When I was a little girl, after school I often went to the home of one of our neighbors until my Dad or Mom got home from work. Usually I went to Mrs. Clement’s house. Mrs. Clement was tiny and sweet, and her house was always perfectly clean. I was sometimes nervous to go to the bathroom there because everything was so perfect. When Mrs. Clement wasn’t available, my mother would ask Mrs. Obinger, who lived kitty-corner from us. Mrs. Obinger was a little older than Mrs. Clement, and she had grown daughter named Georgianne who lived at home. Georgianne was paralyzed from the neck down. (I think she was injured when she was a teenager out on the Dunes, but I could be wrong.) Anyway, Georgianne was the first person I ever knew who was intelligent and capable and also had a severe physical disability. I learned a lot from both her and her mother.
Mrs Obinger made great after-school snacks – including some pretty unique ones (Garlic Cheerios!). But today I’m sharing one of my favorites – Coconut Cookies. Mrs. Obinger used to let me help her make them: I can still see myself, buried up to my elbows in cookie dough, squishing oatmeal and shortening and all sorts of yumminess between my fingers as I mixed the ingredients. Is there anything better when you are six than squishing things and making cookies?
When I was in the fourth grade, I made a special trip over to Mrs. Obinger’s house and carefully wrote out the recipe on one of her special recipe cards as she dictated it to me so that I could have it for always. I still have the card. I’ve made a few changes to the original, mostly to cut down the fat content, but they are still the same crispy-chewy coconut wonders I remember. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do: I encourage you to make them with your favorite child very soon. And if you don’t have a child of your own to make them with, invite the neighbor kid (and his mom) over to make some: you may even make a memory or two before you’re done – if you’re lucky.
- 3 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup raw sugar (or brown sugar)
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup grated coconut
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup very soft butter, or shortening
- ½ cup vanilla almond milk (or 1% milk)
- 1-2 tsp vanilla
- Combine oats, sugar, flour, coconut, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
- Add soften butter, almond milk, and vanilla and mix. (I do this with my hands.)
- Roll into 1″ balls and flatten with a fork dipped in almond milk.
- Bake 10-12 minutes at 375°.
- One cookie = 2 PointsPlus.