight container, either in the fridge or the freezer (our family keeps them in the freezer and we eat them directly from there! If you layer the cookies in the container, be sure to put some parchment paper between the layers so they don’t stick together).
Note – the cookies are sticky and will be hard to drop onto the cookie sheet. The cookies are supposed to look a little messy, definitely not perfect circles, so don’t worry too much about it, and go ahead and use your fingers! Also, if you don’t allow the mixture to boil for 2 minutes, they will be too soft and won’t set. If you boil too long, they will become too hard and crumbly once set. So definitely pay attention to the mixture while it boils – that way, after 2 minutes you should have perfectly moist and chewy cookies! It is definitely about timing with these cookies and I remember my Mémère getting frustrated at times with the cookies being too soft or too hard – so unfortunately you may have to play with the timing a bit as stoves and your pots may affect the cooking time!
Source: Maillardville Cook’s, Recipe by Therese L’Heureux and Adapted by Bella Roy
* Dunne’ also asked for this to be a Valentine’s Day appropriate item. If they last until dessert time on the day you make them, I think they make a delicious dessert with a dollop of whipped cream and some sliced strawberries on top. What matters the most is that they are made with love!