Author Notes: I am in love with Flo Braker's Pains D'amande. http://food52.com/recipes/15349-flo-braker-s-pains-d-amande I always have a block of dough in the freezer, and I have made lots of variations. My husband's favorite has cocoa powder and toasted almonds. My favorite has Chinese 5 spice powder in place of the cinnamon. I always add salt, and I have played with the proportions. Still I think of them as hers, with a little spin from me. This is my latest spin.
I'm not a big fan of coconut, mostly because of the super sweetness of the kind of shredded coconut you find in the baking section of the grocery store, and the texture, which is hairlike to me. Someone gave me a container of coconut chips, which I put into granola, and I loved them toasted--I loved the crunch, and I loved the hit of coconut flavor that wasn't too sweet or overwhelming. I decided to use them in place of the almonds in this recipe. I also used lime, lime zest, and a little rum to make up the liquid. Finally, I've discovered by experimenting with this recipe, that if you want the sugar to stay crunchy, it's best to add it just before the dry ingredients so it doesn't have time to melt. And don’t let the liquid come to a boil, or you’ll reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe and the dough will crumble.
Makes about 72 cookies
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 medium limes, zested with zest reserved, and juiced into a liquid measuring cup
- Dark rum or water to bring liquid up to 1/3 cup
- 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, quartered
- 1 ¼ cup turbinado sugar
- 1 ¼ cup coconut chips, lightly toasted
- Whisk the flour, salt and baking soda together in a small bowl; set aside.
- In a 1 1/2-quart saucepan over low heat, combine the butter, coconut chips and lime juice/rum (or water) mixture. Stir occasionally just until the butter melts. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Pour this mixture into a 3-quart mixing bowl; set aside for about 30 minutes at room temperature until lukewarm.
- Stir in the sugar, then add the lime zest (use all of it), and the rest of the dry ingredients all at once; fold until completely blended.
- Pack the soft dough firmly into a loaf pan lined with plastic wrap. Cover surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze until firm.
- Place a rack in the lower third of oven and heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Lift out the firm dough from the pan onto a cutting board. Cut the dough in thirds crosswise. With a very sharp knife, cut each bar into 1/8-inch or thinner slices, and space them 1/4 inch apart on the baking sheets. (The dough should slice as if it were fudge.)
- Bake, one sheet at a time, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the undersides are light golden; then rotate cookie sheets 180 degrees and bake for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, or until crisp and honey-colored. (Flo Braker says to turn the cookies over halfway through, but I haven't seen the need to do that.) Place baking sheet on a wire rack to cool completely before removing cookies. (The dough freezes well if you only want to make a half or third batch.)
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Coconut