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Monday, September 7, 2009

Coconut Washboard Cookies

You're probably thinking the same thing I'm thinking. Why are these called washboard cookies? The don't resemble washboards at all. Or maybe you read my Twitter rant at the time these cookies were baked. Remember that rant in all caps about my cookies not coming out right...?? Yeah, these are those cookies! According to the description in the book, these cookies are supposed to be "crisp and perfect with a cup of tea." Well.... no. They didn't exactly turn out like that. Actually it must be opposite day because these suckers are very cake-like. If you know me, cake-like cookies do not make me happy... UNLESS they are part of a whoopie pie. But, ladies and gentlemen, these are not whoopie pies. These are supposed to be washboard cookies! I hate that I'm making very few posts lately because of my new and improved busy schedule. And I hate even more that my last TWO posts both contained mishaps! Oh well, I must press on! If anyone has any advice as to why these cookies turned out soft and cakey instead of crisp, I'd love to get your input!
Also, if you have any clues as to why my camera decided to go all "Chester Cheetah" on me and turn all of my photos orange, that would be nice as well! Here's what they looked like before Photoshop:Recipe from Cook's Country: America's Best Lost Recipes
Washboard Cookies
MAKES 36 COOKIES

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I reduced this to only a pinch, but I'd completely omit it next time)
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut

1. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Whisk together the egg and milk in a small bowl. With an electric mixer at medium-high speed, beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg mixture and beat until well combined. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture and coconut, and mix until just incorporated.

2. Following the photos, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and, using floured hands, shape it into a 15-inch log. (At this point, the dough was extremely soft and hard to work with. I'd recommend chilling it for about 15 minutes to make it easier to shape into a log.) Flatten the top and sides of the log so that it measures 1 inch high and 3 inches wide. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes. (The dough can refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.)

3. Adjust two oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator, unwrap, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices, and arrange the slices 1 inch apart on the baking sheets. Dip a dinner fork in flour, then make crosswise indentations in the dough slices. Bake until the cookies are toasty brown, 15 to 18 minutes, switching and rotating the baking sheets halfway through baking. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve.

35 comments:

Paris Pastry said...

Too bad they didn't work out properly! Maybe you can put some cream between 2 of them and make a 'Whoopie Washboard Pie' ??

yse said...

Did you change the white balance? It looks like the wrong white balance for indoors.

Mini Baker said...

yummm! coconut sounds so delish on this hot day! thanks for sharing the recipe!

Snooky doodle said...

coconut! yummy! pity these didn t turn out like they were supposed too. I m sorry but I can t help you on either the camera or the cookies :(

Palidor said...

They look really good! I actually like cake-like chewy cookies... sorry, not a big fan of crunchy cookies! As to why they're not crunchy, the only thing I can think of is that the brown sugar is adding too much moisture. Maybe subbing half the brown sugar for granulated will crisp them up?

TakeTheCake said...

I'm sorry. I've been known to pout for days over a kitchen mishap. That said, I LOVE cakey soft, tall and all fluff cookes. We seem to gravitate to one or the other. My grandma was of the soft cakey school so I wont try to solve the problem for you, instead, Im making them as they are... right now!

Denise @ Sunflowers, Chocolate and Little Boys said...

I like soft cookies and love coconut, so I will have to try these soon. Sorry I am no help with the photo and your "cheesy" effect.

fried blue said...

The ingredients look great though - am a fan of coconut. I'd love to try the cookies.

Happy cook said...

I too love chewy cookes and they look good.

syrupandhoney said...

Hmm the only things I can think of are either the cookies didn't get chilled enough or the oven wasn't hot enough. Sometimes it's not your fault though and it's really just a crappy recipe! Crumble them into a layer of a parfait or into the bottom of a pie to soak up some peach (or other juicy fruit) juice to put them to good use :)

Heather said...

I read something recently about how to make chocolate chip cookies chewy and it read to have the butter and eggs chilled so that they do not spread as fast in the oven.....so perhaps the opposite would hold true for these....make sure that they are room temp before baking after they are the cookie sheet????? That would be my guess. I wish I remembered where I read the above tip so that I can give proper credit....it was probably Martha Stewart, not sure though.

Rev said...

I agree with Palidor - you could try substituting 1/2 the brown sugar with white sugar. If that still doesn't work you can do what I do to get crispy cookies - Substitute 1/4 cup of flour with 1/2 cup oats ground in a food processor or coffee grinder. This has worked like a charm for me all the time and it does not alter the original taste much. Hope that helps! :D

Sam said...

Thought you might find these interesting...
"The Cupcake Bubble" http://www.slate.com/id/2227216/
"RIP Cupcakes?" http://food.theatlantic.com/food-wire/rip-cupcakes.php

Keep the cupcakes alive! :)

Ingrid said...

Whoops, sorry about your mishaps! Personally I don't like crisp and crunchy cookies so these would be perfect for me. Send 'em to me I'll take them off your hands! :)
~ingrid

Marta said...

I'm a big fan of chewy and soft cookies, so these would have made me happy! I hope they come out crispy next time :)

JennyMac said...

Well from what I DO know...the difference between a crispy, chewy, cakey cookie all depends on the balance of fat, flour and sugar. Usually crispy is more sugar to flour ratio and chewy more fat and flour....
but here's a handy website link for you to check out! It's helped me many times

http://www.baking911.com/cookies/problems.htm

Eliana said...

:( :( Too bad they didn't turn out the way they were supposed to. On to the next one though :)

thereddeer said...

Not sure what went wrong, and that orange photo is funky!

Gala said...

Hhhm..? they still look yummy!
And the orange pic is weird, thank god for Photoshop!

Amanda Sevall said...

baking911.com is a great resource! I was going to say you had too much butter and that's why so chewy -- you would want less "moist" fat ingredients to get a crispier cookie. Maybe adjust it and try again? They look yummy! (Well, maybe not the orange ones!!)

Agos said...

Um, I don't know... Do cookies normally have baking powder? Maybe they'd turn out better without it.
You could make cocadas instead. But the recipe is too easy to make a blog post about it.

Kolea said...

They look like surfboards, which kinda goes with the whole coconut theme.

CaSaundraLeigh said...

Coconut totally brings me to a tropical state of mind!! If only I lived on the beach, or anywhere near it! These cookies will be a good substitute--thanks!

Annie said...

Wow, I'm surprised that Cook's Country's recipe let you down. They are usually so precise with their recipes. The only time I get cakey cookies is when I cut down on the butter and use a substitute, like apple sauce or even cream cheese. Other than that, I can't figure it out.

I bet they were still tasty though. I sure wouldn't pass them up!

Half Baked said...

Sorry they didn't turn out as you wanted but they look really good to me!

Papillon jolie said...

Hi! I'm your new fan...
My name is magali and I´m from Bahia Blanca (Argentina)
I 'll make this cookies, because i like coconut.



XoXo

Magui-

Anonymous said...

Aw.
Everytime I visit and there are no new posts I feel sadder and sadder.
:(

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

So sorry these didn't turn out! Did you get the camera problem solved! Because, wow, that orange is BRIGHT!!

Keiara Wells said...

ooh I don't know but I loooove me some cakey cookies anyway!! :) and coconut to boot.. I'll be trying these! xox

greenbean said...

missing your updates...

Sweet Sins said...

Did they at least taste good even though they were cake like? I mean flavor wise?

Suzie said...

I just made these last night. One batch came out cakey, the other crisp. I used the exact same recipe. The only difference is that I baked the first batch (the cake-y one) for 14-15 minutes. The nice crispy ones, I baked for 18 minutes. I think it needs to be baked longer until a darker golden brown.--suzie

Anonymous said...

I'm not a blogger, so I'm not sure I even know how to submit this comment, but I just had to give you my two cents regarding the Washboard Cookie recipe. I think the milk and possibly just a little too much flour might be the culprits here. My mom made these cookies many times when I was a kid, and they were always brown, flat and very crispy with "washboard" indentations. I have her recipe but got online to try to find one with instructions so that I could pass it along. If you're interested, here are her ingredients: 1 stick butter; 2/3 c. brown sugar; 1 egg; 2 tsp. vanilla extract; 1-3/4 c. unsifted flour; 1/2 tsp. baking powder; 1/4 tsp. salt; 1-1/3 c. coconut. I'm not sure if she rolled and sliced them or rolled into balls then flattened with a fork. But they were pretty thin and baked in 10 minutes at 350 to 375 degrees. If you like crunchy, crispy cookies, these are wonderful. Betty

Anonymous said...

About the color: Did you change lights bulbs? Different kinds of light have different color balances. Also check the camera to be sure the setting in indoor or automatic.

I, too, am looking for a crispy washboard cookie that one of my relatives made at Christmas time. They were thin with very definite ridges.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I recently made this recipe and followed it to a "T" and while they didn't look as perfect as I would have liked they tasted perfect. Light, crisp, coconutty and buttery. And they've lasted for a few days now without changing texture. My only guess for the possibility of your cakiness is maybe you over beat the eggs. Cake recipes call for beating eggs for a minute or 2 to incorporate air adding that cakiness which is perfect, for well, a cake. And I'm with you, a cookie should never be cakey because then it's cake! That's my guess for you. Baking is tricky and one slight oversight can lead to a baked goods demise. But always know, someone will eat your cookies even if you don't like them!