Happy weekend, everyone! Hope you’ve had a good week? The UK has seen a good dose of sunshine this weekend, which we have taken full advantage of, by hanging out in the garden and going out for long walks in the nearby woods. Wooded areas are particularly beautiful right now, carpeted with blossoming wild garlic and full of curious wildlife – squirrels and birds mainly – checking out infrequent visitors shyly.
The woods we live by span over a ravine and its banks are overgrown with gorgeously green and beautifully ornate ferns. I’ve heard once, on a health-related podcast, that breathing in air where ferns grow is really good for ones’ microbiome (gut bacteria) and therefore for ones’ health in general. Something to do with ferns thriving in soil containing health promoting microbes and mineral elements. We have both noticed that walking around that forest improves our breathing and makes us feel more alive so we’ve been doing it daily. We are both hoping to return to running sometime next week, but walking does a great job in the meantime. Walking and light yoga, which makes us both sleep like babies. There is not much to report, we are a still in the process of recovering and under full lockdown so there is not much going on really.
Recipe-wise, today I made some simple coconut cookie sandwiches with a deliciously creamy coconut filling made from raw coconut flesh, which I bought by mistake a while ago and wanted to put to some good use. I thought I was buying coconut oil, but once I got home I realised that I misread the label completely. I wasn’t sure what to do with it, but it turns out to be delicious mixed in with some sweetener and plant milk. It’s silky smooth and very indulgent.
I realise, however, that not many people will happen to have this in their cupboard and as now is not the time to be hunting for specialist ingredients, I have another option for you. If you have a bag of desiccated coconut at the back of your cupboard, turn it into a luscious coconut butter using your food processor and use the coconut butter you’ve made to make the filling (you can also do that with shop-bought coconut butter, of course). It’s really simple and I’ve included instructions below. I hope you’ll enjoy these and if coconut isn’t your flavour – make the peanut butter sister cookies that I created some time ago. Enjoy!
- 150 ml / ½ cup + 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 100 g / ½ cup softened coconut oil (I use this one)
- 300 g / 2 cups brown rice flour*
- 75 g / ¾ cup cocoa (not cacao!!) powder
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- In a bowl, whisk up maple syrup and softened coconut oil into a uniform thick mass. Don’t worry if any lumps remain at this point.
- Add in flour, cocoa powder and salt and fold them all in gently. Use a spatula to begin with, but you will need to use your hands by the end to get the mixture uniform.
- If you can, refrigerate the dough for 20 minutes, but you can skip this step if you would rather make them straight away.
- Preheat the oven to 180° C / 355° F and grab a large baking tray.
- Divide the dough in half and roll each half with a rolling pin until you get a 3-4 mm / 0.15″ thick sheet of dough. Using a round cookie cutter, cut the cookies out of the dough. Transfer the raw cookies onto a baking tray using a spatula as they will be very fragile at this point. Bring all the scraps together and roll them out again, cutting out more cookies.
- Bake for about 10 min. Remove the biscuits from the oven, transfer them to a cooling rack and let them cool down completely.
- Place a teaspoon (or so) of the filling at the bottom of half of the cookies and top with the other half. Store in an airtight container for a few days.
- Place the coconut flesh (or coconut butter) in a mixing bowl, add maple syrup and coconut milk and mix them with a spatula until smooth.
- You may want to put the filling in the freezer for 10 mins to firm up a little – if needed.
HOMEMADE COCONUT BUTTER (optional)
- Place minimum 300 g / 3 cups of desiccated coconut in a food processor (I use an old Kenwood like this) and process. Do not make from less than 300 g / 3 cups as the machine will struggle to churn a smaller amount.
- Initially, the coconut will get ground up finely and will be just spinning around the machine, but after a few minutes it will start releasing its natural oils.
- At this point the oily coconut mass will stick to the food processor walls so you will need to stop the machine from time to time to scrape the walls and bring the mass near the blade.
- The butter is made (it takes about 12-15 minutes of churning for me) when it is runny like in my photo.