Book Club .. Month 2
Dinner for my sweet husband replaced cookie trays in the oven .. as I tucked this month's book into my bag .. and headed out into the cold Iowa night
This time I wasn't nervous at all .. the downtown hang-out familiar & fun .. a few starter questions at the ready .. I hoped to remember everybody's name. A really great group of women .. in a different season of their lives than I .. the majority being professionals who've chosen to stay home & raise their young children
As we shared a drink .. conversation floated between the book (a good one on all accounts) .. and musings of day-to-day life
There was talk of baking treats for grade-school parties .. along with the art of juggling that comes with kids in multiple after-school activities. At the same time I got to hear about them as well .. one told of auditioning to compete on Survivor .. another plays competitive volleyball with her husband
Then .. out of the blue .. it happened .. the mention of someone turning 40 .. SOON. An awkward sense of dread suddenly filled the space .. I smiled .. “You know .. your 40s are a beautiful decade .. you're smarter .. wiser .. established in your career .. hopefully having made & learned from all of your big mistakes by now .. you've come into your own skin … ”
I paused .. silently asking myself .. am I the only one with this experience? “Huh .. or so I hear .. “
These are the the cookies I brought to share .. without question worth trying .. tender & cake-like .. a crusty crunch on the outside .. soft & moist on the inside .. melt in your mouth good
They're an interesting mix to say the least .. coconut & barley flours .. full of coconut flavor from the flour, milk, oil, and shredded coconut they are rolled in .. the oil (or butter, if using) added at the end. As they bake .. the sweet, warm smell is nothing short of intoxicating
A few thoughts on coconut flour
It's become a familiar friend .. one I reach for it more often than not. It's fairly affordable .. as far as grain-free flours go .. and I enjoy the cake-like texture it brings to the final product. In addition, it's incredibly absorbent .. a smaller amount needed in comparison to more traditional recipes
When using it as a substitution .. you'll need to add more eggs than usual to compensate. I also find it does better when mixed with another type of flour .. preventing your cookies from being gummy
I assume they can go straight from the mixing bowl to the oven .. though my process for cookie dough is a bit different .. always allowing for a 72 hour wait in the fridge. When baked from a chilled state they are firm .. with a mounded dome. If brought first to room temp you'll find they spread more & will be slightly softer.
Either way .. absolutely delicious
ps: To make them extra fancy .. once they've baked & are cool, dip their bottoms into a small bowl of melted sugar-free chocolate chips .. or chocolate protein fudge .. then place them on parchment paper & refrigerate for a half hour or so until the chocolate is set
pps: The secret to a really good cookie? Let the dough rest 72 hours before baking your cookies .. here
ppps: Next month's book .. The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
~ Adapted from iVillage .. here
- 1 3/4 c barley flour
- 1/2 c coconut flour
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt or fine sea salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 c coconut sugar
- 1/2 c organic brown sugar
- 1 1/4 c coconut milk
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract paste
- 6 oz butter ** or coconut oil, melted but not hot
- 3 c shredded unsweetened coconut
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl
- Crack the eggs into the bowl of a standing mixer. Mix on low-speed for 20-30 seconds, until the eggs are broken up. Add the sugars, increase the mixer speed to high, and mix 3 minutes or so .. until the dough is the color of milky coffee
- Add the sifted dry ingredients to the egg/sugar mixture & mix on low-speed until they are combined.
- Add the butter and mix.
- Add the coconut milk & vanilla .. mix until combined.
- Add 1 1/2 cups of shredded coconut, using a large spoon to mix it in by hand. (Make sure to scrape down to the bottom of the bowl)
- ** At this point I refrigerate the dough for 72 hours .. though you can easily bake them right away.
- Measure the remaining 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut into a shallow bowl. Scoop balls of dough (about 3 tablespoons in size) and dip them into the coconut.
- Place them on the prepared baking sheets, coconut side up, leaving about 2 inches between them
- Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until the coconut crust is lightly toasted and the bottoms of the cookies are evenly brown.