Monday, March 05, 2012

Coconut Biscuits

When I applied to appear on Masterchef a couple of years back, there was a question in the extremely lengthy application which asked who my cooking influences were. I listed several women in my family, including my mum and my nana. Nana really was the epitome of the country cook, only I don't think she was in "the association" which has achieved so much notoriety in the past few years. She was a master of very good ordinary cooking, and her specialities stretched from roast dinners to pies, cakes and of course to biscuits.

At home with my little son last weekend, I decided I wanted to cook the most traditional cookie I could think of. I flicked through my Women's Weekly Bake cookbook and found nothing but fancy schmancy cookies that all looked a bit complex for my liking. So I rang my mum and asked for her coconut bickie recipe. This is one that figured heavily in my childhood. It was cooked with regularity throughout the year, but was also trotted out at Christmas decorated with pink or green sugar.

It turns out that recipe is one of Nana's. I have seen in replicated in some modern cookbooks and I've baked them using that recipe only to find the resulting product lacking. Mum was quite right when she said Nana's recipe is the best. Nana has been gone for nearly four years now, and really she was gone for about three years before hand, thanks to that cruel disease, alzheimer's. But I like the fact that I can connect my little boy to my nana through her cooking. He stood up at the bench with me and dipped each bickie in sugar before helping place it on the baking sheet. Nana would have liked that - she always liked to help a kid learn how to cook.

125g butter
1 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup desicated coconut
1 cup self raising flour
3/4 cup plain flour
1/4 cup corn flour
coloured sprinkles

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius and line two baking trays with baking paper.
2. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of your Kitchenaid and beat until creamy. Add vanilla and egg and continue beating until light and fluffy.
3. Add coconut and all the flours. Mix on first gear until ingredients are completely combined but do not over mix! This will make your biscuits tough.
4. Roll heaped teaspoonfuls of dough into balls. Pour sprinkles into a saucer and drop each ball of cookie dough into the sprinkles and press to flatten slightly.
5. Place on cookie tray with a good five centimetres between each as these cookies spread a lot.
6. bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Be careful as these cookies can burn suddenly.
7. Cool on tray for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 25 biscuits.

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