Monday, August 1, 2011

Tropical Chunk Cookies

A few months ago, I bought a package of mixed, dried tropical fruit on a whim. Then it was a random Sunday night, and I was hosting book club Monday. I decided a baked good was in order to pair with the quiches I made, and the bag of dried fruit was calling my name. I began pulling ingredients out and found half-used bags of dried coconut and macadamia nuts, these tropical cookies pretty much made themselves. My book club friends really liked them, and my husband absolutely loved them. 

When it comes to the actual recipe, I winged it a bit today compared to last time. I've baked enough batches of cookies in my day to know a proper ratio, and I like to try to use up what I have. I know the consistency of dough I want to get the cookie I desire (chewy and thick, no crisp/pancake cookies here!). 

Tropical Chunk Cookies

1 1/2 sticks salted butter, softened (12 tbsp. or 3/4 c.)
1 c. granulated sugar (or 1 c. packed brown sugar, omit molasses)
2 tbsp. molasses 
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. almond extract (vanilla is ok too!)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
2 c. unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 c. packed shredded, sweetened coconut
1 1/2 c. dried mixed tropical fruit (papaya, pineapple, mango)
1 c. chopped macadamia nuts

In the bowl of a mixer, cream together butter, sugar and molasses.
Beat until fluffy and pale yellow.
With the mixer on low speed, add eggs one at a time.
Add almond extract.
Turn mixer off and scrape down the sides. 
Sift together baking soda, powder, wheat and all purpose flours, add to mixing bowl.
Turn mixer on low until flours are moistened into butter mixture, turn off.
Add coconut, fruit and nuts, turn mixer on and mix until distributed evenly and all flour is absorbed. 
Use a spatula to scrape down blade and make sure dough is mixed well.
Place in the refrigerator and chill dough while oven preheats.
Preheat oven to 350*
Line a large baking sheet with parchment.
Spoon heaping tablespoons full onto baking sheet, press cookies down a bit, spacing 3-4" apart. 
Place in the oven and bake for 14 minutes, until golden brown and puffed.
Remove from the oven, rest on the cookie sheet for a minute, then transfer to a cooling rack.
Repeat with remaining dough, recipe yields about 2 dozen cookies, depending on size.