Saturday, February 18, 2012

Coconut-Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tonight, I write this post with a very heavy heart.  There's a light rain falling outside, which unfortunately matches the sad mood around here.  It's been about a week since my last post, and I apologize for that.  The truth is, I just honestly haven't been up to writing this week.

Those of you who have experienced the joy that a dog can bring into your life will understand better than most.  On Valentine's Day, my sweetheart of a cocker spaniel, Lady, passed away after 13 fun-filled years right by my side.  She was the sweetest dog I've ever known, and I sure do miss that little pup so much.  She battled a cancerous tumor on her tummy for quite a while, and she fought it until the very end.  It was just her time, I guess.

This quote by Anatole France says it best:
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."

I remember when I first got Lady...It was Christmas of 1998.  That year, I had asked for a cocker spaniel.  On Christmas morning, while I didn't open a box with a puppy inside, I did receive some cash that I could do whatever I wanted with.  We spent the holiday in the Great Smoky Mountains that year, and one place we always visited was The Apple Barn.  A few days after Christmas, I was walking up to the front entrance of The Apple Barn, when what did I see??  A sign posted on the door announcing that they had a new litter of cocker spaniel puppies for sale!  It was meant to be!  I looked at my mom and dad with a glimmer in my eye, and they instantly knew.

I rushed through the door, and asked the first Apple Barn employee I saw where I might find these painfully adorable little puppies.  Let's just say that it was love at first sight, and I very happily left that day with no Christmas money, but with my new floppy-eared best friend.  We've been inseparable ever since.  

Sometimes, baking is like therapy for me.  I can put on my apron, put some ingredients into the bowl of my stand-mixer, whip up something sweet, and it always makes me feel better.  So what did I do this past week?  I baked these amazing Coconut-Chocolate Chip Cookies.  They were easy, delicious, and contained chocolate...Just what I needed.  

You may have noticed that I love combining chocolate and coconut every chance I get.  It's my favorite sweet flavor combo, so it was an easy decision to make.  I was incredibly happy with the way these cookies came out.  They were a comforting and delicious dessert during a very difficult time.  The coconut flavors are perfectly complemented by the chocolate, and quite frankly, this is probably my new favorite cookie recipe. 

So, here's to Lady.  I sure do miss my sweet girl dearly.

Bon Appetit, my friends.

Coconut-Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened to room temp
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
1 tsp. coconut extract
10 oz. semi-sweet chocolate morsels
5 oz. bittersweet chocolate morsels
1 cup shredded, sweetened coconut

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with either parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.

Combine the flour and baking soda in a medium bowl and whisk together.  Set to the side.

In the bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment, add the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar.  Cream these ingredients on medium speed until they are nice and fluffy.  Add the salt, egg and coconut extract.  Mix on low speed until well combined.

Add the flour mixture to the mixer bowl, and mix on medium speed just until blended...Don't over-mix!

Next, add the semisweet and bittersweet chocolates, along with the shredded coconut to the cookie dough.  Stir together well.

Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, scoop out the dough and form into uniform balls.  Place the balls of cookie dough on the baking sheet, making sure not to crowd the cookies.

Place the baking sheet into the preheated oven, and bake the cookies for 13-14 minutes, or until they are a nice golden brown around the edges.

Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.  They are best a little warm, right out of the oven!

Repeat the baking process with the remaining cookie dough, until it's all gone.


Checking out her new little sis...

 Who eventually wasn't so "little" anymore  :)


Chris Coyle said...

So sorry for your loss. I know exactly what you're going through! Still missing our baby girl. She was a spaniel/retriever mix - a comfort retriever, and she surely was! It's been more than a year and I STILL have her as the wallpaper on my computer LOL. Sending virtual hugs your way!

As for the cookie recipe, it sounds delish. I love that you included the extract as well as the coconut. I never think to do that. Beautiful pics. :)

Celeste said...

Chris - Thanks so much!

Macaroni and Cheesecake said...

I am so sorry for your loss!! Doggies are so special!

Rachel Foster said...

Celeste, i am truly sorry for your loss. Losing a pet is so heart breaking, and you are in my prayers. Just remember, you shall be reunited with your puppy dog one day. My in laws recently lost their corgi, Foxy. My mother in law says that sometimes she can still feel Foxy's, they don't ever really leave us, they just leave in the physical form. :)

RNmom said...

I grew up with a cocker spaniel (she looked similar to Lady), it was heart breaking when she passed on. They're wonderful dogs. I'm so sorry for your loss. ((bigs hugs))

Julie said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Special loved ones are with us even after they're gone. I've felt that true with furry loved ones as well.

Michelle said...

Celeste! I am so sorry to read about your loss. The loss of anyone's pet instantly brings me to tears. But as the saying goes isn't better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all? She was worth it, as hard as it probably seems right now.
And I have a bag of coconut sitting on my counter right now. Thanks for the idea.

Celeste said...

Thank you all so much for your kind messages. They mean a lot and helped get a smile back on my face.

Erin said...

I know losing a pet can be so heartbreaking. They become a such a part of your family. I'm so sorry for your loss!