Saturday, October 9, 2010

52 Cookies - Chapter 40

I don't enjoy doing laundry.  First you gather it up, then you sort it, then wash, then dry, then fold, then put it away. 

Then you do it all over again...sometimes the very next day.

When I was a young child, my mother had a washing machine that was just a step or two above primitive.  But anything was better than going to the laundromat to do laundry.  My grandmother had a ringer washer and one time, despite her warning not to stick my fingers in there...I stuck my fingers in there and they got stuck.  I screamed for dear life as my fingers were slowly being pulled in and crushed by the two rollers whose purpose it was to squeeze the water out of the washed clothes.  I learned my lesson; that is for sure!

Despite my mom and grandma's not-so-pleasant laundry circumstances, at least they never (at least not to my recollection) had to wash laundry using a washboard.  I appreciate my front loading washer so much more when I think how awful it could be.  Hot running water at the flick of a switch.  Electricity all day long.  There are people in this world today who still do not have such a luxury.

This week's cookie is called "Coconut Washboards" and the recipe comes from The Columbus Dispatch.  The person who submitted the recipe says her mother used to make these back in the 1950's and that the recipe was found on a package label for Gold Medal flour.  These are yummy and very moist; my kind of washboard!

Coconut Washboards
Here's What You'll Need:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup moist shredded coconut

Here's What You Do:
Beat the butter, shortening, sugar and eggs.  Stir in the water and vanilla.  Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the flour mixture.  Add the coconut and stir until combined.  Cover with plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge for a couple of hours.  I mixed mine up in the morning and then came back to it in the afternoon after running some errands and taking Owen to preschool.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.  I used my small cookie dough scoop to help keep the cookies uniform in size.  The recipe instructs you to roll the cookie dough, about the size of a walnut, into a ball.  Then slightly "snake it" a bit and set it on the cookie sheet.  Take a fork and make an impression with the fork tines.  They'll have the "washboard effect" after they've been baked and have cooled. 
1.   Ball
2.   "Snake It" (very technical baking term)
3.   Press with tines of fork.

I found that my fork was sticking to the dough after I'd done a few so I began to dip the fork in some sugar for easier release.  Perfection.  Space your cookies out about 2 inches.  They spread a bit in the oven.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Under bake them some and then leave them on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before moving them to a cooling wrack. 

These cookies are good.  When they are warm, the coconut flavor is more prevalent.  I was disappointed that the coconut flavor was so weak, though.  I am wondering if I substituted the vanilla extract for coconut extract, that the coconut flavor would be more pronounced.  I don't keep different flavored extracts around, but I would use that if I were you and you had it in your cupboard.

I had a little leftover melted chocolate chips in the fridge from when I made those Graham and Peanut Butter Bon Bons a few weeks ago so I decided to melt that and dress up some of these cookies to take to the kids' 4H club pizza party Friday night.  My scissors slipped and I made a bigger hole in the piping bag (aka Ziploc baggy) than I had intended, so the dainty chocolate drizzles I had imagined ended up being more like zig-zaggy globs.  It still tasted good though. 
After all, everything's better with chocolate!

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