The credit for today's Samoan confection goes entirely to a wonderful blog I discovered while looking for recipes to represent the island country of Samoa. As so often happens, the foodie Goddess must have been hovering over my keyboard when I clicked on Panipopos' Kitchen, a blog devoted to Samoan cooking, recipes and culture. After spending an hour scrolling through a whole range incredible recipes and videos, I settled on Masi Samoa, Coconut Cookies -- partly because I love coconut, but also because they were described as simple street fare that would make my kitchen smell like Willy Wonka's cookie factory while baking - so how could I resist!?
Owing to it's temperate tropical climate, Samoa has large plantations of bananas, taro, coconut and tropical fruits. Fresh seafood such as crayfish, snapper, mahi-mahi, octopus and tuna are abundant. Food is not generally spicy, but great attention to detail and enjoying meals together is part of the Samoan culture. For the best possible overview of Samoan cooking traditions as well as outstanding recipes, I highly recommend visiting Panipopos's Kitchen to further explore this beautiful country's bounty.
Masi Samoa - Samoan Coconut Cookies (Recipe Courtesy of Panipopos' Kitchen)
(Makes 24 cookies)
can coconut milk
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Grease or line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy.
Add eggs and beat well.
Add coconut milk and vanilla and beat until well blended.
Add flour and baking powder until it forms a dough.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead lightly, then roll dough out thinly (less than 1/4-inch thick)
Cut into 3x3-inch squares.
Transfer to the cookie sheet and bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
Cool on a rack.
Optional: spread with jam
Final Assessment: I love these cookies! They're easy to make, as rich as shortbread, and have a heavenly, delicate coconut flavor and scent. My kids had them for breakfast right out of the oven. I think I should have let them brown a little more, so next time I make these (and there will be a next time), I'll leave them in the oven a tad longer. And, yes, my house definitely smelled like Willy Wonka's Cookie Factory!