Sunday 23 March 2014

Peanut Butter and Coconut Cookies (vegan)

The movie chosen for this month's Food 'n' Flix is  Stranger Than Fiction, chosen by Debs at Kahakai Kitchen.

The film stars Will Ferrell as Harold Cook, a tax official who starts hearing a voice narrating parts of his life. He ends up figuring out that he is a character in a novel written by Emma Thompson, who is planning to kill off the Harold Cook character in her book - which may or may not mean the real Harold Cook will also die. Despite that, this is actually a comedy film; I don't think I'd ever heard of it before (it's from 2006) and it wasn't the best film I've ever seen, but it's an intelligent and thought provoking story and quite funny in places.

The love interest comes from Maggie Gyllenhaal (Ana), a baker that Harold is auditing. They start to like each other and eventually fall in love. She is a baker, and when she is initially trying to win him over (or possibly bribe him as her tax affairs are far from in order) she offers him cookies. Harold says he doesn't like cookies, prompting Ana to exclaim "You don't like cookies? What's wrong with you? After a really awful day didn't your mum ever make you milk and cookies?" She makes him sit down and eat a cookie, telling him "It was a really awful day, I know - I made sure of it. So pick up the cookie, dip it in the milk and eat it."

Ana explains that she studied law at Harvard as she wanted to make the world a better place, and made cookies and treats for her study group. She lists some of the treats she made: "oatmeal cookies, peanut butter bars, dark chocolate macademia nut wedges, ricotta cheese and apricot croissants, mocha bars with an almond glaze, lemon chiffon cake with a zesty peach icing".... her study group worked harder and did better on tests and more and more people came. Ana says:"At the end of the semester I had 27 study partners and a D average, so I dropped out - I just figured if I was going to make the world a better place I would do it with cookies."

I love the idea of making the world a better place through baking, and I guess in some ways that's why I like taking cakes into work - it brightens everyone's day a little! Based on this exchange in the film I knew I had to make cookies for this month's Food 'n' Flix.

I turned to a little book called Biscuits and Macaroons from Marks & Spencer but was quite limited in what I could make. I'm in the process of selling my house so we have put a lot of stuff in storage, and crammed things into cupboards so the worktops are clear - my kitchen is unrecognisable! The downside is that I can't find half the things I need! So I chose a recipe that only needed a few basic storecupboard ingredients, and then put a bit of a twist on it. The original recipe was called "peanut crunch cookies" as it uses crunchy peanut butter, but I used the smooth kind so I can't really keep that name! Instead I call these:

Peanut Coconut Cookies

You need:
110g self-raising flour
1/4 tsp bicarb of soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
50g rolled oats
25g dessicated coconut
1 tsp grated lemon rind
150g peanut butter
150g caster sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
2 tbsp cold water
peanut butter M&Ms (optional)
Reece's Pieces peanut butter cups (optional)
If you omit the last two ingredients, these cookies are vegan.

Preheat the oven to 180C. In a bowl mix the flour, bicarb of soda, cinnamon, rolled oats, coconut and lemon rind

Mix in the sugar, peanut butter,  golden syrup and a little water until you can make a dough.

Shape into balls and press down onto a greased and lined baking sheet. I pressed a Reece's Pieces peanut butter cup into a few of the cookies.

I decorated some of the others with peanut butter M&Ms.

Bake for about ten minutes then cool on a wire rack.

My favourite cookies were the ones with the Reece's Pieces peanut butter cups, as they add a little chocolate as well as the peanut butter and coconut flavour, though I also like the fact that these can also be vegan if you leave the candy out.

I'm sending this to Food 'n' Flix, hosted by Kahakai Kitchen.

I'm also sending this to We Should Cocoa, run by Choclette at Chocolate Log Blog. This month it's hosted by Laura at I'd Much Rather Bake Than, and the ingredient she has chosen is coconut.


  1. I love how these use a lot of peanut butter instead of the usual butter with a bit of peanut butter added. The different textures from the coconut and oats are really appealing too =)

  2. right up my street-i love peanut butter and coconut.

  3. Ooh yes please Caroline, I'll have one or two of those if you don't mind. Love peanut butter and I don't see why it wouldn't go very nicely with coconut. Thanks for entering them into WSC.

    Good luck with your house move. I hope your new kitchen is going to be a good one.

  4. I can't resist a peanut butter cup and one top of a cookie is even better! ;-) Thanks for joining in the Food 'N Flix fun this month--and while in the process of moving too! You get extra dedication points. ;-)

  5. I love cookies and would love to try the ones you made. Reeces pieces...yum!

  6. Peanut butter adds an extra pazazz here/ Nice choice for this movie :-)

  7. Love the melted reese's cups on top!


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