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They Can’t All Be Winners

It started out so promising.

I’d just finished making a fantastic recipe from Modern Spice (which I’ll be blogging about on June 22, the day of Monica Bhide’s very exciting Potluck Blogger Dinner). That recipe called for sweetened condensed milk, but just a few tablespoons. What to do with the rest? I tweeted a request for suggestions and got some very tempting responses, but nothing that really made me jump up and down. (Well, one did, but it was so fattening I don’t dare make it.) So I Googled and came up with a lively and exciting conversation on Serious Eats. There, pretty far down in the comments, I found this:

Take 2 lg pkgs 14 oz sweetened coconut, chopped various dried fruits, any nuts like walnuts/almonds/peanuts/ and some choc chips. Mix w/1 can of condensed milk. Form into balls on cookies sheet lined w/silicone or parchemnt. Flatten by hand- they do not spread. bake at 350 for 10 mins or until golded brown. Yummy and FILLED w/fiber!! very flexible as to ingredients, size, etc. Enjoy!

Since I’d hit a grand slam with the last recipe I found in the comments section of another blog, I figured this one was worth a shot. And since I was using low-fat condensed milk, it almost looked kinda healthy, in a certain light.

The recipe came together in moments, and the dough itself tasted wonderful—I used unsweetened coconut (that milk is plenty sweet!), pecans, dried cranberries, and mini chocolate chips. I measured nothing, thinking gleefully to myself that this will be a perfect cookie for my Parents Need to Eat, Too series. I even had a cute-but-not-too-cute name picked out: Five Second Cookies, since that’s how long it takes to make the dough.

And then.

And then I baked them.

I’m not exactly sure what went wrong, but the cookies that supposedly don’t spread oozed into each other until I had an ocean of dulce de leche with islands of coconut mixture. Not that that’s a bad thing, necessarily, but clearly this isn’t right. I’m pretty sure my casual approach to proportions was at fault: I didn’t use two whole packages of coconut—I only had one in the house, and I’m not even sure how much was in it.

It all would’ve turned out pretty ok if the darn things would’ve some off the Silpats. Apparently sweetened condensed milk is kryptonite for silicone. Took me 20 minutes to get these suckers onto the cooling rack, and most of them were buckled and ripped and oh so sad. Just look at those ravaged little corpses.

On the other hand, I’ll keep trying with this one. They really are about the easiest cookie I’ve ever baked, and they tasted wonderful. Just didn’t look too pretty.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Mary

    I don't think they look bad. Don't be so hard on yourself!

  2. Aunt Lynn

    I have a recipe like that. The coconut macaroons I make are from one of your hero chefs — Ina Garten — and while the cookies apparently taste amazing (I don't eat coconut) they can spread like this. I use a small cookie scoop with a release and drain them as much as possible against the side of the bowl before dropping them on the silpat, which helps some (otherwise, I cut the spread edges after they've cooled.). I leave them on the tray for about 5 minutes before carefully moving them to the cooling racks, which helps firm them some, and I need to scrape the spatula in between cookies because they can leave sticky residue. It's all worth it though; super easy to make and everyone who eats them loves them.

  3. debbie koenig

    Draining each one before baking is a really smart idea, Aunt Lynn! Clearly these little pups could've used that.

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