I was at the thrift store last week and found the most incredible cookbook. It’s a Quebecois cookbook in French called La Cuisine Raisonnee. I’ve never heard of this book before but the recipes were very traditional from Quebec and half of the book is devoted to desserts. The only photos are black and white archival pictures from the 20’s to the 60’s of women cooking. I bought it for $4, went home and did some research on it. The book that I have is a 2003 edition of a book that came out in 1919. They’ve been publishing new editions every few years. This book was first published to teach women how to be the perfect homemakers. Since the book came out during the depression, all the recipes are budget conscious. The recipes were created by nuns who gave culinary classes to young women. The recipes are simple and so far I’ve been successful with the 2nd recipe that I’ve tried. These coconut cookies are delicious. Not very sweet and the coconut flavour isn’t very overpowering.
one of the photos from the book:
The first thing you notice after they’ve baked is that the biscuits are very pale looking even though the bottom is baked. That’s because of the 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar. Also, they’re very tender and light! The opposite of a coconut macaroon.
The book doesn’t have an English edition, so I translated the recipe.
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup milk
113 g. butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cream of tartar
blend the coconut with the milk and let it sit for 30 minutes
cream butter and sugar, then add the eggs.
Incorporate the coconut/milk mixture.
sift flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Add it to the mixture.
place a tablespoon on a tray. Brush it with whisked egg whites and sprinkle with some coconut.
bake at 350 F. for approx. 10 minutes.