Coconut Cherry Drops

Coconut Cherry Drops

Coconut, cherries, pecans and all in one cookie.  

My Mother loved coconut cookies.  My Father would make them for her and we would be allowed to eat some but most of them were reserved for Mom.  They were white coconut drop cookies with half a cherry on top.  They were absolutely delicious and I loved them but I dared not eat them on Mom.  I had to satisfy myself with whatever I was rationed.  I don't have the recipe because Dad died when I was barely out of my teenage years and all his cookie recipes are lost.  I've tried to recreate some of the cookies but never to my satisfaction.  I suppose if I had the original and exact recipes they wouldn't taste the same because half the taste is memory which is mingled with all the other senses.  And who can recreate childhood?  My Father, Peter McBay, was a wonderful man and I'm glad I have so many happy childhood memories of him, the cookies being only one of them.

With that little story in mind, I was rummaging around in my cookbook bag and was going through some of Mom's handwritten recipes when I came across this recipe for Coconut Cherry Drops.  Although I've been through Mom's recipes dozens of times (maybe hundreds) I hadn't paid much attention to this particular one.  As I was glancing over the recipe it was like the penny had suddenly dropped and I knew why Mom had copied this recipe. . .  coconut, cherries, cookie. . . . duh! Of course, it wasn't Dad's recipe but it had some of the same ingredients and similar characteristics of her beloved cookie.  I image it brought back wonderful memories for Mom, as well.

I don't know what cookbook or magazine this came from but as you can see Mom wrote it as it would have been written in whatever book it came from in the beginning.  (It's a comfort to see her familiar handwriting.)

I put the recipe aside and made it a few days later.  Actually, I made three batches just to try a few things differently.  First I made it as written, second with all butter and third with sweetened coconut and all butter.  I also decreased the salt to ¼  teaspoon as I found them a little too salty using regular salted butter.  I liked the third batch the best so that's what I'm giving you here but you can always refer to the written copy above if you want the original.

Cookie on left was made with butter.  Cookie on right was made with shortening and butter.  The all-butter cookie is best in both taste and colour.

I thought some people in the family would like these with a few chocolate chips added so look at the very bottom of the recipe for that variation.


Printable recipe at end of post.
Coconut Cherry Drops
  • 1¼ cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt 
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoon chopped Maraschino cherries (GlacĂ© cherries may be substituted.)
  • 1 cup sweetened,  shredded coconut
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • Maraschino cherries halves for garnish (GlacĂ© cherries may be substituted.)
How to make it:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly grease baking sheet or line with parchment paper.

Before making cookies, prepare cherries by blotting them dry before chopping or halving.  Once prepared let them sit on paper toweling to soak up as much liquid as possible.

Measure and sift or stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Use ½ teaspoon if using unsalted butter. Set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, cream the butter and sugar together.  Beat in the egg and almond extract.  Gradually beat in the flour mixture.  Using a spoon or your hands mix in the chopped Maraschino cherries, coconut and pecans.  The batter will be very thick.

Drop batter by large tablespoons onto prepared cookie sheet.  Press half a Maraschino cherry into the middle of each cookie.  Or, alternately, you can divide the batter into 18 even pieces and roll them between your hands to form balls.  Place on prepared cookie sheet about 1-inch apart and lightly flatten each cookie ball with the palm or your hand or the bottom of a drinking glass.  Press half a Maraschino cherry in the middle of each cookie.

Bake in the preheated oven 12-15 minutes or until just starting to turn golden.  Cool baked cookies on baking rack.  Store cooled cookies in a covered container.  The cookies also freeze beautifully.

Makes 18 cookies.

Coconut Cherry Drops with Chocolate Chips
Add ¼ cup miniature chocolate chips to the batter and bake as directed.


Before you begin to make the cookies, chop and halve the cherries and blot them on paper toweling. Sift the dry ingredients together and lay aside.

Cream the butter and sugar, beat in the egg and almond extract.

Gradually beat in the dry ingredients.  The batter will be fairly thick.

Using a spoon or your hands mix in the chopped Maraschino cherries, coconut and pecans.

The batter will be very thick.

Drop the batter onto prepared baking sheet or alternately divide the dough into 18 equal pieces and roll into balls.  Place on cookie sheet and gently press down with the heel of your hand. These cookies don't spread very much.

Push half a cherry into each cookie before baking.

Bake cookies in the preheated oven about 12-15 minutes until starting to turn golden.  When baked cool cookies on a baking rack.

The Coconut Cherry Drops look pretty in the red serving tray but they taste even better than they look.

Coconut Cherry Drops make a tasty dessert or snack.

Coconut Cherry Drops are perfect with a cold glass of milk or a hot cup of tea.

Don't forget these cookies freeze beautifully.  Why not make two batches--one to eat now and one to freeze to serve another day.

Coconut Cherry Drops

A coconut lovers treat!

To print click on arrow upper right side.⇩          

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