I enjoy getting requests from readers, but sometimes my experiments don’t work the way I think they should. Such was the case recently when a reader asked if I could help her with a recipe for cookies similar to some that she had purchased in the bakery department of a supermarket. She described them as large, soft and moist. She also sent me the ingredient list from the package.
I collected a few creative thoughts and headed for the kitchen. I wanted the cookies to be easy to make, so I opted for my favorite cookie ingredient, pie crust mix. The ingredient list included molasses, but I didn’t have any on hand, so I chose to use some brown sugar to give it a similar taste. Kraft makes caramel bits, which are usually found in the “chocolate chip, etc.” area in the larger supermarkets.
I have found that the key to making moist cookies is to remove them from the oven before they become crisp. You might think that they are undercooked, but take them out while they are still soft. Start checking them at 12 minutes. They might be a little difficult to remove from the baking sheet, so wait a minute or two before removing them to a rack. They will be very fragile at this point, but will firm up just a little when they have cooled.
After having made two batches of cookies, I finally came up with one that I felt would work. When I tasted the cookies, I was delighted, and sent the recipe to the reader.
I was surprised and a little disappointed when she told me that the cookies were not supposed to be chocolate, even though cocoa was listed as one of the ingredients. She also added that they were supposed to have coconut in them, but this ingredient was left off the list.
Back to the kitchen again.
I decided to make these cookies from scratch, and after thinking about the ingredient list, I made the needed adjustments to the recipe. I decided that maybe the cookies needed just a hint of cocoa (not enough to make them taste chocolate). I hope this recipe is closer to what the reader was wanting. If not, I feel sure she will let me know, and I will try it again.
JUMBO CARAMEL COCONUT PECAN COOKIES
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cocoa
1 cup salted butter (do not use margarine)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2/3 cup chopped pecans
2/3 cup coconut
2/3 cup caramel bits (Kraft)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking sheet. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and cocoa. Stir to mix. In large mixing bowl, combine the butter, vanilla, sugar and brown sugar. Beat until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually add flour with mixer on low speed. Increase speed and beat well. Stir in pecans, coconut and caramel bits. Mix well. Cover bowl and refrigerate until dough firms up a bit. Measure 1/4 cup portions and roll into ball. Place onto baking pan, spacing cookies about 3 inches apart. Bake for about 15 minutes or until edges are slightly brown but center is still soft. Cool on pan for 5 minutes. Remove to rack to complete cooling.
NOTE: If you use unsalted butter, add 1/2 teaspoon salt to the flour mixture.