Recipe: Crunchy Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies are traditionally known as Anzac cookies - however, I didn't want to offend anyone by calling them that since I did not use a key ingredient (golden syrup) in making these. I also read that using the name Anzac is restricted in some parts of the world, so I thought I'd play it safe and give them a different name. 


Before we talk about these cookies, can I just give y'all a big ol' hug? Thank you, dears for letting me hash out a few things earlier in the week. And thank you for sharing your experiences as well - it's so comforting to know I'm not the only one that faces these struggles. You've lifted my heart and spirit with your encouraging words. I'm so grateful for you (you know who you are)!

Now, I bring you cookies. They're a simple cookie because, to me the best cookies are the simplest ones. I don't need cookies stuffed in cookies, or cookies filled with bacon (but I wouldn't say no to one), or cookies with sprinkles. Just butter (browned would be nice though these aren't), sugar, oats, dried shredded coconut a bit of flour and a touch of honey.

Why, that's what we have here. These Anzac cookies from Alice Medrich's cookbook caught my attention due to its name but as I read further, the story behind them intrigued me. These cookies were thought to have been sent by wives to their soldier husbands in the Australian-New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) during World War I. They are sturdy biscuits that can be shipped overseas and don't spoil quickly because of their simple ingredients.


I wouldn't mind getting a package of these cookies in the mail - they're crunchy, buttery, and hearty...almost like a crunchy granola bar in cookie form. The flavor is similar to the British flapjack, which I discovered a few years ago from the first No Kid Hungry bake sale I participated in. Hmm...I might just bake these for this year's NYC Bake Sale!

Crunchy Coconut Oatmeal Cookies
You'll have to plan ahead for these cookies as they are a refrigerator/slice-and-bake cookie. The dough requires at least 2 hours in the fridge. I sliced mine on the thicker side as the dough crumbled quite a bit when sliced thin. If this happens, just press the dough back together with your fingers. 

Yield: about 2 dozen 2-inch cookies, sliced about 1/2-inch thick

Ingredients:

1 cup rolled oats
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons honey (or golden syrup, if you can find it)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut (I used Bob's Red Mill)

Directions:
In a food processor or blender, coarsely grind oats (not powdered). Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Stir in coconut. Set aside.

In a large sauce pan, melt butter, sugar, water and honey over low heat. Stir in flour mixture until flour is fully incorporated. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.

Prepare two large pieces of foil. Divide cooled dough in half and place each half on the foil. Shape into 8x2-inch logs, wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

15 minutes before baking, remove dough from refrigerator to soften at room temperature. Using a thin, serrated knife, slice dough about 1/2 inch thick (thinner if you want thin, crispy cookies) and place 1 inch apart on lined baking sheet.

Bake for 14-17 minutes, or until golden brown. Rotate sheet halfway through baking for even browning. Let cool on pans then transfer to wire rack. When cooled completely, cookies can be stored in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Source: Adapted slightly from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich

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