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I’ve been encouraged by various parties, in various words, to “blog, damnit!” The most recent bit of friendly exasperation (along with the foody exhilaration of Thanksgiving) has inspired me to stop feeling guilty and actually do something about it.

It’s not that I haven’t been cooking. It’s just that the only successful things I’ve made recently have been baked goods. Everything else needs a few more tries to get right (and I only post the best for you). However, that’s no excuse: I’ll just post about cookies and muffins and rolls until I manage to produce something else worth writing about.

I’ve been baking so much lately–I bring something to school about twice a week–that I’ve finally started to experiment. When I was only making cookies every few weeks, there was no reason to break away from reliably delicious, usually chocolatey recipes. But lately I’ve been digging a little deeper in my cookbooks and imagination.

This recipe is for a certain coconut-lover I know, who doesn’t have time to make chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons. (Seriously, no one has time to make those.) The only hard part about it is browning the coconut without blackening it. Always tricky, but I’ll give you a hint: just watch the coconut.

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Chewy Coconut Cookies

Adapted from The All American Cookie Book, by Nancy Baggett

1 1/3 cups shredded sweetened coconut, plus extra for topping
1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Generous 1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with aluminum foil and grease the foil, or use a silicone baking mat.

2. Spread the 1 1/3 cups of coconut on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven, stirring frequently, until well-browned (6-9 minutes). Put into a small bowl and let cool.

3. In a small bowl, stir together the oats, flour, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla, until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the oat mixture and coconut until well blended.

4. Use a measuring teaspoon to drop generous teaspoonfuls of dough onto the lined baking sheets. Sprinkle some untoasted coconut onto each cookie

5. Bake in the upper third of the oven until browned, about 10 minutes. (A few minutes’ difference in baking time produced different cookie textures, ranging from very chewy to crispy. You can decide what you like best.) Let stand until completely cooled before peeling the cookies off the sheet.

Makes about 40 cookies.

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