TWD: Coco Rochers
Every Valentine's Day, my grandma bought me a heart shaped box of Russell Stover assorted chocolates. The box was cute but unlike the rectangular boxes, the heart shaped ones don't have the chocolate diagram on the inside of the lid (for all I know they might now, but this was the 90s and receiving a heart shaped box meant playing a flavor-filled game of chance). I proceeded to pinch all of the chocolates upon opening my box. I did this so I could identify and avoid the coconut, leaving them for my mom, and save the orange creams for last. Baking this week for Tuesday's with Dorie reminded me of my childhood aversion to coconut, yet the coco rochers surprised me. Despite being completely made of coconut, I found they were a decent treat.
The coco rochers were quite simple to bake--they're made by combining unsweetened shredded coconut, egg whites, and sugar in a sauce pan and cooking over medium-low heat for 7-10 minutes with vanilla added after cooking. The dough then chilled in the fridge overnight. I wouldn't call the pre-baked cookies dough; nothing about the shredded coconut had what I consider a dough-like quality. When I went to bake the cookies the next morning, I wondered if I'd done something wrong. The dough didn't hold together very well and wasn't easy to roll. I set the oven to 300 and baked 3 cookies as a test batch.
Dorie says the baking of this cookie is so they can dry out, creating a lightly browned, crunchy, coconut shell. I let my test cookies bake for 25 minutes. The resulting coco rocher--or coconut rock--wasn't terrible but Sam and I felt they needed something more. The answer: chocolate. I dipped the bottom of the cookies in some melted bittersweet chocolate and thought they were better
My much younger self would have been appalled to see me pop a coco rocher in my mouth and say it wasn't half bad. Though I sound pretty indifferent to these cookies, they are terrific with afternoon coffee. I guess my aversion to coconut has changed slightly over the years.
I will say that if I make these again, I'll let them bake longer. Dorie doesn't give us a picture of these and because of my previous aversion to coconut, I'd never eaten one before and I wasn't sure if they should bake longer. When there's not a picture I like to pretend I'm in a baking challenge making something I've never heard of, so I usually avoid finding a photo until after I've finished to compare my bake. The photos I found of the coco rochers have much darker outsides. I would've liked this better as I thought the crunch was the best part (and it seems that after sitting in the container overnight they've lost a bit of their crunch).