Coconut Cream Cookies

coconut cream cookies 3Cookie season is here, and it’s time to start baking for the holidays. Of course, I just had to try a “new” hundred-year-old recipe.

I selected a recipe for Coconut Cream Cookies that was in a small promotional cookbook published in 1911 for KC Baking Powder.

The cookies are an old-fashioned soft, chewy cookie, with a very delicate creamy coconut taste. Their mild flavor makes them perfect for nibbling while sipping a cup of coffee.

The recipe didn’t call or any butter or shortening–and I was surprised that it was possible to make cookies without it. The cream in the recipe apparently provided adequate fat to create a nice cookie texture—however, the cookies weren’t as flavorful as many modern cookies.

Here’s my updated version of the recipe:

Coconut Cream Cookies

  • Servings: approximately 25 pieces
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

2 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup whipping cream

3 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

3 teaspoons baking powder

water

1 cup shredded coconut

shredded coconut for garnish

walnuts, pecans, or other nuts for garnish

Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine eggs, sugar, and cream. Add flour, salt, and baking powder; stir to combine. If the mixture is too dry, add water until a soft dough of rolling consistency forms. Stir in the coconut.

Roll out the dough one-fourth inch thick. Sprinkle with coconut, pressing in lightly. Cut into rounds; press a nut meat into the center of each cookie. Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 8 – 10 minutes, or just until set and the coconut garnish is just beginning to toast.

Note: I used a 2-inch diameter cookie cutter. The coconut in the cookie dough makes this dough a little more difficult to handle than many modern doughs. A spatula can be used to transfer the cut cookies to the baking sheet.

Yield: Approximately 42 cookies

Here is the original recipe.

Source: The Cook's Book (1911)
Source: The Cook’s Book (KC Baking Powder Cook Book) (1911)

I had to make some adaptations to the recipe. I guessed that “1 coffee C sugar” was about 3/4 cup of sugar.

When I followed the recipe, the dough was extremely dry. I added additional cream, as well as water, to achieve a dough that could be rolled. Perhaps a hundred years ago, eggs were larger than the typical “large egg” of today. Also, I used all-purpose flour rather than pastry flour–and  I didn’t sift it; that might have affected the amount of liquid needed.

I also changed the spelling of coconut from “cocoanut” to “coconut” when I revised the recipe. I never see it spelled with an “a” in modern cookbooks, so I’m guessing that it’s an archaic spelling.

55 thoughts on “Coconut Cream Cookies

    1. When I first read the printed recipe in the old cookbook, I also thought that there might be a mistake–but after I made the cookies I think that the recipe was correct. They turned out fine without any shortening. I ended up thinking that shortening might add richness to cookies–but that it wasn’t needed for this recipe.

  1. Whenever I hear “roll and cut” I tend to head the other direction. I’m not sure why, since my favorite cookie memory involves cut-out sugar cookies, and I make Sprits every Christmas, despite the need for a cookie press. But these look a little bland to me. I’m not sure I’d put forth the effort to try them.

    1. I know what you mean. Each year I make a few recipes that are more complicated such as cut-out cookies, iced cookies, and drop cookies–and then I gravitate toward my quick and easy bar cookie recipes. Your comment makes me realize that I haven’t made spritz cookies in years–maybe I’ll have to get out my cookie press this year and make some.

  2. I want to try these–very curious. I love shortbread cookies, and my mother’s sugar cookie recipe was a low sugar, not real sweet cookie that I continue to make and love to this day. Mom loves coconut macaroons, and coconut cream pie, so maybe these will be a little surprise treat for her when I head home next week.

    1. If you try them let me know what you (and your mother) think. These cookies seem more “old-fashioned” to me than many other cookie recipes–but I’d appreciate others opinions.

  3. I think using all purpose flour and not sifting would result in more flour than the recipe called for which might account for having to add more cream and water. They look delicious and I’m going to put them on my list of things to make.

    1. That’s also what I think. I never sift flour–yet all of the old recipes call for it. Sometimes I think I should try sifting flour and see how it affects both the amount of flour needed and the texture of the finished product–then I remember that I sold my flour sifter at a garage sale years ago. 🙂

  4. I like that these sound subtle and old-fashioned. I don’t think I’ll make them, because I hate to use cookie cutters, but maybe I could find a way to do something similar with a a drop cookie.

    1. It’s so much fun trying old recipes. There’s always an element of mystery when I try to decipher old recipes, but I really enjoy experimenting with them.

        1. Have you tried making any aspics? I haven’t been adventurous enough to try any that contain meat, but once made one with vegetables. Your comment makes me think of several hundred-year-old recipes I’ve seen for vegetables embedded in jello. I may have to do a future post on this. 🙂

    1. Interesting about the spelling. . . You’ll have to let us know how the cookies turn out. I think that I interpreted the recipe in a way that works for modern cooks–but would really appreciate any additional comments or notes that you could add. This was one of the more challenging recipes to adapt.

      1. Based on your thoughts on the dry texture, I added an extra egg. Also you probably knew this, but sifted flour measures differently than unsifted. So I beat the eggs, added the sugar, cream & coconut. Let the wet mixture set while I sifted the flour, salt & b.p. When they were all incorporated, I had a dough that was softer than Nestle Toll House dough 🙂 However decided to test a few as “drop” cookies. They are still delish! I used colored sugar & decorations I had in cupboard, b/c some in family can’t have nuts. Next time,will just use the 2 eggs, and I am going to divide the dough in separate bowls & add in vanilla, citrus zest or almond flavoring. This was fun, thanks again for these recipes 🙂

        1. I love how you adapted the recipe. The “art” of cooking is the fun part. I thought that I was done with my baking for this year, but I may have to try this recipe again using 2 eggs, and colored sugar, citrus zest, etc. Thanks for sharing what you did.

  5. Those look pretty good! I found an old cookbook at an estate sale last month, (not 100 years old, but from the 1940s) and I found several cookie recipes I’m going to try. They sound good, and there’s something fun about using such an old recipe…

    1. What fun! Baking cookies while listing to Christmas songs sounds like something I’d do. I find it so relaxing to cook with holiday music in the background. Thanks for letting me know that you made the cookies. It’s always wonderful to hear when someone tries a recipe.

  6. Did you make it first with the exact amount of ingredients? 2 to 3 cups cream is a big difference. Yet you only added one at first, and maybe 1/4 cup more? A coffee cup may have been only 6 ounces as a tea cup was, so I agree there. I admit even 2 cups of cream might make a cake batter type cookie.

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