I usually start my stories with something funny but today I feel a little melancholy. Christmas is just a few weeks away. Usually it heralds a feeling of joy and of excitement for the holidays and quality time spent with family. Preparations for the both the new school year and the holidays go hand in hand so it keeps us super busy and happy too. But, this year is going to be different. This year Christmas won’t be as happy and as fun as it used to be. This Christmas something very special will be missing, actually somebody very precious will be missing. My mum. 2020 brought with it many ill tidings for hundreds of thousands all over the world. People have lost their most near and dears ones in Corona Virus’s pandemic so I know I am not the only one feeling sore and alone. But then that is the spirit of Christmas, it reminds you of things you need to be grateful for and to remind you not to take it all for granted.
It is not the Christmas trees, nor the Christmas carols and certainly not the shops filled with Christmas decorations and wonderful offers on all the good things that I look forward to during Christmas but my mum’s coconut cookies. Though she made them regularly throughout the year, she was very particular about baking them for us to leave for Santa Clause on Christmas eve when we were little. That was our Christmas tradition. My sister and I usually insisted on leaving milk and cookies not just for Santa Clause but also for his eight reindeers. Plus, we loved them so much ourselves and we were Santa Clause’s little helpers and deserved them too in return for being good throughout the year!
While I was looking for ideas about my content on the internet, I came across several interesting bits of information about cookies. Like, did you know, 4th December is National Cookie day? The word cookie actually came from the Dutch word Koekje which means little cake. I had no idea that the origins of cookies can be traced back to Persia in the 7th Century AD, around the time when they started making sugar from sugar canes. By the 14th century cookies became common in all households. We all love chocolate chip cookies and so obviously they are probably the most loved cookies in the world. By the way, have you ever wondered why when you bake chocolate chips cookies, the chocolate chips never melt? This is because they have less cocoa butter than chocolate bars.
We will have had baked and eaten many different kinds of cookies but my most favourite cookies are the coconut cookies which were my mum’s specialty. It is a hand me down recipe and I share this with you today in the hope that you will enjoy them too this Christmas and think of us when you do; with a smile.
The best part of baking at home is that you know what ingredients go in it, it is free from artificial flavours and is “healthy” and hygienic and the best of all, it is made with lots of love!
My kids love them just as much as I do. So, I tend to make them often although not too regularly that they tire of it. Cookies are also ideal to put in their lunch boxes to school.
So, let us start with gathering our ingredients; one cup of sugar (brown, white or granulated) feel free to use whichever you want, same one cup of margarine, an egg, one grated coconut and two to three cups of white flour. Besides these core ingredients you will also need a teaspoonful of Vanilla essence and baking powder.
Mix the sugar and the margarine until it turns white and is incorporated. Then add the egg, vanilla essence and baking powder and mix well again. Then put in the grated coconut and add the flour. At the end the mixture should be hard enough so add the flour accordingly. You can then break the dough into pieces and mould them into the shapes you want using your hands to make them round or using your set of cookie cutters. You could make a dip at the center and add jam to it once you have them baked. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. After putting the cookies to bake set your time to 30 minutes – you could turn the tray half way to ensure they are cooked evenly on all sides. Once you get the cookies cooked through and slightly brown preferably on time with the time you set on, let them cool off. Add jam to the hollow you had created and take a bite. Heavenly!
I am making these tomorrow, how about you?