Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Cookies

A coconut forest.
This year, I wanted to add a new cookie to our Christmas repertoire. M made buckeyes (peanut butter dipped in chocolate) and we still had a fair amount of melted chocolate left. I didn't want to throw it away.

I pulled down a cookbook. The plastic binder is losing its grip on some of the pages. It's the "Historical Mackinac Island Cookbook," circa 1975. K and I met on the island, and it is a book I open with memories attached.

I flipped to the cookie section (I'm surprised it doesn't just automatically fall open to that section, as well thumbed as it is) and started reading. Some of the contributors' names are familiar to me, some of the recipes are cookies I've tried from women I've never met. And then I spied one that seemed like a good possibility: Coconut Cones.

I had all the ingredients on hand. Basically, it's a coconut mixture rolled into 1-inch cones, then dipped in chocolate. It was contributed by Betty Brown, who noted at the end of the recipe, "They are marvelous."

Perfect! And a little embellishment would take them from "Coconut cone" to "Christmas conifer".

First, I just made them white, cloaked them in chocolate, dropped a few small silver dragees on them, then sifted a blizzard of confectioner's sugar over them. Halfway through, I decided to add some green food coloring to the coconut, melt some white chocolate, and decorate them. And they taste like a homemade Mounds chocolate candy.

Here's the recipe:

Coconut Conifers
1/4 c. butter
2 1/2 c. confectioner's sugar
3 c. coconut
4 T. evaporated milk
Semi-sweet chocolate, melted (We used 12 oz. choc chips melted with 3/4 slab of paraffin to make it slightly thinner and smoother.)

Melt the butter until just lightly brown. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Butter your hands for easier handling. Roll coconut mixture into 1- to 1.5-inch cones. Set upright on waxed paper that has been sifted lightly with confectioner's sugar. Allow to cool, or refrigerate to allow cones to become firm. Dip in chocolate and return to wax paper, or spoon small amounts of chocolate over the top of the cone. Decorate with colored sugar, silver dragees, and sifted powdered sugar.

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