Our friend, Karen who is the innkeeper at the lovely Woodstock Inn on the Millstream, had made a batch of these the last time we stopped by to let Will move sand in his dumper and throw rocks into the stream. While we were there, Rahm built this lovely stack of rocks that Karen captured a day or two later as the waters began to rise from the downpour we got.
Karen was very generous with her cookies and we sat around in the inn's kitchen/office enjoying them. When I asked for the recipe, she told me that it was from Whole Foods. So I Googled "Whole Foods mandarin coconut cookies" when we got home and, sure enough, there it was.
I've adapted their recipe slightly below as there were a couple silly / inefficient things in their version. For example, instead of removing the skin of the tangerines with a vegetable peeler and then chopping it to obtain enough zest, I've changed it to just zesting the tangerines. Time is precious, after all...
We happened to have a small pile of tangerines that were not getting any younger sitting on the counter so the timing was perfect. And I had the rest of the ingredients - coconut oil (which is great to cook with!), flour, sugar, baking powder, vanilla, salt and coconut flakes, too.
Will "helped" me make them. His favorite part was drinking the freshly squeezed tangerine juice and eating the sweetened coconut - and eating the cookies, of course. He told me recently in a very solemn and proud little voice, "Mama, I can eat SO much sweet things." Which is true.
Since we often use eggs in our cookie dough (although I sometimes bake and cook vegan dishes, we don't follow a vegan diet), he assumed that this dough was also off-limits for eating. And I saw no reason to tell him otherwise...
The dough is kind of fun to handle - the texture is soft and marzipan-like with a delicious sweet smell from the coconut oil and the tangerine juice.
I also enjoyed smushing the cookies with the bottom of a glass dipped first in water and then in the coconut flakes to flatten them out for baking.
I think the cookies end up looking a little bit like flowers. Seems fitting now that it's Spring and the warmer weather is on its way. Enjoy!
adapted from Whole Foods' recipe
Makes roughly 3 dozen
* 2 mandarin oranges, such as satsumas or clementines
* 1 1/4 cup sugar
* 3/4 cuporganic, virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
* 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 cup finely grated dried, sweetened coconut, divided
* 3 Tbsps cornstarch
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Use a microplane zester to obtain 1 tablespoon zest. Juice the mandarins to obtain 1/4 cup juice. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, beat 1 1/4 cups sugar and oil on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the tangerine juice, zest and vanilla and beat again. Add flour, 1/2 cup coconut oil, cornstarch, baking powder and salt and beat again until combined.
3. Form the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls. Arrange the balls two inches apart on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet (I used my Silpat but it's worth noting that both parchment paper and Silpat contain silicon so, if you're concerned about that, my guess is you could also just grease a cookie sheet with equally good results.)
4. Dip a flat-bottomed glass in water and then in the sweetened coconut flakes. Press down firmly on each cookie, re-dipping the glass as needed. Bake until golden brown and just firm, about 15 minutes.
You might also like:
- Coconut Almond Chocolate Chunk Cookies (grain- and gluten-free)
- Candied Kumquats In Simple Syrup
- Candied Meyer Lemon, Bergamot & Blood Orange Peels