Coconut is the Secret Ingredient in These Crispy Delights
When I was a child, December was baking season around our house. My mother would bake cookies almost every day, so we’d wind up with a dozen or more varieties at least. Between Christmas and New Year’s, she’d serve up a big platter of them every night after dinner.
I’d always beeline these Crunch Drop Cookies, made festive with a garnish of brightly colored sugar or sprinkles.
They’re a great tasting cookie, and easy to make. Almost every kid will like them. And you? Well, you may experience your second childhood.
Recipe: Crunch Drop Cookies
These cookies are made with two breakfast table standbys, Rice Krispies® (or a similar crisp rice cereal) and quick-cooking oats (the “1 minute” kind). Coconut adds extra flavor and sweetness. Mrs. Kitchen Riffs — the cookie baker in our household — and I decided to go with name-brand cereals when she made these, but I would imagine store brands would work well too.
It takes about 20 minutes to mix the cookie dough, maybe 5 minutes more to form the cookies on a baking sheet, and 12 to 15 minutes to bake each sheet of cookies. The recipe makes about 5 dozen (depending on how big you make the cookies), so you’ll be doing several rounds of baking unless you have multiple ovens and lots of baking sheets. Figure a good hour and a half total time for making a whole batch.
Leftovers keep well in airtight containers for a week or so. We’ve never frozen these, so we don’t know if that works (they disappear so quickly, we never have any to freeze).
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt (if using Kosher salt, a touch more)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 cup granulated (white) sugar
- 2 large eggs (consider using Pasteurized; see Notes)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (avoid the imitation stuff; see Notes)
- 2 cups quick-cooking oats
- 2 cups Rice Krispies or similar crisp rice cereal
- 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
- colored decorating sugar or sprinkles to garnish (optional, but festive)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place one rack in lower third of oven, the other in the upper third position.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats, or grease the baking sheets.
- Thoroughly whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream butter with a flat beater until light and fluffy (you can also use a hand-held electric mixer). Gradually add the brown sugar, then the granulated sugar. Continue beating until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy.
- Add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla extract, beating well after each addition.
- Add the oats, then the rice cereal, then the coconut, beating well to combine.
- With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the flour mixture until thoroughly incorporated.
- Drop rounded teaspoons of cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets, spacing at least an inch apart (cookies spread while baking). To garnish with colored sugar or sprinkles, flatten tops of cookies with a fork (the tines make a nice pattern) or the back of a spoon, and add decorations on top.
- Bake until the cookies start to become firm (the tops will spring back when touched lightly), about 12 to 15 minutes. Don’t overbake.
- Cool on a rack, and serve.
- The recipe that my mother used specifies quick-cooking oats, and that’s what we used because we know they work. At some point, we’re going to experiment using the regular long-cooking rolled oats — the kind we typically buy when we eat oatmeal for breakfast — and see if they work. I imagine they would, but who knows (they do have a somewhat different texture). I suspect that steel cut oats would not work (they usually need a longer cooking time than rolled oats).
- Eggs carry a slight (but real) risk of salmonella. So I suggest using pasteurized eggs for cookie dough. Although it’s unlikely that the eggs you buy will be infected, why take the risk? Especially since most of us can’t make cookies without tasting the raw dough!
- You can easily identify pasteurized eggs because they usually have a red “P” stamped on them.
- You should use high quality (pure) vanilla extract in this recipe.
- Pure vanilla extract is made by soaking vanilla beans in a mixture of water and alcohol for several months. BTW, the FDA requires that pure vanilla extract contain at least 35% alcohol. If the label doesn’t say “pure,” that means it’s made from synthetic vanilla. The artificial kind is usually derived from the sapwood of several species of conifers — or from coal extracts!
- The flavor of some imitation vanillas can be nasty. You don’t have to spend a fortune on pure vanilla extract, but getting decent quality does mean spending a bit more for something that’s not loaded with sugar or imitation flavoring. Do yourself a favor and get the real stuff.
- For the holidays, garnishing the cookies with colored decorating sugar or sprinkles adds a festive touch. During the rest of the year, we substitute plain granulated sugar or a cinnamon/sugar mixture. We sometimes make them without a garnish — they’re tasty that way as well.
- I'd like to thank Ali at Yorkies Girl for awarding me with the Kreative Blogger award. You can read about it here. It'll be awhile before I'll be able to get it together enough to pass the award along to others, but I wanted to thank Ali for her kindness.
Rounding Up Cookies and Cocktails
This year on Kitchen Riffs, we devoted the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas to posting about cookies and cocktails.
Makes sense, don’t you think? This is a favorite time of year for entertaining, so we’re always looking for special treats to serve. And what’s more traditional (or treatly) than cookies and cocktails?
In addition to the Crunch Drop Cookies featured today, we discussed Anise Drop Cookies, Almond Sugar Cookies, Coconut Kisses (Macaroons), and Chocolate Pepper Cookies.
Need more cookies than that? Our archives have you covered: Pfeffernusse Cookies are a classic for Christmas. Cherry Winks Cookies, Chocolate Drop Cookies, and Peanut Butter Cookies are all holiday appropriate.
The cocktails we’ve discussed in the past month or so include The Stinger, the Grasshopper Cocktail, the Brandy Alexander, and the Aviation Cocktail.
Looking for additional cocktails? Just dive back into the Kitchen Riffs archives again: Eggnog, The Classic Champagne Cocktail, the Corpse Reviver Cocktail, the Betsy Ross, the Manhattan Cocktail, the Martini, or the Sidecar would all warm up your guests on a cold evening. And for those in the Southern Hemisphere who celebrate Christmas in warm (i.e., hot) weather, nothing is more refreshing than a tall Pimm's Cup.
Now that Christmas is almost here, we’re wrapping up our cookies-and-cocktails series with today’s post. But New Year’s Eve is coming up! Later this week and early next, we’ll feature a couple of posts about suitable party fare. And then we’ll start the new year by returning to our regular monthly cocktail post, this time with a drink that is particularly appropriate for recharging after all the season’s activities.
Mrs. Kitchen Riffs and I wish you Happy Holidays!
You may also enjoy reading about:
Anise Drop Cookies
Almond Sugar Cookies
Chocolate Drop Cookies
Cherry Winks Cookies
Chocolate Pepper Cookies
Peanut Butter Cookies
Ultimate Chocolate Brownie
The Stinger Cocktail
Corpse Reviver Cocktail