The Groom’s Cookie: Brandon

My cousin Ashley got married a little over a month ago to a really lovely man, Brandon. I was lucky enough to be in attendance and to get to do all the happy crying that entailed. Which, for the record, was a lot.

Some things are just right.


I love weddings. I unabashedly, unironically, utterly, and wholeheartedly love weddings. There’s so much joy and celebration, so much happy expectation, so much community…

Being able to witness people as they look at each other and say, “You’re my chosen family” is such an honor.

And, let’s be honest, the party that inevitably follows a wedding is fabulous too. Food, beverages, camaraderie; what’s not to love? I was also lucky enough to be invited to this part of Ashley and Brandon’s big day. The beverages were delicious (especially the Pinot Noir they chose), and the main food was cheesy and heavenly. The dessert? Well, it was cake (which I missed, sadly; I hear it was fantastic) and cookies.

My favorite of this pile are the meatballs.


Cookies, as I’ve mentioned before and you can see in the photo above, are my family’s custom. I was tapped to help make cookies. Lots of cookies. I believe the family made 1,200 cookies for this wedding.

The story of why we have cookies. Sorta. I would like yet more answers, but this is a good start.


And in this case, I was also lucky enough to be asked to come up with “The Groom’s Cookie” for Brandon. I was flattered and delighted to do so. However, it took some doing.

See, Brandon wanted coconut. Ashley wanted it to be part of the cookie cake. And I wanted it to be based on, but better, than the family recipe for coconut-lime cookie-cake cookies.

Anyway it took a LOT of work, far more than I expected, to make a delightfully coconut-flavored “cookie cake cookie” that built and improved on the family recipe, but I managed. I even managed (with help!) the glaze that Brandon asked for; we developed it two days before the wedding. And it was perfect.

How could this combination of foods go wrong?


The Groom’s Cookie: Brandon

Cookies:
8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

8 tbsp (1/2 c) extra virgin coconut oil, softened enough to measure but not melted

1/2 tsp salt

1 c granulated sugar

1 whole egg

1 egg yolk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp LorAnn Coconut Bakery Emulsion

Juice of 1 lime

Zest of 1 lime

1/2 c coconut flour

1 c bread flour1

1 c all-purpose flour (to make gluten-free, replace both wheat flours, but not the coconut flour, with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour.)

Coconut Lime Glaze:
6 tbsp powdered sugar

4 tsp coconut milk

2 tsp lime juice

Zest of 2 limes

Or this combo, really?


Instructions:

Beat together the egg & egg yolk. Cream together the butter, oil, salt, and sugar. Once they’re thoroughly mixed, stir in the egg mixture, coconut emulsion, and vanilla extract. Once that’s thoroughly mixed, add the lime juice and lime zest. Add the flours and stir until the dough comes together.

If you’d like, refrigerate for anywhere from a couple of hours to overnight. It’s not necessary, but it does make the next part a bit easier.

I don’t even want to speculate on how many cookies are effectively missing from this dough ball. But I enjoyed them!


Roll into small balls, place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for ~16 minutes at 375F. (Honestly, the recipe calls for 12 – 14 minutes, but we’ve repeatedly found with these cookies that they actually want to be baked longer. I’d do a minimum of 14 minutes, and be prepared to bake each batch up to 20 min. This is ESPECIALLY true if you make gluten-free cookies, as raw GF cookie dough tastes like beans, grass, and despair.)2

Allow the cookies to cool completely on the cookie sheet, and make the glaze. Stir together the ingredients until the sugar completely dissolves and you have a thin paste. Then drizzle the glaze lightly over the cookies. Don’t over-glaze; that way lies a delightful lime cookie made with a bunch of expensive coconut ingredients you can’t taste.

Simple. Tasty. Perfect.


Cooking and Consumption Notes

Cooking

The original recipe for many of the cookies my family uses in the cookie cake is a base butter cookie recipe, with a wide variety of modifications to get different flavors. Coconut lime was one such variant listed, simply mix in some lime zest and roll in toasted coconut flakes. This… didn’t speak to me. Particularly as I felt it wasn’t going to have much coconut flavor, and more lime flavor.

The problem I faced was getting substantial coconut flavor into this cookie without softening it too much. To suit a cookie cake (Ashley’s requirement), the cookie needs to be fairly sturdy and dry. In short, it needs to be stackable. So the first few recipes I got by searching the internet (for example: “Chewy” coconut lime cookies) were not going to work. Eventually, I started with my own gluten-free cookie cake recipe and added coconut flour. I asked Twitter for advice, and was told about coconut oil, coconut sugar (which I didn’t know existed) and, wonderfully, coconut emulsion.

Coconut sugar didn’t add much to the overall coconut flavor, and gave the cookies a bit of a brown-ish cast. Several people said the cookie was more complex, overall, but more people disliked it and almost everyone hated the color. So I decided not to use it in the cookie. I think it’s going to go in Spent Grain Sandwich Bread until I use it up.

Coconut flour seemed to help, but I won’t deny that I can’t decide if I only think so because it’s lent such a nice flavor to other cookies. However, since it seemed to help, and I know it makes the cookies marginally more healthful (if only by upping protein and fiber content) I kept it in.

Unfortunately, even coconut oil and coconut flour didn’t give me quite the powerful flavor I was looking for. I also mixed in flaked coconut at one point, but all that gave me was a weird texture.

No, the end requirement ended up being the coconut emulsion (and specifically the one linked above!) I linked to a couple of times up above. It’s a tiny jar of sort of greasy coconut flavor. It’s overwhelmingly coconut scented when you open it, and pouring it is a little disconcerting. I don’t know for sure, but I expect it’s more concentrated than an extract would be. I worried, when I opened it, that it’d be funny tasting, but it nailed the flavor in one shot.

Now, this is important, Amazon (and presumably other places) sell two kinds of coconut emulsion. Bill and I, originally, got our emulsion from King Arthur Flour, which only had one choice (linked). The right choice. When I emailed my cousin with a link to Amazon, I sent her a link to this bullshit, because it’s the same brand and NAME as the kind I had, with basically the same label. It is NOT the same stuff. The ingredients are different. It smells different. And her cookies, she said, tasted kind of generically tropical, rather than specifically coconut.

Not fabulous. And these, when done right?

Consumption

Fabulous. These cookies are just fucking fabulous. I’m not sure I’ve ever been more proud of a recipe I’ve come up with.

They’re fabulous in several ways, really. First, they simply explode with flavor. Even without the glaze, they’re decidedly coconut and lime and crunch and fun. They also look lovely, with the flecks of green that come with the lime zest. If, as some say, we eat with our eyes first, these cookies are delicious from the get-go. Also, the glaze is endlessly modified to suit your tastes. Want some other flavors? Just make a thin glaze of water, powdered sugar, and red chile powder. Or green chile powder!3

True story: I sent the most recent batch to work for Bill to share with his co-workers. Bill gave a bag to Mr. Shall-Remain-Nameless to take home and share with his girlfriend. Mr. Shall-Remain-Nameless finished the bag in the office & said his girlfriend just wasn’t going to know about those cookies.

Compulsive deliciousness, folks. And a celebration of love, in many forms.

Make them today. And, if you want, pair them with Tallgrass Brewing’s 8-Bit Pale Ale.

All the fruity notes played so nicely together!


Or the chocolatey stout of your choice.

Such as a good friend’s delightful homebrew.


(I suggest the former. Only because the cookies and the beer are both enhanced in that pairing, while the beer is made SUBURB by the cookies in the second pairing, but the cookies are kind of blown out.)

Note: All Amazon links above are affiliate links. This means I get a tiny percentage if you buy the linked items or other things via Amazon after clicking. Your purchase price won’t change. And if you do smile.amazon for charity, they stack. Still without changing your purchase price. Thanks!



1If you use King Arthur Flour, just use 2 cups of all-purpose flour. Their flours are higher gluten content than the norm for flour, and it’s what Bill and I use at home. Ashley found the bread flour to be a requirement when working with lower-gluten flours.

2 I copied this portion of my instructions directly from the email I sent Ashley. Because why should she have all the fun?

3 Do not doubt I’ll be making a holiday cookie from this recipe with both chile powders that I’ll just call “Christmas Cookie.” Don’t EVEN doubt me!