Do you bake to create something new? To recreate a taste memory? To use up a surplus of ingredients? Or just because you need something sweet? I bake for all of those reasons, but this recipe is one in a series of cookies I've been making over the past few years trying to recreate a teenage indulgence. I was never a mall rat, but whenever I did go I would pick up a cookie at a famous cookie franchise. It was called Mrs. something or other... They were huge and chewy with a centre verging on raw. I loved them and could make one last all day. Like I said, they were huge. This chain sold lots of cookies but this one was my favourite for a number of reasons: it did not contain chocolate; it had coconut; and macadamia nuts. Oh and I did I mention the size? It does matter.
A few years ago I was at a mall and went to pick one up only to find they had been discontinued for years! Like I said, I'm not a big shopper. I was disappointed so I set out to make them myself. Over the years I've taken a few cracks at the recipe, but my results have always been too cakey or too crisp. Sometimes the cookie didn't spread at all, other times it spread all over the place. I even tried to adapt a few ANZAC biscuits recipes, as they are full of oats and coconut, but they weren't quite right either. My most recent attempt is the first I have been mostly happy with. It's almost thick enough and chewy--almost too chewy. I used golden syrup instead of white sugar along with old-fashioned rolled oats and shredded coconut, but will try quick oats and flaked coconut next time. And maybe change the ratio of flour to coconut/oats to give me exactly what I'm looking for. That said, these were delicious and if you're a cookie dough monster like me you'll love them raw or baked.
Oatmeal Coconut and Macadamia Nut Cookies
Adapted from Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy by Alice Medrich
2 cups rolled oats
¼ cup water
5.625 ounces/1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
8 ounces/1 cup unsalted butter
5.25 ounces/¾ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup golden syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 cup roasted, salted macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup sweetened coconut
- Place the oats in a bowl and sprinkle with the water, stirring to combine. Set aside. Whisk the flour, baking soda and nutmeg together in a medium bowl.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Take off the stove and add the sugar, syrup, vanilla and salt and stir well. Add the egg and beat in. Add the flour mixture, oats, nuts and coconut and stir just until combined.
- Cover the dough and let it stand at room temperature for a couple of hours, or ideally overnight in the fridge. This helps to moisten the oats thoroughly.
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Line baking sheets with ungreased parchment. Scoop 2 level tablespoons of dough for each cookie and flatten into a small hockey puck shape. Bake 10-12 minutes, just until cookies are golden on the edge. Slide parchment and cookies onto a rack to cool. Store airtight.