I haven’t had much time to cook, nor felt like it (what is the world coming to?!) over the past few days. Apart from the one exception (sublime homemade spinach and ricotta gnocchi in a pine nut and browned butter sauce – I’ll make it again just for you soon, promise!) meals have largely consisted of basic salads or poached eggs on veg. Despite the general abnormal behaviour in regards to cooking, I haven’t been able to resist a little baking. In fact, before I left small-town Western Australia in June last year, baking comprised the majority of my time spent cooking. My repertoire was far simpler than it is today so it only felt ‘proper’ to revisit one of the old favourites. These Dark Chocolate Orange Coconut Cookies used to be my ‘sophisticated’ biscuits. I felt very grown up using the complex ‘adult’ flavours. Boy have things moved along a fraction mile since then.
Citrussy and nutty with a slightly bitter undertone from the dark chocolate, these cookies take under 30 minutes from the time you find the mixing bowl, to popping one in your mouth. The rolled oats and coconut provide texture as well as a crispish outer layer that gives way to a chewy centre, oozing with chocolate bits.
Gone in just two bites, three if you’re trying to stretch the experience out a little longer, these are the perfect petite morsel to package up for Christmas gifts. They work wonderfully as a mid-afternoon snack with a glass of milk or cup of tea and are just as appropriate as an after-dinner petit four. They’ll keep for around three days (or you can freeze them) though unless your self-restraint is well honed it’s likely that all that will remain by then is a scattering of crumbs at the bottom of the tin.
Perhaps I should take a trip down memory lane more often – who knows what other old gems I’ll rediscover…
Dark Chocolate Orange Coconut Cookies
Makes about 32 cookies
1 cup plain flour
¾ cup rolled oats
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
¼ cup caster sugar
grated rind of 2 oranges
4 tsp honey
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp bi-carb soda
1 tsp boiling water
¾ cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease 2 large baking trays and line with baking paper.
Melt the honey and butter together either in a small pot over a low heat or in the microwave (around 30seconds depending on the microwave’s strength). Set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the flour, rolled oats, coconut, sugar and orange rind until the orange rind is well dispersed. Stir though the chocolate chips.
Combine the bicarb soda and boiling water in a small bowl and add to the melted butter/honey mixture, along with the beaten egg. Whisk to combine.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir until no flour or dry patches remain visible.
Gently shape heaped teaspoonful’s of mixture into balls and place on the baking trays, an inch apart.
Bake for approximately 7 minutes or until a dark golden brown and just firm to touch. Place the baking trays on wire racks and leave the cookies to cool on the trays for 2 minutes before transferring to the racks to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. They also freeze well.
Source: Barely adapted from the back of a Nestle Chocolate Chip packet (circa 2005).